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TWiM #87: Avogadro, archaeal fossils, and ICAAC

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

TWiM 87 Letters

Varun writes:


Greetings TWiM Profz,


As a perso... Read More

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex

Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike... Read More

Fibroblast Expressing Ebola Virus

Honorable Mention - 2008 Olympus Bioscapes International Digital Imaging Competition

Dr. David McDonald
Case School of Medicine
Cleveland, OH, USA
Specimen: Fibroblast Expressing Ebola Virus
Technique: Fluorescence/Deconvolution

Click "source" to view image. Read More

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they even cause pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineer... Read More

Ebola outbreak “out of all proportion” and severity cannot be predicted

A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick.

Dr Thomas House, of the University’s Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated da... Read More

Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses

The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research. On average, healthy individuals carry about five types of viruses on their bodies, the researchers report. The study is the... Read More

Motorcycling to Ebola Treatment Could Spread the Infection

Ambulances are scarce in areas of west Africa roiled by the Ebola outbreak, so when ill patients and their families need to go to the clinic they often turn to the next best thing—a motorcycle taxi. An ill passenger will wrap her arms around the driver’s waist and away they will go—sometimes dri... Read More

How I Learned to Think Like a Mushroom

We need fungal Solutions to Pollution, Global Pandemics, and Starvation, says Tradd Cotter, a microbiologist and professional mycologist.

I have been studying mushrooms, inside and out, macroscopically and microscopically, for the past 22 years. At times I imagine myself deep into their chemi... Read More

Strategic Self-Sabotage? MRSA Inhibits Its Own Growth

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario have uncovered a bacterial mystery. Against all logic, the most predominant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in North American produces an enzyme that degrades skin secretions into compounds that are toxic to itself. Th... Read More

Pitt-Developed Vaccine Proves Effective Against Deadly Middle East Virus

A vaccine developed by an international team of scientists led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine successfully protects mice against a contagious and deadly virus spreading across the Middle East. The vaccine is a promising candidate for immunizing camels, thought to be the sourc... Read More

Fighting Poisons With Bacteria - Going Inside the Rice Microbiome

When Harsh Bais grows rice plants in trays of water in his greenhouse at the University of Delaware, he can easily spot the ones that have been exposed to arsenic: They are stunted, with shorter stems and shrunken, yellow-tinged leaves.

Dr. Bais is working to develop rice plants that take up ... Read More

Enterovirus D68 sickens more than a dozen in New York

More than a dozen cases of Enterovirus D68 have been confirmed in New York state, according to officials.

"EV-D68 is causing cases of severe respiratory illness ... sometimes resulting in hospitalization, especially among children with asthma," the NYS Department of Health said in a statement... Read More

Fact or Fiction?: The Ebola Virus Will Go Airborne

Could Ebola go airborne? That’s the fear set off last week by a New York Times op-ed entitled “What We’re Afraid to Say about Ebola” from Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Although clinicians readily agree that th... Read More

Drug-Resistant Bacteria Hang Out in Hog Workers

Careful what you sniff. Especially if you work at an industrial hog farm. Because a small study finds that drug-resistant bacteria may hang out in the noses of some workers even after four days away from work following exposure. Almost half of the tested workers continued to harbor drug-resistan... Read More

fluorescent from Chicago River!

A group of students (Adrienne Linzemann, Jose Aveja, Elsa quintero), staff (William Thompson), and faculty (Farahnaz Movahedzadeh) from Harold Washington College participated in Chicago River interdisciplinary project with the leadership of VP Margie Martyn, and isolated Pseudomonas fluorescens ... Read More

How evolutionary principles could help save our world

The age of the Anthropocene--the scientific name given to our current geologic age--is dominated by human impacts on our environment. A warming climate. Increased resistance of pathogens and pests. A swelling population. Coping with these modern global challenges requires application of what one... Read More

New Tracking Technologies Aim to Prevent Sloppy Handling at U.S. Biolabs

Two months after safety breaches at federal labs first set off a public furor, top health officials are auditioning new checks on worker safety including specialized time-lapse cameras and digital worksheets to track crucial steps such as bacterium inactivation. The goal: to prevent future debac... Read More

Artificial Spleen Cleans Ebola from Blood

Researchers have developed a high-tech method to rid the body of infections — even those caused by unknown pathogens. A device inspired by the spleen can quickly clean blood of everything from Escherichia coli to Ebola, researchers report on September 14 in Nature Medicine.

Blood infections c... Read More

Watching an Endosymbiont Becoming an Organelle?

Ah, endosymbiosis and the origin of eukaryotic cells… Wasn't this one of the grandest of all the grand events in Biology? In its ability to boggle the mind, it comes in second only to the origin of life. This, one of the most decisive events in evolution, had a unique character. Instead of new t... Read More
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