News: A New Set of Cancer Drugs May Work Against Viruses, Too

How can a drug used to treat cancer be effective against viruses, too? The answer lies in the drug's shared target — specifically, cellular components that control the activity of genes. A new research study showed that one such type of drug, histone methyltransferase inhibitors used in cancer clinical trials, has activity against herpes simplex virus, too.

News: Unexpected Microbial Life in Glacial Clay Could Offer Antibiotic Solutions

For as long as 14,000 years, the First Nations people of the Heitsuk Nation have made their home along the Central Coast of the Canadian province of British Columbia. Among the territory's inlets, islands, rivers, and valleys lie a clay deposit on the north side of Kisameet Bay, near King Island. For as long as most can remember, the tribe has used the clay as medicine. Now science says microbes that live in that clay may have important antibacterial properties.

News: Replacement Joints with Antibiotics on Board Mean Lower Chance of Infection & Fewer Surgeries

For about a million Americans each year, a joint replacement brings relief from pain and restored mobility. But, 5–10% of those people have to endure another surgery within seven years, and most of those are due to an infection in their new joint. If doctors could treat infections more effectively, patients could avoid a second surgery, more pain, and another rehabilitation.

News: Probiotics Could Cut Sepsis in Infants for Just $1 a Day

Bacteria, viruses and other germs sometimes set off the immune system to overreact, producing a severe condition called sepsis. Sepsis is so dangerous that it is the leading cause of death of children across the world, killing a million kids every year, mostly in developing countries. Probiotic bacteria might be able to prevent sepsis and infections, but no large research studies have been done to find out whether that actually works. Until now.

News: You Don't Need Antibiotics for Pink Eye

Crusty, itchy, red eyes? There is a decent chance you could have conjunctivitis, or pink eye, an infection of the thin lining around the eye and the eyelid, caused by bacteria, an allergen, virus, or even your contact lenses. Whatever the cause — you call up your doctor to get a prescription to clear it up, right? Not really.

News: How Calcium Sets Off a C Diff Infection

Unfortunately, the very places we go to receive health care put us at risk for becoming infected with superbugs, bacteria exposed to so many antibiotics that they have become immune to their effects. Clostridium difficile (C. diff) is one such bacteria. It causes inflammation of the colon and rampant diarrhea that can have life-threatening consequences. Part of its virulence lies in the tough spores formed by the bacteria. They are responsible for starting infections in the colon and for spre...

News: How Gut Bacteria Could Set Off the Immune System in Rheumatoid Arthritis

As if the swollen, painful joints of rheumatoid arthritis weren't enough, the disease is the result of our immune system turning against cells of our own body. Ever since this realization, scientists have worked to find the trigger that sets the immune system off. Scientists believe that gut bacteria may have a role in initiating the abnormal immune response. Now, a team of researchers from Boston has figured out how that might occur.

Tasty Testing: Artisanal Cheese Reveals Microbial Secrets of Deliciousness

Whether your palate runs to domestic or imported, a piece of cheese can be a real treat for the senses. Its smell, taste, and texture are all parts of its appeal. A big part of what makes that savory wonderfulness comes from the microbes in and on the cheese. Thanks to a team of researchers dedicated to studying those microbes, we have a better understanding of their importance to cheese and us.

News: Bacterial Bugs in Your Eyes Help Fend Off Infection

Not all bacteria in the eyes cause infection. A group of researchers from the National Eye Institue has shown that not only is there a population of bacteria on the eyes that reside there but they perform an important function. They help activate the immune system to get rid of bad, potentially infection-causing — pathogenic — bacteria there.

News: HIV Prevention Ring Passes Safety Testing Clinical Trial

Young girls, especially those who live in areas where HIV is epidemic, like sub-Saharan Africa, are particularly vulnerable to becoming infected with HIV. A vaginal ring containing the antiviral agent dapivirine has been shown to decrease the chance of developing HIV-1 in adult women over 21 and now in the first step for use in adolescents, the ring has been shown to be safe and well-tolerated in that younger age group.

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