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Symbiosis: A New Synthesis

Darwin and the 20th century pioneers of biology would have been astonished to see the countless roles that microbes play in shaping eukaryotic life. From the origins of eukaryotic cells to pharmaceutical products, Life as we know it would be unrecognizable without microbes. Integrating microbes ... Read More

Bacterial Bubble Hitchhikers Could Help Keep Greenhouse Gas in Check

Seafloor-dwelling bacteria may hitch a ride on methane bubbles seeping from deep-sea vents, preventing the methane from reaching the atmosphere by eating it up, new research suggests.

The findings, presented here today (Dec. 9) at the annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, could he... Read More

In surprise finding, blood clots absorb bacterial toxin

Blood clots play an unexpected role in protecting the body from the deadly effects of bacteria by absorbing bacterial toxins, researchers at the University of California, Davis, have found. The research was published Dec. 2 in the journal PLoS ONE.

"It's a significant addition to the short li... Read More

Penicillin equally effective as ‘big gun’ antibiotics for treating less severe childhood pneumonia

Children hospitalized for pneumonia have similar outcomes, including length of stay and costs, regardless of whether they are treated with “big gun” antibiotics such as ceftriaxone or cefotaxime or more narrowly focused antibiotics such as ampicillin or penicillin, according to a Vanderbilt stud... Read More

Microbiome Candy: Could A Probiotic Mint Help Prevent Cavities?

Eat candy and fight tooth decay. What a sweet concept, right?

Well, microbiologists in Berlin are trying to make that dream a reality.

They've created a sugarless mint that's aimed at washing out cavity-causing bacteria from your mouth. And the candy works in a curious way: It's spiked wit... Read More

Scientists explore the mechanisms of viruses' shells

The genome of viruses is usually enclosed inside a shell called capsid. Capsids have unique mechanic properties: they have to be resistant and at the same time capable of dissolving in order to release the genome into the infected cell. The scientists of the International School for Advanced Stu... Read More

Handling the cholera outbreak of 1854

This article discusses the famous pump handle that John Snow may or may not have had removed ... read the article to get the true story. From medical historian Peter Vinten-Johansen. Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

Better preparedness against Tamiflu-resistant influenza viruses

Researchers in Umeå and Uppsala have found that residues of the influenza drug Tamiflu in our environment can make the influenza virus in birds resistant. This can have serious consequences in the event of an influenza pandemic. With more than 14 million SEK from the Swedish Research Councils Fo... Read More

Recycled Plastic Proves Effective in Killing Drug-Resistant Fungi

Researchers at Singapore's Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology (IBN) and California's IBM Research -- Almaden (IBM) have discovered a new, potentially life-saving application for polyethylene terephthalate (PET), which is widely used to make plastic bottles. They have successfully con... Read More

Vaccine study reveals link between immunity and cells' starvation response

Scientists at Emory Vaccine Center have found a link between immunity induced by vaccination and an ancient way that cells adapt to scarcity, a link that could help researchers develop vaccines against challenging infections such as HIV or malaria.

Researchers studying immune responses to the... Read More

Infections are the true beneficiaries of war

History has repeatedly shown that contagion makes an easy bedfellow with human conflict.

Take the poliovirus outbreak in Syria - and Israel and Egypt too - caused by related strains that can be traced back to Pakistan.

War and insurgency provide the ideal conditions for bacteria and viruse... Read More

Ice-cold methods decode bacterial infection systems

When attacking body cells, bacteria, such as salmonellae or Yersinia (plague pathogens), inject specific bacterial proteins through hollow, syringe-like structures – called injectisomes – into the host cells. These substances reprogram the cells and can thus overcome their defense. From then on,... Read More

Seeing How Antibiotics Work

One would assume offhand that the pathways for synthesis and assembly of the major constituents of a bacterial cell “talk to each other,” i. e. they are tightly interwoven processes. Tampering with the biosynthesis of one should affect all the others, right? Wouldn’t you expect, for instance, th... Read More

IBM Research engineers a ninja polymer that kills deadly bacteria like MRSA

As humanity continues to carpet bomb the microscopic world with antibiotics, the enemy is fighting back. Antibiotic resistance is on the rise, and that can mean painful or life-threatening infections for those unfortunate enough to come into contact with such organisms. One of the most common re... Read More

Bacterium can reverse autism-like behaviour in mice

Doses of a human gut microbe helped to reverse behavioural problems in mice with autism-like symptoms, researchers report today in Cell. The treatment also reduced gastrointestinal problems in the animals that were similar to those that often accompany autism in humans.

The work builds on pre... Read More

TWiV 262: Wrong form, right professor

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guest: Read More

Remembering a Microbial Hero™: The Late, Great Abigail Salyers.

Here I remember a person who a great deal of influence on my views about microbiology in the classroom, and the laboratory: the late Abigail Salyers. RIP, Abigail. Read More

The bacteria in breast milk

Bacteria are found in large numbers all over the human body where there is a channel to the outside world, for example in the gut, lungs, and surface of the skin. I’ve always thought that actually inside the human body was a bacteria-free environment unless an infection was raging so I was very ... Read More

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