Recreating 1918-19 Spanish Influenza: New Influenza Pandemic Danger?

If we're hit by another Spanish Flu pandemic, health officials would prefer a vaccine that manufacturers can produce quickly. Image by the U.S. CDC

Could cooking up 1918-19 Spanish Influenza virus accidentally result in a new influenza pandemic? Recent research in virus labs could be risky for all of us.

A New Bubonic Plague Outbreak is Forecast

Skeletons in a mass grave from 1720–1721 in Martigues, France, yielded molecular evidence of the orientalis strain of Yersinia pestis, the organism responsible for bubonic plague. The second pandemic of bubonic plague was active in Europe from AD 1347, the beginning of the Black Death, until 1750. – Photo: Wikipedia

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Studying ancient outbreaks helps scientists predict future epidemics – and the different plague strains they find means that we may be due for another worldwide pandemic.

Humpback Whales are Not All the Same

Should humpback whales be divided into subspecies based on DNA evidence? Image courtesy of NOAA

Migration patterns in humpback whales are so consistent that the different groups have actually separated into subspecies, according to a new study.

Russian Prisoners with Multi-Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis are a Threat to AIDS/HIV Patients Worldwide

Can prisoners become sick from staying in unsanitary prison conditions? Image by kconnors

Russia’s jails hold danger to AIDS/HIV patients world wide: a large pool of contagious multi-drug-resistant tuberculosis patients.

Post-It-Notes For Feet: Sticky Protein Enhances Starfish Stride

Star Fish Tube Feet Up Close / Credit: Elise Hennebert

We know how geckos stick to dry surfaces – and now researchers have isolated the proteins responsible for a starfish’s underwater adhesive abilities.