Microwaves Used to Deactivate Coronavirus, Flu, Other Aerosolized Viruses

As the pandemic continues, scientists are increasingly focused on developing methods to assist in decontaminating surfaces and spaces. In Review of Scientific Instruments, researchers report on experimental tools capable of presenting electromagnetic waves to an aerosol mixture with the capability to vary power, energy, and frequency of the electromagnetic exposure. The researchers seek to better characterize the threshold levels of microwave energy needed to inactivate aerosolized viral particles and reduce their ability to spread infection.

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What’s That Growing on Your Face Mask?

Many people reuse masks and other face coverings many times without sanitizing them. That is likely because current sanitization methods can be cumbersome. A new device using a hanging rack and UV-C light can sterilize up to six masks and other items simultaneously and quickly, killing bacteria, yeasts, mold spores, and viruses. This device has shown its efficacy against pathogens including the highly-contagious E-coli, which was eradicated in about one minute.

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Researchers awarded over $11 million to study multi-drug resistant infection factors

A study aimed at better understanding why some critically ill patients develop multidrug-resistant infections is underway by researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth). The multi-institution study will enroll patients at Memorial Hermann Hospital-Texas Medical Center and The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center.

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Bat Tick Found for the First Time in New Jersey

A tick species associated with bats has been reported for the first time in New Jersey and could pose health risks to people, pets and livestock, according to a Rutgers-led study in the Journal of Medical Entomology. This species (Carios kelleyi) is a “soft” tick. Deer ticks, which carry Lyme disease, are an example of “hard” ticks.

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Harmful Microbes Found on Sewer Pipe Walls

Can antibiotic-resistant bacteria escape from sewers into waterways and cause a disease outbreak? A new Rutgers study, published in the journal Environmental Science: Water Research & Technology, examined the microbe-laden “biofilms” that cling to sewer walls, and even built a simulated sewer to study the germs that survive within.

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Dangerous Tick-Borne Bacterium Extremely Rare in New Jersey

There’s some good news in New Jersey about a potentially deadly tick-borne bacterium. Rutgers researchers examined more than 3,000 ticks in the Garden State and found only one carrying Rickettsia rickettsii, the bacterium that causes Rocky Mountain spotted fever. But cases of tick-borne spotted fevers have increased east of the Mississippi River, and more research is needed to understand why, according to a study in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

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Rutgers Expert Available to Discuss Risks of Ocean Activities During COVID-19 Pandemic

New Brunswick, N.J. (May 21, 2020) – Rutgers University–New Brunswick Professor Kay Bidle is available for interviews on the possible risks from

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NAU launches COVID-19 Testing Service Center to evaluate new drugs to fight deadly virus

The Pathogen and Microbiome Institute (PMI) at Northern Arizona University (NAU) today announced that it is launching the COVID-19 Testing Service Center (CTSC) to grow the SARS-CoV-2 virus and test new drugs against it. By repurposing its existing biodefense research infrastructure for the new testing facility—labs rated at Biosafety Level 3 (BSL-3), one of the highest levels of biocontainment—PMI is dedicating much of its significant research capacity to fight the COVID-19 pandemic.

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Researchers discover how Zika virus remodels its host cell to boost viral production

Researchers in China have discovered how a Zika virus protein reshapes its host cell to aid viral replication. The study, which will be published December 23 in the Journal of Cell Biology, reveals that the viral protein NS1 converts an interior cellular compartment called the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) into a protective region where the virus can survive and replicate. Blocking this process could be a novel therapeutic strategy to treat patients infected with Zika or similar viral pathogens, such as the yellow fever and dengue viruses.

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