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September 29, 2009
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Detailed Glimpse of Chemoreceptor Architecture in Bacterial Cells
from Science Daily
Using state-of-the-art electron microscopy techniques, a team led by researchers from Caltech has for the first time visualized and described the precise arrangement of chemoreceptors—the receptors that sense and respond to chemical stimuli—in bacteria. In addition, they have found that this specific architecture is the same throughout a wide variety of bacterial species, which means that this is a stable, universal structure that has been conserved over evolutionary time. More
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Beckman Coulter

New Test Identifies Active Tuberculosis Rapidly and Accurately
from Medscape Medical News
A new method that can identify immune cells specific to the tuberculosis bacilli in the airways of patients during bronchoalveolar lavage can rapidly detect active TB in patients, even when their sputum tests are negative, according to the results of a prospective, multicenter study published the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine.  More
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AIDS Vaccine Protects People, Shocks Researchers
from Reuters
An experimental AIDS vaccine made from two failed products has protected people for the first time, reducing the rate of infection by about 30 percent, researchers said. Developers said they were now debating how to test the limited amounts of vaccine they have left to find out if there are ways to make it work better. Scientists said they were unsure how or why the vaccines worked when used together in the trial, which took place in Thailand, and will study the volunteers to find out.  More
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Snorting Stem Cells
from U.S. News & World Report
If you had a brain malady that could be treated with stem cells, how would you like them delivered—by having surgeons cut open your skull to implant the cells, or by snorting them like a nasal decongestant? Not really a hard choice, is it? A University of Minnesota researcher has taken the first step toward making this kind of medical delivery service a reality by showing that when stem cells suspended in fluid are snorted, they rapidly migrate into the brain.  More
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Mutation Identified as Underlying Cause of Combined Immunodeficiency
from Medscape Medical News
Researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease and the National Cancer Institute, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, have discovered an association between a deficiency in DOCK8 — a gene coding for the "dedicator of cytokinesis 8" protein — and a variant of combined immunodeficiency. DOCK8 is expressed in lymphocytes, but its function is unknown. However, the DOCK8 protein resembles molecules that regulate rearrangements of the cytoskeleton affecting cell structure, adhesion, and migration.  More
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Sequencing-Based Approach Helps Map Genetic Interactions in Bacteria
from GenomeWeb Daily News
Researchers from the Howard Hughes Medical Research Institute and the Tufts University School of Medicine reported in the advance, online edition of Nature Methods that they have come up with a method for identifying genes needed for bacterial survival — and mapping genetic interactions in bacteria — using a combination of jumping genes and high-throughput sequencing.  More
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Enter the Virosphere
from Science News
Viruses have long been regarded as nonliving entities. They don’t have the machinery to make new viruses, nor do they have a discernible metabolism (you won’t hear a virus declare "as I live and breathe," and not just because they don’t have mouths). Viruses are typically thought to barely have genetic material to call their own, characterized instead as ghostly gene-thieves who prey upon and steal from real organisms. But as scientists shine the spotlight on the shadow economy of the virus world, a new vision of viruses is emerging.  More
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Study Tries to Detect Flu Before the First Sneeze
from The Associated Press via Google News
Coughed on by somebody with the flu? Duke University researchers are developing a test to determine — with a mere drop of blood — who will get sick before the sniffling and fever set in. And they're turning to hundreds of dorm-dwelling freshmen this fall to see if it  works. It's a novel experiment: Students report daily whether they have any cold or flu symptoms. If they do, a team swoops in to test not just the sneezer but, more importantly, seemingly healthy friends and hallmates who might be incubating the infection.  More
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Dog Flu Virus is Out There
from WETM-TV
There's another type of flu going around this season and this possibly deadly virus affects your furry friend. "I wasn't familiar with the flu virus for the dogs," says dog owner Mary Culshaw. "I thought it was just for humans and pigs, but I guess dogs can get it too," says Richie Page. The Centers for Disease Control reports the dog flu or H3N8 is a contagious respiratory disease in dogs.  More
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