By adapting a single protein on the surface of the bacterium Caulobacter crescentus, researchers at the University of British Columbia have turned it into a protein production factory, making useful proteins that can act as vaccines and drugs. Dr. John Smit presented the findings at the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, on 7 September. C. crescentus is a harmless bacterium that has a single protein layer on its surface. Dr Smit's team adapted the system that secretes this protein, which self-assembles into a structure called the "S-layer", to secrete instead many proteins that are useful for vaccines and other therapeutic purposes.
By 2020, 1.4 million Nigerians over age 40 will lose their sight, and the vast majority of the causes are either preventable or treatable, according to the Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Study Group. In the September issue of Investigative Ophthalmology and Visual Science, the group shares the second half of the results of the study, which examined almost 15, 000 Nigerians over 40 between 2005 and 2007. The goal of the study (Causes of Blindness and Visual Impairment in Nigeria: The Nigeria National Blindness and Visual Impairment Survey) was to help Nigeria create a plan for its participation in the World Health Organization's VISION 2020: The Right to Sight Initiative, which is working globally to eliminate preventable blindness.
Hovione is pleased to announce that its TwinCaps(R) inhaler licensees Daiichi Sankyo Co. Ltd. (Tokyo, Japan) and Biota Holdings Ltd (Victoria, Australia) have both announced successful Phase III trials for CS-8958, a new long-acting neuraminidase inhibitor for treatment of influenza (known as a prodrug of laninamivir). CS-8958, co-owned by Daiichi Sankyo and Biota, is delivered by TwinCaps(R), a patented dry powder inhaler which Hovione specifically designed for the treatment and prevention of influenza infections in both seasonal and pandemics situations. The device was designed to be used across a broad range of patients' inspiratory flow rates and requires a single priming action prior to use.
MRSA Survivors Network, the Chicago-based nonprofit and official organization for World MRSA Day, along with fellow MRSA activists will lift the veil of secrecy surrounding MRSA. The history making inaugural kick-off event will be held at Loyola University Chicago on October 1st. The 2009 theme is "You Can Not Change What You Do Not Acknowledge". Founder Jeanine Thomas states, "we want to reveal the truth and show the true magnitude of the human loss and suffering from the MRSA epidemic to the public as international health care organizations and governments continue to fail to act to protect the public around the globe from MRSA and antimicrobial resistance.
By attaching light-emitting genes to infectious bacteria in an experimental system, researchers at University College, Cork, Ireland, have been able to track where in the body the bacteria go - giving an insight into the path of the infection process leading to the development of more targeted treatments. At the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, Dr Cormac Gahan described how his research team had manipulated the infectious food-borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes to emit enough light for an ultra-sensitive camera system to detect these bacteria during infection of living mice in real time.
Strains of Escherichia coli bacteria that cause food poisoning have been shown to have marked differences in the numbers of genes they carry compared to laboratory strains of E. coli. Some of these genes may enable them to survive stresses such as those caused by modern food processing techniques or exploit food sources that laboratory E. coli strains cannot use. Dr Karin Heurlier and colleagues at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham in conjunction with Biolog Inc of California USA, used powerful high throughput analytical tools (phenotype microarrays) that enabled them to compare about 2000 growth characteristics of several pathogenic (disease-causing) E.