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Latest Pathogen Stories

Medical Legacy Of Knut The Polar Bear
2014-01-03 08:03:07

Leibniz Institute for Zoo and Wildlife Research Keeping wild animals is an important component of the mission of zoos to educate the public and preserve endangered species. When animals die, tracking the potential cause becomes an investigation of pathogens from around the world. This is because zoo animals are not only potentially exposed to pathogens occurring where the zoo is located, but also to those pathogens harbored by other zoo animals. In other words: the diagnostic challenge is...

TB Bacteria Hide Their Identity To Invade Into Deeper Regions Of The Lungs
2013-12-20 14:30:54

University of Washington Cell surface lipids hide molecular patterns that infection-killing cells might recognize as dangerous TB-causing bacteria appear to mask their identity to avoid recognition by infection-killing cells in the upper airways. The bacteria call up more permissive white blood cells in the deeper regions of the lungs and hitch a ride inside them to get into the host's body. Details on this finding are reported Dec. 16 in the advanced online edition of the journal...

Protein In Salmonella Jams Signals From Bacteria-fighting Mast Cells
2013-12-12 17:37:35

Duke University Medical Center A protein in Salmonella inactivates mast cells -- critical players in the body's fight against bacteria and other pathogens -- rendering them unable to protect against bacterial spread in the body, according to researchers at Duke Medicine and Duke-National University of Singapore (Duke-NUS). The study, conducted in mice, was published Dec. 12, 2013, in the journal Immunity. "Ever since mast cells were discovered to be critical mobilizers of the body's...

Bacteria Use Lethal Cytotoxins In Order To Evade Antibiotic Treatment
2013-11-18 11:49:43

Aarhus University Bacteria that cause infectious diseases produce a number of cytotoxins, and an international research team has now found the mechanism behind one of these toxins. The new results could make it possible in the future to develop new treatment methods to impair the cytotoxic activity and thereby reduce the severity of infectious diseases. In spite of the fact that the first antibiotics were discovered almost a century ago, infectious diseases such as tuberculosis,...

Probiotics May Help Keep Bad Germs At Bay
2013-11-04 08:38:08

Virginia Tech Microbes are everywhere – thousands of species are in your mouth, and thousands are in a glass of tap water. The ones in your mouth are mostly harmless – as long as you brush and floss so they don't form a biofilm that allows gum disease a path into the blood stream. Microbes in the tap water delivered by modern water systems in a developed country are also mostly harmless – with some notable exceptions. A team of Virginia Tech researchers is investigating the...

Skin Microbiome Shaped By Human Immune System
2013-10-29 13:50:14

Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory Our skin plays host to millions of beneficial and potentially disease-causing microorganisms; however, whether our immune system influences these microbial communities to prevent disease is unknown. In a study published online in Genome Research, researchers have explored the microbes living on the skin of patients with primary immunodeficiencies with eczema-like skin conditions. The human body contains many microbes, some of which are necessary for healthy...

West African Bats Are Hosts To Multitude Of Different Haemosporidian Parasites
2013-10-21 13:55:21

Max Planck Institute In Europe, bats are normally discussed in the context of endangered species threatened by loss of their habitats. However, in recent years, bats have caught the eye of infection biologists. The animals are namely hosts to a surprising number of pathogens, many of which could be dangerous to humans. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin and the American Museum of Natural History have been able to identify in...

Device Developed That Speeds Concentration Step In Food-pathogen Detection
2013-10-15 12:18:00

Purdue University Researchers have developed a system that concentrates foodborne salmonella and other pathogens faster than conventional methods by using hollow thread-like fibers that filter out the cells, representing a potential new tool for speedier detection. The machine, called a continuous cell concentration device, could make it possible to routinely analyze food or water samples to screen for pathogens within a single work shift at food processing plants. "This approach...

Soaring Variety Of Malaria Parasites Found In Bats
2013-10-07 16:10:08

American Museum of Natural History Researchers have discovered a surprising diversity of malaria parasites in West African bats as well as new evidence of evolutionary jumps to rodent hosts. Led by scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, the Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology, and the Museum für Naturkunde, Berlin, the new study reveals that two bat-infecting parasites are closely related to parasites in rodents that are commonly used to model human malaria in...

Genomic Test Accurately Distinguishes Between Viral And Bacterial Infections
2013-09-19 09:19:39

Duke University Medical Center A blood test developed by researchers at Duke Medicine showed more than 90-percent accuracy in distinguishing between viral and bacterial infections when tested in people with respiratory illnesses. The test, which detects a specific genetic "signature" that the sick person's immune system expresses as a response to the virus, demonstrates a potential new method for diagnosing the source of illnesses that have long been tough to pinpoint. Reported in...


Word of the Day
baudekin
  • A rich embroidered or brocaded silk fabric woven originally with a warp of gold thread.
'Baudekin' seems to be an alternative form of 'baldachin,' from the Italian 'Baldacco,' Baghdad, the city where the material was made.
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