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As the specter of a worldwide outbreak of avian or "bird flu" lingers, health officials recognize that new drugs are desperately needed since some strains of the virus already have developed resistance to the current roster of anti-flu remedies.

The problem with antibiotics is that, eventually, bacteria outsmart them and become resistant. But by targeting the gene that confers such resistance, a new drug may be able to finally outwit them. Rockefeller University scientists tested the new drug, called Ceftobiprole, against some of the deadliest strains of multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) bacteria, which are responsible for the great majority of staphylococcal infections worldwide, both in hospitals and in the community.

Berkeley -- Rather than suppressing local communities in developing nations, nature reserves attract human settlement, according to a new study by researchers at the University of California, Berkeley.

In an analysis of 306 rural protected areas in 45 countries in Africa and Latin America, the researchers found that, on average, the rate of human population growth along the borders of protected areas was nearly twice that of neighboring rural areas.

Bacteria that cause pneumonic plague can evade our first-line defences, making it difficult for the body to fight infection. In fact, a signature of the plague is the lack of an inflammatory response. Now, scientists have discovered a way to protect against death following infection with plague bacteria, by using molecules that can mimic the pathogens. According to research published in the July issue of Microbiology, these molecules make antibiotics more effective and can even be used to protect against other diseases.

A huge rise in the numbers of UK residents travelling to malaria endemic areas, combined with a failure to use prevention measures, has significantly increased cases of imported falciparum malaria in the UK over the past 20 years, according to a study published on BMJ.com.

(Boston, MA)—Researchers from Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) and Boston Medical Center (BMC) found that patients who disclose intimate partner violence (IPV) to their clinicians of any type did not experience serious harm. However, those who disclosed IPV in a primary care or obstetrics/gynecology setting received the most benefit. The findings, which appear in the Biomedical Central Public Health Journal, also conclude that disclosures made in an emergency department setting were more problematic from the patient's point of view.

Diversity among the ancestors of such marine creatures as clams, sand dollars and lobsters showed only a modest rise beginning 144 million years ago with no clear trend afterwards, according to an international team of researchers. This contradicts previous work showing dramatic increases beginning 248 million years ago and may shed light on future diversity.

Until now, it was commonly thought that colliding molecules get the shakes as the result of energy transfer solely from the smashing of the molecules, but some new research adds a second means by which colliding molecules become vibrationally excited--it is being called the "Tug o' War Mechanism."

The new experiment, transforming the textbook story, was performed in the lab of Richard Zare, chair of the Department of Chemistry at Stanford University. This work on energy transferring, or inelastic, collisions is featured in the July 3, 2008 issue of the journal Nature.

LIVERMORE, Calif. - Acoustic waves play many everyday roles - from communication between people to ultrasound imaging. Now the highest frequency acoustic waves in materials, with nearly atomic-scale wavelengths, promise to be useful probes of nanostructures such as LED lights.

However, detecting them isn't so easy.

Toronto, ON, Canada – Low maternal vitamin D levels during pregnancy may affect primary tooth calcification, leading toenamel defects, which are a risk factor for early-childhood tooth decay. Today, during the 86th General Session of theInternational Association for Dental Research, investigators from the University of Manitoba (Winnipeg and Victoria) presentthe results of a study they conducted to determine the vitamin D status of pregnant women, the incidence of enameldefects and early-childhood tooth decay among their infants, and the relationship with pre-natal vitamin D levels.