Saturday, September 21, 2013

Prophage is Now Found on "Research Blogging"

Blogging about contemporary research is fun, but I think it is equally fun to read other peoples' blogs.  Now there are lots of science blogging groups out there, but I thought a lot of them have an "exclusive membership" feel where a small, select group of people post blogs about different scientific fields.  These are great, but I found myself wanting more.  I both wanted to find a large, diverse, less exclusive group of bloggers so that I could read about many kinds of science, and also wanted that group to be a community I could become a part of.  After some searching I came across the site "Research Blogging".

Without getting into it too much, this is a site made by research bloggers who wanted the same type of community I was looking for.  This site offers a convenient single location for searching through  diverse groups of research blogs, as well as up-to-date feeds that let you see the community's most recent science blog posts.  In addition, anyone serious about research blogging can join, contribute to the community, and increase the audience that their blog will reach.  Overall I think this is a really cool  site and I am excited to be a part of it through "Prophage".

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Insights into Current Phage Therapeutics: Identification and Safety Evaluation of an Existing Phage Therapy

As I mentioned in a previous post, phage therapy is becoming a more attractive therapeutic avenue to treat bacterial infections, especially in light of increases in antibiotic resistance prevalence. Interest and support for phage therapy continues to increase, but the US & Western Europe are still in the early stages of developing medical phage therapeutics for approved patient use (only a small number of phage preparations are FDA approved for use on food to prevent food poisoning by bacteria; nothing is approved for patients with bacterial infections). While the progress in the US and Western Europe is still in early stages, phage therapy medicines continue to be used in Eastern Europe throughout Russia and nearby countries.

Microgen is a major Russian pharmaceutical company that
produces many different phage therapies.  Source
Phage therapies are approved for human therapeutic use in Eastern European countries, including Russia.  The major pharmaceutical company that produces general phage therapies is Microgen.  Although these common phage therapies have been used for decades in Russia (before Russia, the et al did exactly this, and recently reported their findings in the journal 'Virology' (reference [1]).
former Soviet Union), their composition, safety, and efficacy have not been scientifically evaluated [1].  If we are to move forward in our endeavors toward using phages
therapeutically, we must address this lack of knowledge by evaluating the composition, efficacy, and safety of phage cocktails which have long been used in Russia.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Quickly Combining Fasta Identification and Sequence Lines

When analyzing high-throughput DNA sequencing results, I sometimes want to select sequences with certain names from my fasta file (fasta is a standard sequencing file format).  There are a lot of ways to accomplish this, but here I want to outline one I found fast and easy.

The standard fasta files will always begin looking like the following: