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Scientists Uncover Features of Antibody-Producing Cells in HIV

June 3, 2014 1:38 pm | News | Comments

By analyzing the blood of almost 100 treated and untreated HIV-infected volunteers, a team of scientists has identified previously unknown characteristics of B cells in the context of HIV infection.               

Genome Sequences Show How Lemurs Fight Infection

May 30, 2014 1:56 pm | News | Comments

Duke researchers Peter Larsen, Ryan Campbell and Anne Yoder used high-throughput sequencing on sifaka blood samples to generate sequence data for more than 150,000 different sifaka antibodies -- protective molecules that latch on to bacteria, viruses and other foreign invaders in the body and fight them off before they cause infection.

Sneaky Bacteria Change Key Protein’s Shape to Escape Detection

May 28, 2014 2:04 pm | News | Comments

Every once in a while in the U.S., bacterial meningitis seems to crop up out of nowhere, claiming a young life. Part of the disease’s danger is the ability of the bacteria to evade the body’s immune system, but scientists are now figuring out how the pathogen hides in plain sight.

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STI May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

May 28, 2014 1:24 pm | News | Comments

Could a common sexually transmitted infection boost a man’s risk for prostate cancer? A new study is exploring the connection between prostate cancer and the parasite that causes trichomoniasis, the most common non-viral sexually transmitted infection in men and women.

Food-Disinfecting Method May Fight Drug-Resistant Bacteria

May 27, 2014 2:11 pm | News | Comments

Technology currently used to disinfect food may help solve one of the most challenging problems in medicine today: the proliferation of bacteria resistant to antibiotics and other antimicrobial drugs.               

Bird Flu Experiments Pose Risk of Accidental Release

May 21, 2014 1:01 pm | News | Comments

Experiments creating dangerous flu strains that are transmissible between mammals pose too great a risk to human life from potential release, according to an editorial by Harvard University researchers.              

Watching HIV Bud from Cells

May 19, 2014 2:15 pm | Videos | Comments

University of Utah researchers devised a way to watch newly forming AIDS virus particles emerging or “budding” from infected human cells without interfering with the process. The method shows a protein named ALIX gets involved during the final stages of virus replication, not earlier, as was believed previously.

MERS Virus Spread Person-to-person, CDC Says

May 19, 2014 1:34 pm | by Mike Stobbe, Associated Press | News | Comments

Health officials reported Saturday what appears to be the first time that a mysterious Middle East virus has spread from one person to another in the United States.                         

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"Bystander" Chronic Infections Thwart Development of Immune Cell Memory

May 16, 2014 1:15 pm | News | Comments

Studies of vaccine programs in the developing world have revealed that individuals with chronic infections tend to be less likely to develop the fullest possible immunity benefits from vaccines for unrelated illnesses. The underlying mechanisms for that impairment, however, are unclear.

Blood Seeking Mosquitoes

May 15, 2014 12:41 pm | by Skip Derra | Articles | Comments

Insights into controlling mosquitoes often focuses on how they are attracted to humans, which is by smelling the carbon dioxide we exhale. But once they get close to us, mosquitos often steer toward exposed areas of skin such as ankles and feet. New research has shown that an often overlooked mosquito organ, the maxillary palp, plays an important role in mosquito targeting.

MERS Isn't a Global Emergency, WHO Says

May 14, 2014 12:31 pm | by Maria Cheng, AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

The spread of a puzzling respiratory virus in the Middle East and beyond is not a global health emergency despite a recent spike in cases, the World Health Organization said Wednesday. Read more...               

Chemists Design Molecules for Controlling Bacterial Behavior

May 13, 2014 2:07 pm | News | Comments

Chemists in the College of Arts and Sciences at Syracuse University have figured out how to control multiple bacterial behaviors—potentially good news for the treatment of infectious diseases and other bacteria-associated issues, without causing drug resistance.

Officials Confirm Reports of Second US MERS Case

May 12, 2014 1:53 pm | News | Comments

Health officials have confirmed a second U.S. case of a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. A news conference to discuss the case has been scheduled for Monday afternoon by the Florida Department of Health and the CDC.

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Malaria Severity Not Determined Solely by Parasite Levels in Blood

May 8, 2014 1:17 pm | News | Comments

Although malaria kills some 600,000 African children each year, most cases of the mosquito-borne parasitic disease in children are mild. Repeated infection does generate some immunity, and episodes of severe malaria are unusual once a child reaches age 5. However, the relative contributions of such factors as the level of malaria-causing parasites in a person’s blood to disease severity and to development of immunity aren't well understood.

New Study Sheds Light on Survivors of the Black Death

May 8, 2014 11:55 am | News | Comments

A new study suggests that people who survived the medieval mass-killing plague known as the Black Death lived significantly longer and were healthier than people who lived before the epidemic struck in 1347. The study by anthropologist Sharon DeWitte in the College of Arts and Sciences provides the first look at how the plague, called bubonic plague today, shaped population demographics and health for generations.

Starting Signal for Antiviral Defense

May 7, 2014 1:21 pm | News | Comments

Cells have to protect themselves against damage in their genetic material for one thing, but also against attack from the outside, by viruses for example. They do this by using different mechanisms: special proteins search out and detect defects in the cell's own DNA, while the immune system takes action against intruders. Scientists have now shown that the two protective mechanisms are linked by a shared protein.

MERS Experts Working on Way to Block Virus

May 6, 2014 12:45 pm | News | Comments

A team of researchers is creating molecules designed to shut down the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus, or MERS-CoV, that recently arrived in the United States.                       

New Technique Tracks Proteins in Single HIV Particle

May 5, 2014 12:43 pm | News | Comments

An interdisciplinary team of scientists from KU Leuven in Belgium has developed a new technique to examine how proteins interact with each other at the level of a single HIV viral particle. The technique allows scientists to study the life-threatening virus in detail and makes screening potential anti-HIV drugs quicker and more efficient.

CDC Confirms First US Case of MERS Infection

May 5, 2014 8:21 am | by Mike Stobbe - AP Medical Writer | News | Comments

Health officials confirmed the first case of an American infected with a mysterious virus that has sickened hundreds in the Middle East. Federal and state health officials announced on Monday that they are scheduled to discuss their response to the illness.

Spread of Polio Now a World Health Emergency, WHO Says

May 5, 2014 7:23 am | by Maria Cheng, AP Health Writer | News | Comments

The World Health Organization says the spread of polio is an international public health emergency that threatens to infect other countries with the crippling disease.                       

Undersea Warfare: Viruses Hijack Deep-sea Bacteria at Hydrothermal Vents

May 2, 2014 1:10 pm | News | Comments

More than a mile beneath the ocean's surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war. Like pirates boarding a treasure-laden ship, the viruses infect bacterial cells to get the loot: tiny globules of elemental sulfur stored inside the bacterial cells.

Newly Arrived Virus Gains Foothold in Caribbean

May 1, 2014 6:17 pm | by David Mcfadden - Associated Press - Associated Press | News | Comments

A recently arrived mosquito-borne virus that causes an abrupt onset of high fever and intense joint pain is rapidly gaining a foothold in many spots of the Caribbean, health experts said. There are currently more than 4,000 confirmed cases of the fast-spreading chikungunya virus in the Caribbean, most of them in the French Caribbean islands of Martinique, Guadeloupe and St. Martin.

Scientists Urge Delay in Destroying Last Smallpox

May 1, 2014 5:22 pm | by Lauran Neergaard - AP Medical Writer - Associated Press | News | Comments

More than three decades after the eradication of smallpox, U.S. officials say it's still not time to destroy the last known stockpiles of the virus behind one of history's deadliest diseases. The world's health ministers meet later this month to debate, again, the fate of vials held under tight security in two labs — one in the U.S. and one in Russia.

Promising Agents Burst Through ‘Superbug’ Defenses to Fight Antibiotic Resistance

April 30, 2014 1:48 pm | News | Comments

In the fight against “superbugs,” scientists have discovered a class of agents that can make some of the most notorious strains vulnerable to the same antibiotics that they once handily shrugged off. The report on the promising agents called metallopolymers appears in the Journal of the American Chemical Society.

‘Lonely’ Bacteria More Likely to Become Antibiotic-resistant

April 29, 2014 1:05 pm | News | Comments

Scientists from the University of Manchester have discovered that microbes in smaller groups are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance. The more ‘lonely’ bacteria mutated more, and developed greater resistance to the well-known antibiotic Rifampicin, used to treat tuberculosis.

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