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The latest news about microbiology
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Fungi in motion

Time lapse video (speeded up) of fungal growth.
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Scarlet fever hits Hong Kong

Scarlet fever hits Hong Kong | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Officials are warning of an outbreak of scarlet fever among children in Hong Kong. There have been more than 400 cases of the disease this year, including the death of a six-year-old last month.
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Herding HIV into an evolutionary dead end

Herding HIV into an evolutionary dead end | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Researchers have identified large groups of conserved sites on HIV proteins, which they call “HIV sectors”. These aren’t just sites that stay the same; they stay the same en masse while the rest of the virus warps around them. Dahirel and Shekhar’s idea is to train the immune system to attack all of the sites in a sector. To escape these “multiple points of immune pressure”, HIV would have to develop many different mutations that, together, would almost certainly cripple it.
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Second outbreak of squirrel pox in Ireland

Second outbreak of squirrel pox in Ireland | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
A second outbreak of a fatal red squirrel disease has been confirmed in Glenarm Forest in County Antrim. It follows an outbreak of squirrel pox in County Down three months ago. The disease is carried by the non-native grey squirrel which is immune to its effects. Infected red squirrels die within 15 days of contracting the virus. The disease has already had a devastating effect on native red squirrel populations across the UK.
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Cervical cancer vaccine a success

Cervical cancer vaccine a success | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
While it will take many years to find out whether vaccination programmes definitely reduce the numbers of cervical cancers in the population, Australian scientists were able to analyse the results from their screening programme to find out whether there has been any drop in the number of young women with abnormal cell changes that are the precursor of cancer. Publishing in the Lancet medical journal, they report that the proportion of girls aged 17 and younger with high-grade abnormalities fell by almost half, from 0.80% to 0.42%.
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Why basic microbiology still matters

Why basic microbiology still matters | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Editorial:
"The study of microorganisms has yielded tremendous insight into the basic principles of life but, despite all that we have learned, we are far from understanding in detail how these organisms function. The relative (but sometimes deceptive) simplicity of microorganisms makes them ideally suited for many fundamental discoveries, and many such discoveries are probably yet to come, if microbiology, and specifically basic microbiology, remains a well-funded discipline."
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Congenital syphilis screening cuts baby deaths

Congenital syphilis screening cuts baby deaths | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Hundred of thousands of baby's lives could be saved each year if pregnant women were screened for syphilis.
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Are big drug firms cashing in on vaccine aid billions?

Are big drug firms cashing in on vaccine aid billions? | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
'It is amazing the GAVI conference has been a success. The number of kids being vaccinated will dramatically increase.
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World digs deep to fight disease

World digs deep to fight disease | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
World leaders exceeded expectations yesterday by pledging an extra $4.3bn (£2.6bn) over the next five years to deliver new and under used vaccines to the poorest countries of the world – but had to defend their generosity against critics.
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Dengue virus circulating between monkeys and mosquitoes could emerge to cause human outbreaks

Dengue virus circulating between monkeys and mosquitoes could emerge to cause human outbreaks | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
More than a thousand years ago, somewhere in Southeast Asia, a fateful meeting occurred between a mosquito-borne virus that infected mainly monkeys and a large, susceptible group of humans. The result: the world's first outbreak of dengue fever.
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Universities 'dumb down on maths'

Universities 'dumb down on maths' | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
A report claims universities are dumbing down their maths entry requirements to fill places.
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Dishwashers harbour killer bugs

Dishwashers harbour killer bugs | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
FThe inside of the appliances are the perfect breeding ground for fungi associated with potentially deadly illnesses.
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But fish don’t have lungs…?

In a recent paper published in the journal Cell, Lalita Ramakrishnan and colleagues report that Mycobacterium marinum bacteria infecting zebrafish embryos respond to antibiotic treatment in an exactly the same way as M. tuberculosis bacteria infecting humans. Because M. marinum is 99% identical to TB genetically and infects transparent zebrafish embryos, it is an excellent model for studying tuberculosis. Tracking the M. marinum bacteria during infection and antibiotic therapy of the zebrafish shows that not all of the bacteria are killed by antibiotic treatment; some acquire drug tolerance and hide inside immune cells known as macrophages, then use these immune cells to spread around the body.
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Biologists shed light on a puzzling parasite- a model for Crohn’s disease?

Biologists shed light on a puzzling parasite- a model for Crohn’s disease? | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite that infects about one-third of the world’s population, comes in several strains. Some can have severe consequences such as encephalitis, while others produce no noticeable symptoms.
In the new paper, the researchers studied Toxoplasma infection in mice. The resulting inflammation of the mouse intestine strongly resembles the intestinal inflammation seen in Crohn’s disease, which affects about half a million people in the United States.
It is unknown if any of these cases are actually caused by Toxoplasma, but Saeij says some studies have shown a higher incidence of Toxoplasma in Crohn’s patients compared with the general population.
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HPV vaccine results do not apply to UK

HPV vaccine results do not apply to UK | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Vaccination programmes to protect against cervical cancer are “likely to cut the numbers who get the disease”, The Guardian has reported. In 2008, the UK began such a programme, offering teenage girls a vaccine against the human papilloma virus (HPV), the viral cause of cervical cancer. The UK vaccination programme was introduced more recently, uses a slightly different vaccine, and has not targeted such a wide age group as the Australia, meaning the results do not apply to this country.
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Great Britain officially bluetongue free from July

Great Britain officially bluetongue free from July | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Great Britain will be officially reclassified as bluetongue free from 5 July 2011, after two years without a case of the disease. The move means that restrictions on exporting sheep and cattle from Great Britain will be lifted.
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I don't believe it! Spongiforma squarepantsii

I don't believe it! Spongiforma squarepantsii | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
A researcher has discovered Spongiforma squarepantsii, a new species of mushroom almost as strange as its cartoon namesake.
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FOOD TECHNOLOGIST's curator insight, June 22, 2013 10:12 PM

Spongiforma squarepantsii

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1% drop in sexually transmitted diseases in England

1% drop in sexually transmitted diseases in England | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
For the first time in over a decade there has been a drop in the number of new sexually transmitted infections in England. The Health Protection Agency says although the reduction is small - only 1% down from the 424,782 cases diagnosed in 2009 - it is significant and a step in the right direction.
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Lister’s Legacy

Lister’s Legacy | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
If you’re a fan of sex and dirt (and who isn’t, these days?), and happen to be within striking distance of the Euston Road tomorrow evening, check out this free event at the Wellcome Collection, The thing is…Lister’s legacy, 15 June 2011, 19.00 – 20.00.
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One Case of Equine Herpes Becomes Many

One Case of Equine Herpes Becomes Many | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
An unusual outbreak of equine herpes virus that apparently began at a cutting horse competition in Utah in May has sickened at least 88 animals in 10 states.
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Scientists say new wheat strains will resist rust fungus | The News Journal | delawareonline.com

Scientists say new wheat strains will resist rust fungus | The News Journal | delawareonline.com | MicrobiologyBytes | Scoop.it
Scientists say they're close to producing new 'super varieties' of wheat that will resist a virulent fungus while boosting yields up to 15 percent, potentially easing a deadly threat to the world's food supply.
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