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Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

Sniffing-out smell of disease in feces: ‘Electronic nose’ for rapid detection of clostridum difficile infection

A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester. Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to identify the unique ‘smell’ of C-diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition. What is more, the Leicester team say it could be possible to identify different strains of the disease simply from their smell — a chemical fingerprint — helping medics to target the particular condition. Continue reading

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Surprising discovery: HIV hides in gut, evading eradication

Researchers at UC Davis have made some surprising discoveries about the body’s initial responses to HIV infection. Studying simian immunodeficiency virus (SIV), the team found that specialized cells in the intestine called Paneth cells are early responders to viral invasion and are the source of gut inflammation by producing a cytokine called interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β). Continue reading

Vaccine for Ebola? Experts answer questions

Vaccine for Ebola? Experts answer questions

Vermont Medicine: What is Ebola virus and where are Ebola infections most commonly seen? Continue reading

Leading Ebola researcher says there’s an effective treatment for Ebola

Leading Ebola researcher says there’s an effective treatment for Ebola

A leading U.S. Ebola researcher from the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston has gone on record stating that a blend of three monoclonal antibodies can completely protect monkeys against a lethal dose of Ebola virus up to 5 days after infection, at a time when the disease is severe. Thomas Geisbert, professor of microbiology and immunology, has written an editorial for Nature discussing advances in Ebola treatment research. Continue reading

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early

Cancer-fighting drugs might also stop malaria early

Scientists searching for new drugs to fight malaria have identified a number of compounds — some of which are currently in clinical trials to treat cancer — that could add to the anti-malarial arsenal. Duke University assistant professor Emily Derbyshire and colleagues identified more than 30 enzyme-blocking molecules, called protein kinase inhibitors, that curb malaria before symptoms start Continue reading

Protein’s ability to inhibit HIV release discovered

Protein’s ability to inhibit HIV release discovered

A family of proteins that promotes virus entry into cells also has the ability to block the release of HIV and other viruses, University of Missouri researchers have found. “This is a surprising finding that provides new insights into our understanding of not only HIV infection, but also that of Ebola and other viruses,” said Shan-Lu Liu, MD, PhD, associate professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. The study was recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences Continue reading

New biomarker highly promising for predicting breast cancer outcomes

New biomarker highly promising for predicting breast cancer outcomes

A protein named p66ShcA shows promise as a biomarker to identify breast cancers with poor prognoses, according to research published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology . Continue reading

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

Gene therapy protects mice from lethal heart condition, researchers find

A new gene therapy developed by researchers at the University of Missouri School of Medicine has shown to protect mice from a life-threatening heart condition caused by muscular dystrophy. “This is a new therapeutic avenue,” said Yi Lai, PhD, the leading author of the study and assistant research professor in the MU School of Medicine’s Department of Molecular Microbiology and Immunology. “This is just a first step, but we hope this could lead to a treatment for people with this devastating heart condition, which is a leading cause of death for people with Duchenne muscular dystrophy.” About one in 3,500 children, mostly boys, are born with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) Continue reading

Personal, public costs of scientific misconduct calculated

Personal, public costs of scientific misconduct calculated

Much has been assumed about the private and public damage of scientific misconduct. Yet few have tried to measure the costs to perpetrators and to society. A recent study calculated some of the career impacts, as well as federal funding wasted, when biomedical research papers are retracted Continue reading

Vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria

Vaccine alternative protects mice against malaria

A study led by Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers found that injecting a vaccine-like compound into mice was effective in protecting them from malaria. The findings suggest a potential new path toward the elusive goal of malaria immunization. Mice injected with a virus genetically altered to help the rodents create an antibody designed to fight the malaria parasite produced high levels of the anti-malaria antibody. Continue reading