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Home Is Where the Microbes Are

A study published today in Science reports provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments.

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Zombie Bacteria Are Nothing to Be Afraid Of

Scientists at Washington University in St. Louis have obtained the first experimental evidence that there are at least two fail-safe points in the bacterial cell cycle. If the fail-safes are activated, the cell is forced to exit the cell cycle forever. It then enters a zombie-like state and is unable to reproduce even under the most favorable of conditions. Drugs that trigger the fail-safes are already under development.

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A New Report Examines First Reported Spread of Vaccinia Virus Through Shaving After Contact Transmission

A 30-year-old unvaccinated male security forces student is the first reported case of spreading the smallpox vaccine virus (vaccinia) across his face by shaving after he had inadvertently acquired the virus during combative training at the largest U.S. Air Force training installation, according to a recently released health surveillance report.

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Research Explains How Cellular Guardians of the Gut Develop

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Even the most careful chosen meal can contain surprises. To defend against infectious microbes, viruses or other potential hazards that find their way to the intestines, a dedicated contingent of immune cells keeps watch within the thin layer of tissue that divides the contents of the gut from the body itself.

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FDA-Approved Drug Restores Hair in Patients with Alopecia Areata

Researchers at Columbia University Medical Center have identified the immune cells responsible for destroying hair follicles in people with alopecia areata, a common autoimmune disease that causes hair loss, and have tested an FDA-approved drug that eliminated these immune cells and restored hair growth in a small number of patients. The results appear in today’s online issue of Nature Medicine.

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Bacterial Meningitis Incidence Drops in the United States

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Advances in the prevention and treatment of an often fatal condition called bacterial meningitis appear to be paying dividends in the United States, report infectious disease experts at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) in the journal The Lancet Infectious Diseases.

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Children’s Hospital Los Angeles Offers 10 Back-to-School Tips for 2014-15 School Year

Sharpened pencils: check; notebooks and paper: check; school schedule: check. As a parent, this check list may seem familiar to you. It is a clear indication that back-to-school season is here and that means preparing your child for the school year as best as you can. Children’s Hospital Los Angeles is helping you and your child finalize the list by providing top 10 expert tips on keeping your child healthy and safe all year round.

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Making Cashews Safer for Those with Allergies


For the millions of adults and children in the U.S. who have to shun nuts to avoid an allergic reaction, help could be on the way. Scientists are now developing a way to process cashews — and potentially other nuts — that could make them safer for people who are allergic to them. They’re presenting their work at the 248th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society, the world’s largest scientific society.

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Key to Aging Immune System Is Discovered

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The immune system ages and weakens with time, making the elderly prone to life-threatening infection and other maladies, and a UC San Francisco research team now has discovered a reason why.

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Researcher Using Next-Generation Sequencing, Other New Methods to Rapidly Identify Pathogens

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A recently published study looks at the discovery of porcine enterovirus G, which is an important find in the United States.

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