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HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | June 22, 2012
After years of complex research, a small team of University of Maryland scientists says it has developed a simple solution to a killer Third World disease using salt. It's a bit more complicated than ordinary table salt, though the crystals have the same origins. The salt forms around an ancient microbe that has been genetically manipulated to act as a vaccine for salmonella, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year globally. Discovered decades ago and the subject of intense research by many scientists, the microbe, called Haloarchaea, turns out to be such a good platform for vaccines that it could be employed against a variety of afflictions in poor and rich countries alike, said Shiladitya DasSarma, professor of microbiology and immunology in Maryland's School of Medicine.
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HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | August 28, 2014
Families and roommates share plenty — food, bathrooms, dishes. A study published Thursday adds a less visible but ubiquitous item to the list: bacteria. Households carry a common community of bacteria, populating surfaces such as doorknobs, counters and floors, and shared by humans and pets alike, the study found. It travels with us like another member of the family and quickly takes over new environments, such as a new home or even a hotel room, with a distinct signature like fingerprints.
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ENTERTAINMENT
By Gerald Jonas and Gerald Jonas,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 3, 2005
Behemoth: Seppuku By Peter Watts. Tor/Tom Doherty. 304 pages. $24.95. With Behemoth: Seppuku, Peter Watts has completed a trilogy that began in 1999 with Starfish. I'm happy to report that the wait was well worth it. In Starfish and its sequel, Maelstrom, Watts, a marine biologist, envisaged a world threatened by "an apocalyptic microbe ... from the deep sea." The microbe was intentionally spread by a much abused individual named Lenie Clarke, one of several psychotic personalities who were altered, physically and psychologically, by corporations intent on maintaining a steady supply of electrical power.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2013
Description: Unusual proteins within microbes allow the organisms to survive in cold and salty conditions in Antarctica, and could in theory help support life on Mars as well, according to NASA-funded study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The study revealed slight differences between core proteins in ordinary organisms and those known as Haloarchaea, which can live in severe conditions with extreme salinity or temperatures, for example. They studied such microbes from Deep Lake, a salty body of water in Antarctica, and found that atoms within the core proteins were more loosely connected, "allowing them to be more flexible and functional," DasSarma said.
NEWS
By Douglas M. Birch and Douglas M. Birch,SUN STAFF | October 30, 1997
Pfiesteria piscicida isn't the only potentially toxic microbe lurking in Chesapeake Bay tributaries, a Florida scientist said yesterday.At least three similar organisms might have played a role in the fish kills that have closed three waterways on the lower Eastern Shore in recent months.Karen Steidinger of the Florida Department of Environmental Protection told a meeting of scientists at the Columbus Center yesterday that she has identified Pfiesteria in water samples from the Chicamacomico River in Dorchester County.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to the Sun | January 30, 2005
I put shredded leaves, paper, chicken manure, kitchen scraps, etc., in my compost bin and keep it covered. After three to four days, it heats up. Then I take the contents out and put it back about every three to five days -- trying to add air. But after I do that, the pile "dies." There's no more heat. Should I not turn it out? Do I need to add water? "Turning" compost is done to accelerate the process. Aerating the pile with a fork, or actually moving it as you do, brings more oxygen to the microbes that do the hard work of decomposition.
NEWS
By Gregory Kane | December 5, 2001
THE SUSPECTS: Spencer Miles Cherry and Kaila Danielle Cherry. The charge: sliming their granddad with one of those viruses from the netherworld that put him out for two weeks. First, a few more details on these miniature menaces to, if not public health, at least their maternal grandfather's. Suspect No. 1: Spencer. Born Feb. 3, 1998. Approximate height: 34 inches. Approximate weight: 48 pounds. Known aliases: Senor Spences, Cheese Boy, Golf Guy, Spencebob No-pants. This character returned to Baltimore from Atlanta with his parents a few weeks ago, two otherwise respectable folk.
HEALTH
By Scott Dance, The Baltimore Sun | March 22, 2013
Description: Unusual proteins within microbes allow the organisms to survive in cold and salty conditions in Antarctica, and could in theory help support life on Mars as well, according to NASA-funded study at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. The study revealed slight differences between core proteins in ordinary organisms and those known as Haloarchaea, which can live in severe conditions with extreme salinity or temperatures, for example. They studied such microbes from Deep Lake, a salty body of water in Antarctica, and found that atoms within the core proteins were more loosely connected, "allowing them to be more flexible and functional," DasSarma said.
NEWS
By Douglas M. Birch and Douglas M. Birch,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer D. Quentin Wilber contributed to this article | September 17, 1997
PRINCESS ANNE -- For Larry Porter, who quit his job as a bank manager to run Little Acorn Farm here, raising chickens for supermarket shelves was a way to keep his family rooted in the land.But it's not a way to make money."As a former bank guy, no, I wouldn't consider myself a good investment," said Porter, 59, a deeply religious man who sometimes works 14 hours at a stretch with his chickens, his hay and his cattle.For many of the estimated 6,000 poultry growers on the Delmarva Peninsula, chickens produce a relatively reliable, if modest, paycheck in a vocation given to boom and bust cycles.
NEWS
August 15, 1998
AT LAST there are scientific believers in the debilitating effects on humans of Pfiesteria piscicida, the "cell from hell" that has plagued Eastern Shore rivers with scary fish kills for nearly two years.A new report by 13 Maryland doctors in The Lancet medical journal confirms the link between the harmful microorganism and human health effects, principally temporary loss of memory and learning capabilities. The team tested and studied persons who had contact with infested waters last summer and who blamed their illnesses on the microbe.
HEALTH
By Meredith Cohn, The Baltimore Sun | June 22, 2012
After years of complex research, a small team of University of Maryland scientists says it has developed a simple solution to a killer Third World disease using salt. It's a bit more complicated than ordinary table salt, though the crystals have the same origins. The salt forms around an ancient microbe that has been genetically manipulated to act as a vaccine for salmonella, responsible for hundreds of thousands of deaths a year globally. Discovered decades ago and the subject of intense research by many scientists, the microbe, called Haloarchaea, turns out to be such a good platform for vaccines that it could be employed against a variety of afflictions in poor and rich countries alike, said Shiladitya DasSarma, professor of microbiology and immunology in Maryland's School of Medicine.
NEWS
By Frank D. Roylance and Frank D. Roylance,SUN REPORTER | December 5, 2007
It's in one of the most isolated and inhospitable places on Earth - and scientists think it contains one of the most pristine ecosystems on the planet, untouched by millenniums of human activity. It's called Lake Vostok, and it's the eighth-largest lake in the world, sealed in darkness beneath miles of Antarctic glacial ice. Scientists who have cautiously begun to sample the lake's microbial life say they're opening what they expect will be a "treasure chest of adaptation." So far, all they've seen are dots in a microscope, probably bacteria, "like little spheres, or little rods, or sometimes like a comma - not a whole lot of shape to them," said Brian Lanoil, the project leader from the University of California, Riverside.
NEWS
By Barbara Anderson and Barbara Anderson,The Fresno (Calif.) Bee | September 27, 2006
Consumers worried about contaminated spinach from California's Salinas Valley may have a threat closer to home: bacteria breeding in their kitchen sink. We live in a germ-filled world. Millions of microbes live in kitchens, setting up house on kitchen counters, cutting boards, stove tops and tabletops. More than 250 different food-borne diseases have been identified, and E. coli, salmonella and campylobacter are only three of the most common bacteria that cause infections. E. coli bacteria have been found in spinach and associated with at least one death (and, in Maryland, another death is suspected to be linked)
ENTERTAINMENT
By Gerald Jonas and Gerald Jonas,NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | April 3, 2005
Behemoth: Seppuku By Peter Watts. Tor/Tom Doherty. 304 pages. $24.95. With Behemoth: Seppuku, Peter Watts has completed a trilogy that began in 1999 with Starfish. I'm happy to report that the wait was well worth it. In Starfish and its sequel, Maelstrom, Watts, a marine biologist, envisaged a world threatened by "an apocalyptic microbe ... from the deep sea." The microbe was intentionally spread by a much abused individual named Lenie Clarke, one of several psychotic personalities who were altered, physically and psychologically, by corporations intent on maintaining a steady supply of electrical power.
NEWS
By Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali and Jon Traunfeld and Ellen Nibali,Special to the Sun | January 30, 2005
I put shredded leaves, paper, chicken manure, kitchen scraps, etc., in my compost bin and keep it covered. After three to four days, it heats up. Then I take the contents out and put it back about every three to five days -- trying to add air. But after I do that, the pile "dies." There's no more heat. Should I not turn it out? Do I need to add water? "Turning" compost is done to accelerate the process. Aerating the pile with a fork, or actually moving it as you do, brings more oxygen to the microbes that do the hard work of decomposition.
NEWS
By Timothy B. Wheeler and Timothy B. Wheeler,SUN STAFF | July 12, 2004
PORT HUENEME, Calif. -- Almost hidden by a low stockade fence, an unassuming tangle of white plastic pipe and metal tanks on the parade ground of a Navy base here could revolutionize cleanup of one of the nation's most vexing environmental messes. The West Coast home of the Seabees, Port Hueneme (why-KNEE-me) is a major staging area for the naval engineers, with sprawling parking lots for their vehicles and hardware. Like many military bases, this 1,600-acre complex sits above ground water that has been contaminated -- in this case with a mile-long plume of a gasoline additive called methyl tertiary butyl ether, or MTBE.
NEWS
By Joel McCord and Joel McCord,SUN STAFF | August 25, 1999
State biologists have found live menhaden with lesions usually associated with Pfiesteria piscicida in three creeks off Baltimore County's Middle River, and water samples from five places in the river have tested positive for the microbe.The water sample tests, performed by David Oldach at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, cannot determine whether the microbe, which can take 24 different forms during its lifetime, is in its toxic state.There have been no reports of fish kills or of fish acting erratically and no indications of human health problems, which suggests "this is not an active outbreak" of Pfiesteria, said Robert Magnien, director of tidewater assessment for the state Department of Natural Resources.
NEWS
By Christian Ewell and Douglas M. Birch and Christian Ewell and Douglas M. Birch,SUN STAFF Sun staff writer Timothy B. Wheeler contributed to this article | September 20, 1997
Scientists at Baltimore's Christopher Columbus Center plan to launch a crash program aimed at combating Pfiesteria piscicida, the single-celled predator that has attacked fish in Maryland and Virginia tributaries of the Chesapeake Bay."We're going to take this very seriously," said Yonathan Zohar, who is in charge of research at the University of Maryland's Center of Marine Biotechnology at the Columbus Center. "We're mobilizing lots of equipment, millions of dollars of equipment."Over the next several weeks, they hope to equip three laboratories at the Inner Harbor research center to safely handle Pfiesteria piscicida.
NEWS
By Robert S. Boyd and Robert S. Boyd,KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | April 28, 2003
A crew of scientists is heading into the Atlantic to survey what they call a "Lost City" of underwater towers and chimneys created by heat from the interior of the Earth. The "city" -- first discovered in December 2000 -- is inhabited by primitive microbes, spurring speculation that life on our planet might have begun in just such an environment 4 billion years ago. One of the spires is as tall as an 18-story building and sits amid a swirl of hot water rising from hydrothermal vents in the ocean bottom.
NEWS
By Dennis O'Brien and Dennis O'Brien,SUN STAFF | November 22, 2002
A team of Rockville scientists announced plans yesterday to create a stripped-down, single-cell microbe that could become an energy source, a tool to combat global warming or a biological weapon. Geneticists J. Craig Venter and his partner, Hamilton O. Smith, hope to develop a synthetic chromosome by removing the genetic material from a tiny organism and inserting manmade genetic material. If the cell survives, it could be genetically adapted for use as a hydrogen-based fuel, an agent for cleaning carbon emissions from the air or a tool to fight biological weapons, according to the researchers.
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