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Mystery Disease Killing Ohio Dogs

Veterinarians, health officials and dog owners are alarmed by the mysterious recent deaths of four dogs in Ohio. Some experts suspect the dogs may have died a few days after exposure to a virus that's normally found in pigs.

Three dogs in the Cincinnati area and a fourth dog near Akron died i... Read More

New Hepatitis Virus was False Alarm, Likely a Lab Contaminant

The report by scientists of a new hepatitis virus earlier this year was a false alarm, according to UC San Francisco researchers who correctly identified the virus as a contaminant present in a type of glassware used in many research labs.

Their finding, they said, highlights both the promise... Read More

NIH Launches Microbiome Cloud Project

The National Institutes of Health has launched the first phase of the Microbiome Cloud Project, or MCP, a collaborative project with Amazon Web Services that aims to improve access to and analysis of data from the Human Microbiome Project.

In this phase, five terabytes of genetic information ... Read More

TWiV 252: Who read the last email?



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

A Virus on the Camera Roll

Smartphone cameras are getting better and better. But how about one that can photograph a single virus?

It won't come with the latest iPhones, but it does exist thanks to electrical engineer Aydogan Ozcan and his team at the University of California, Los Angeles. Using 3-D printing, they've c... Read More

Model to Study Human Response to Bacteria That Cause Peptic Ulcers Developed

Researchers at the Virginia Bioinformatics Institute at Virginia Tech have developed a new large animal model to study how the immune system interacts with the stomach bacterium Helicobacter pylori, the leading cause of peptic ulcer disease.

The discovery in the October edition of the journal... Read More

Fouchier vs the Dutch government on influenza H5N1 research

Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More

Community surveillance and polymicrobial infections

I'll start by saying this was a study from my own lab which provided insight into why multi-species bacterial infections are more severe than mono-culture infections. The idea of 'polymicrobial synergy' has been around for some time, but the reasons behind synergy have been elusive. I follow TWi... Read More

TWiP 60: Urine a game of cat and mouse



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson discus... Read More

TWiP 60 letters

Maureen writes:


Our vaccine unit here at NIH did a study of malaria vaccine with some promising results. I know Dickson has been a champion of conquering malaria.


http://www.scie... Read More

MERS At One: The Deadly Virus Drizzle

We have the dubious privilege of observing a new disease in the midst of being born. The disease could go on to spread around the world, stall out as a minor, local blight, or disappear altogether. Scientists have been observing its emergence for a year now, and while they know more than they di... Read More

Adjusting bacteria in intestines may lead to obesity treatments

A drug that appears to target specific intestinal bacteria in the guts of mice may create a chain reaction that could eventually lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes in humans, according to a team of researchers.

Mice fed a high-fat diet and provided tempol, an anti-oxidant drug th... Read More

Researchers discover new microbe near Chilean coastal fault line

A team of researchers from McMaster and the University of Concepción are shining a light on rare sulfur-loving microbes off the coast of Chile.

The group's work near coastal fault lines has identified a previously unknown type of molecule, macplocimine A, which produces valuable natural chemi... Read More

Foot Cream Kills HIV by Tricking Cells to Commit Suicide

Ciclopirox is currently approved by the FDA as a topical antifungal cream (Credit: Fougera) A common drug that dermatologists turn to treat nail fungus appears to come with a not-so-tiny side effect: eradicating HIV.

In a study performed at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, not only does the... Read More

Toxin-producing bacteria integrated into a pest insect

A small cicada-like insect called the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) threatens the world's citrus industries, transmitting an incurable and lethal citrus disease. This notorious pest harbors two bacterial species within cells specially prepared for the purpose of symbiosis. Whereas thes... Read More

New Alien Life Claim Far from Convincing, Scientists Say

A new study that claims to present evidence of alien life is being met with a healthy dose of skepticism in the scientific community.

On July 31, a team of British researchers sent a balloon into the stratosphere over England, where it collected samples at an altitude range of 14 miles to 17 ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 136 - Swarmers Send Secret Signals

This episode: Swarming predatory bacteria may be communicating through tubes!




Download Episode (6.3 MB, 6.9 minutes)


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It takes a(n academic) village to determine enzyme's function

Scientists have sequenced the genomes of nearly 6,900 organisms, but they know the functions of only about half of the protein-coding genes thus far discovered. Now a multidisciplinary effort involving 15 scientists from three institutions has begun chipping away at this mystery – in a big way. ... Read More

Bacteria don’t always work ‘just in time’

'Just in time' - not only cars are being built according to this principle nowadays. Aircraft, mobile phones and computers are also produced following this method, in which all components are delivered exactly at the time when they are needed. This saves storage capacity and therefore cash. Henc... Read More

Dengue fever, chikungunya: a potential vector discovered in Mayotte

IRD researchers and their partners at the French Regional Health Agency, Indian Ocean, have identified a new mosquito species in Mayotte, which could be a vector of dengue fever and chikungunya hitherto unknown. Stegomyia pia , as the scientists have named it, in fact belongs to a group of speci... Read More

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