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Girl Hoped to Have Been Cured of HIV Has Relapsed

July 11, 2014 8:30 am | by Marilynn Marchione - AP Chief Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

A Mississippi girl born with the AIDS virus and in remission for years despite stopping treatment now shows signs that she still harbors HIV — and therefore is not cured.                       

Viral Evasion: How Measles, Nipah Elude Detection

July 9, 2014 4:39 pm | News | Comments

Scientists have discovered that measles and Nipah viruses manipulate the phosphorylation state of the immune sensor MDA5, keeping it inactive while the virus enters cells and replicates.                   

Bacteria Hijack Plentiful Iron Supply Source to Flourish

July 9, 2014 4:21 pm | News | Comments

In an era of increasing concern about the prevalence of antibiotic-resistant illness, researchers have identified a promising new pathway to disabling disease: blocking bacteria’s access to iron in the body.             

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Not at Home on the Range

July 9, 2014 3:44 pm | News | Comments

As climate change shifts the geographic ranges in which animals can be found, concern mounts over the effect it has on their parasites. Does an increased range for a host mean new territory for its parasites as well? Not necessarily, says a team of UC Santa Barbara scientists.  

When Faced With Some Sugars, Bacteria Can Be Picky Eaters

July 9, 2014 12:18 pm | News | Comments

Researchers from North Carolina State University and the University of Minnesota have found for the first time that genetically identical strains of bacteria can respond very differently to the presence of sugars and other organic molecules in the environment, with some individual bacteria devouring the sugars and others ignoring it.

Tiny DNA Pyramids Enter Bacteria Easily and Deliver a Deadly Payload

July 9, 2014 11:53 am | News | Comments

Bacterial infections usually announce themselves with pain and fever but often can be defeated with antibiotics—and then there are those that are sneaky and hard to beat. Now, scientists have built a new weapon against such pathogens in the form of tiny DNA pyramids. Their study found the nanopyramids can flag bacteria and kill more of them than medicine alone.

Bioscience Technology This Week #1: Tick Bites Pack Double Punch

July 9, 2014 11:24 am | Videos | Comments

On this episode of Bioscience Technology This Week, Editor-in-Chief Rob Fee reports on the possible double-punch of tick bites and how to control and undo years of heart damage.                   

Forgotten Vials of Smallpox Found in Storage Room

July 9, 2014 8:30 am | by Mike Stobbe, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

A government scientist cleaning out an old storage room at a research center near Washington made a startling discovery last week- decades-old vials of smallpox packed away and forgotten in a cardboard box.             

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AIDS Research Team Loses $1.38M Grant

July 9, 2014 8:30 am | by David Pitt | News | Comments

An AIDS research team at Iowa State University will not get the final $1.38 million payment of a National Institutes of Health five-year grant after a team member admitted last year to faking research results.            

Mechanism Preventing Lethal Bacteria from Causing Invasive Disease Revealed

July 8, 2014 1:31 pm | News | Comments

An important development in understanding how the bacterium that causes pneumonia, meningitis and septicaemia remains harmlessly in the nose and throat has been discovered at the University of Liverpool’s Institute of Infection and Global Health.

Recalled Chobani Contained Highly Pathogenic Mold

July 8, 2014 11:00 am | News | Comments

Samples isolated from Chobani yogurt that was voluntarily recalled in September 2013 have been found to contain the most virulent form of a fungus called Mucor circinelloides, which is associated with infections in immune-compromised people.   

Unsuspected Aspect of Immune Regulation Revealed

July 1, 2014 11:35 am | News | Comments

A discovery by Australian immunologists uncovered an additional role for antibody-making ‘B cells.’ The finding shows that B cells also participate in the development of ‘regulatory T cells.’ Until now, the only non-thymic cells known to educate the regulators were dendritic cells, which travel to the thymus to deliver ‘antigen’, samples of substances toxic to the body. We now know that B cells can do the same thing.

Bacteria Can Evolve a Biological Timer to Survive Antibiotic Treatments

June 30, 2014 11:52 am | News | Comments

The ability of microorganisms to overcome antibiotic treatments is one of the top concerns of modern medicine. The effectiveness of many antibiotics has been reduced by bacteria's ability to rapidly evolve and develop strategies to resist antibiotics. Bacteria achieve this by specific mechanisms that are tailored to the molecular structure or function of a particular antibiotic.

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Fighting Parasitic Infection Inadvertently Unleashes Dormant Virus

June 27, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Signals from the immune system that help repel a common parasite inadvertently can cause a dormant viral infection to become active again, a new study shows. Further research is necessary to understand the clinical significance of the finding, but researchers said the study helps illustrate how complex interactions between infectious agents and the immune system have the potential to affect illness.

Lassa Virus Tactic Exposed

June 27, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

An international research team has solved the mystery of how birds avoid Lassa virus infection, leading to a better understanding of how Lassa virus infects mammals.                         

Virus Infection Supports Organ Acceptance

June 26, 2014 1:19 pm | News | Comments

Chronic hepatitis C virus infections are among the most common reasons for liver transplants. Because existing viruses also infect the new liver, the immune system is highly active there. Despite this, the new organ is not rejected. The long-term stimulation of the innate immune system by the virus actually increases the probability of tolerance.

Designer T Cells Fight Viruses After Transplants

June 25, 2014 3:20 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

Bone marrow transplants save thousands of lives but patients are vulnerable to severe viral infections in the months afterward. Now, scientists are developing protection for that risky period — injections of cells specially designed to fend off up to five different viruses at once.

New Material Improves Wound Healing, Keeps Bacteria from Sticking

June 25, 2014 2:37 pm | News | Comments

As many patients know, treating wounds has become far more sophisticated than sewing stitches and applying gauze, but dressings still have shortcomings. Now scientists are reporting the next step in the evolution of wound treatment with a material that leads to faster healing than existing commercial dressings and prevents potentially harmful bacteria from sticking.

Invisibility Cloak for Immune Cells

June 25, 2014 2:03 pm | News | Comments

The immune system  includes natural killer cells (NK cells), which recognize and eliminate tumor or virus-infected cells. NK cells combat the body’s own stressed cells to prevent them from becoming a potential hazard. However, this bears its risks.

Researcher Charged in Major HIV Vaccine Fraud Case

June 24, 2014 5:19 pm | by Ryan J. Foley - Associated Press | News | Comments

Responding to a major case of research misconduct, federal prosecutors have taken the rare step of filing charges against a scientist after he admitted falsifying data that led to millions in grants and hopes of a breakthrough in AIDS vaccine research.

Mammals Defend Against Viruses Differently than Invertebrates

June 24, 2014 1:16 pm | News | Comments

Biologists have long wondered if mammals share the elegant system used by insects, bacteria and other invertebrates to defend against viral infection. Two back-to-back studies in the journal Science last year said the answer is yes, but a study just published in Cell Reports by researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found the opposite.

Single Tick Bite Can Pack Double Pathogen Punch

June 23, 2014 2:05 pm | News | Comments

People who get bitten by a blacklegged tick have a higher-than-expected chance of being exposed to more than one pathogen at the same time. Research found that almost 30 percent of the ticks were infected with the agent of Lyme disease. One-third of these were also infected with at least one other pathogen. The agents of Lyme disease and babesiosis were found together in 7 percent of ticks.

Molecule Regulates Production of Antibacterial Agent Used by Immune Cells

June 23, 2014 1:52 pm | News | Comments

Researchers have discovered how a protein molecule in immune cells promotes the production of nitric oxide, a potent weapon in the cells’ arsenal to defend the body from bacterial attack. The protein may offer a target for reining in the inflammatory response, which must be able to fight infection without damaging tissue.

Computation Leads to Better Understanding of Influenza Virus Replication

June 18, 2014 10:50 am | News | Comments

Computer simulations that reveal a key mechanism in the replication process of influenza A may help defend against future deadly pandemics. Treating influenza relies on drugs, such as Amantadine, that are becoming less effective due to viral evolution. But University of Chicago scientists have published computational results that may give drug designers the insight they need to develop the next generation of effective influenza treatment.

Burst of Mutations During Initial Infection Allows Bacteria To Evade Human Immune Response

June 16, 2014 2:10 pm | News | Comments

Bacteria that cause ulcers in humans undergo accelerated evolution during the initial stages of infection, allowing them to evade the immune system, according to new research. The study shows, for the first time, and in real-time, the interplay between the human immune system and invading bacteria that allows the bacteria to counter the immune response by quickly evolving.

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