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Latest Pathogen Stories

2012-02-27 11:28:39

How subverting the immune system shapes the arms race between bacteria and hosts Why is it that Mycobacterium tuberculosis can cause tuberculosis with as little as 10 cells, whereas Vibrio cholerae requires the host to ingest up to tens of millions of cells to cause cholera? This is the question that two research teams, from the Pasteur Institute, in France, and the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciencia and the University of Lisbon, in Portugal, answer in the latest issue of the journal PLoS...

2012-01-31 06:09:55

Among medical mysteries baffling many infectious disease experts is exactly how the deadly pneumonic plague bacterium, Yersinia pestis, goes undetected in the first few day of lung infection, often until it's too late for medical treatment. New research from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine has opened a door to the answer. Researchers led by William E. Goldman, PhD, professor and chair of microbiology and immunology at the University of North Carolina at...

2012-01-30 08:16:29

UCLA findings point to new treatment pathways for infectious diseases A team of UCLA scientists has found that the pathogen that causes leprosy has a remarkable ability to avoid the human immune system by inhibiting the antimicrobial responses important to our defenses. In one of the first laboratory studies of its kind, researchers discovered that the leprosy pathogen Mycobacterium leprae was able to reduce and evade immune activity that is dependent on vitamin D, a natural hormone...

Cleaning Cows From The Inside Out
2011-11-16 03:47:52

U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) scientists and their collaborators have conducted a series of studies that explore non-antibiotic methods to reduce foodborne pathogens that are found in the gut of food animals. The team consists of Agricultural Research Service (ARS) microbiologist Todd R. Callaway, with the agency's Food and Feed Safety Research Unit in College Station, Texas; ARS animal scientist and project leader Jeffery Carroll with the agency's Livestock Issues Research Unit in...

Black Death Genome Could Reveal Secrets of Ancient And Modern Pathogens
2011-10-13 04:32:16

Scientists have successfully mapped the complete genome of the Black Death - the bubonic plague that wiped out 50 million Europeans between 1347 and 1351 and remains one of the most severe epidemics of all time - various news agencies reported on Wednesday. According to Kate Kelland of Reuters, an international team of researchers extracted and purified DNA from the remains from victims buried in the so-called plague pits of London. "Building on previous research which showed that a...

Raw Sewage Is Home To Millions Of Undescribed Viruses
2011-10-04 10:53:53

Biologists have described only a few thousand different viruses so far, but a new study reveals a vast world of unseen viral diversity that exists right under our noses. A paper to be published Tuesday, October 4 in the online journal mBio® explores ordinary raw sewage and finds that it is home to thousands of novel, undiscovered viruses, some of which could relate to human health. Viruses are everywhere: every moment of every day, humans are exposed to viruses on surfaces, in foods,...

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2011-09-14 18:55:27

How diseases are transmitted among humans, other animals, the environment is focus New research aimed at controlling the transmission of diseases among humans, other animals and the environment is being made possible by grants from a collaboration among U.S. and U.K. funding agencies. By improving our understanding of the factors affecting disease transmission, the projects will help produce models to predict and control outbreaks. Funding is from the U.S. National Science Foundation...

2011-09-09 11:35:57

Researchers at the University of Toronto have developed a therapy for a potentially deadly type of infection common in catheters, artificial joints and other "in-dwelling" medical devices. Their findings appear in the Open Access Journal PLoS Pathogens on September 8th. The therapy targets fungal infections, which are hard to treat in such devices because they are composed of biofilms–complex groupings of cells that attach to surfaces. Biofilms, in turn, are coated in a gooey matrix...

14th Century Plague Lives On Via New Strain
2011-08-30 10:17:00

  According to a study published Tuesday, a less virulent version of the 14th century's Black Death plague is still present today. DNA testing on the skeletons of plague victims unearthed in a medieval London mass grave revealed part of the same gene sequence as the modern bubonic plague. "At least this part of the genetic information has barely changed in the past 600 years" said Johannes Krause, one of the authors of the study published in the Proceedings of the National...


Word of the Day
siliqua
  • A Roman unit of weight, 1⁄1728 of a pound.
  • A weight of four grains used in weighing gold and precious stones; a carat.
  • In anatomy, a formation suggesting a husk or pod.
  • The lowest unit in the Roman coinage, the twenty-fourth part of a solidus.
  • A coin of base silver of the Gothic and Lombard kings of Italy.
'Siliqua' comes from a Latin word meaning 'a pod.'
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