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TWiV 277: My podcast Vinny



Hosts: Glenn Rall, Ann Skalka, and  Read More

Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any a... Read More

Micrococcus luteus

Micrococcus luteus grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Arctic bacteria gene swap to detoxify mercury

On the list of substances you really don’t want to mess with, elemental mercury is pretty high up. Inhalation or absorption of the volatile metal can quickly lead to irreversible poisoning. Unfortunately, Hg is also a hallmark of industrial society.....Mercury-resistant bacteria carry a collecti... Read More

TWiP 70: Invasion of the swamp eels



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

Otago research sheds new light on key bacterial immune system

New insights into a surprisingly flexible immune system present in bacteria for combating viruses and other foreign DNA invaders have been revealed by researchers from the University of Otago and the Netherlands.

A team led by Dr Peter Fineran of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology ... Read More

New childhood TB cases double earlier estimates

esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... Read More

New yeast species travelled the globe with a little help from the beetles

Researchers from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have identified a new globe-trotting yeast species that lives on tree-associated beetles. This new species demonstrates the importance of preserving biodiversity, as yeasts like this may hel... Read More

Frozen bacteria repair their DNA at -15ºC

Bacteria encased in ice can be resuscitated after thousands, perhaps even millions of years. How these hardy bugs manage to survive deep freeze is something of a mystery. If nothing else, the low levels of radiation hitting Earth’s surface should cause any ice-bound bacterium’s DNA to break apa... Read More

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix grown on TSA for 48 hrs. Serratia marcescens grows red due to prodigiosin and Escherichia coli grows opaque white. Read More

Amoeba Takes Bites of Human Cells to Kill Them

Amoebae — a group of amorphous, single-celled organisms that live in the human body — can kill human cells by biting off chunks of intestinal cells until they die, a new study finds. This is the first time scientists have seen this method of cell killing, and the new findings could one day help ... Read More

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

By shifting evolution into reverse, it may be possible to use “green chemistry” to make a number of costly synthetic drugs as easily and cheaply as brewing beer. Normally, both evolution and synthetic chemistry proceed from the simple to the complex. Small molecules are combined and modified to ... Read More

Bacterial 'FM radio' developed

Programming living cells offers the prospect of harnessing sophisticated biological machinery for transformative applications in energy, agriculture, water remediation and medicine. Inspired by engineering, researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology have designed a tool box of small ... Read More

Probiotics not for colic? A response

This week a study published in the British Medical Journal, and reported in the Daily Mail, has reported that a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 is not effective in helping to reduce symptoms of colic in babies.

However here we examine the nature of the study, and i... Read More

Antibiotics Have Turned Our Bodies From Gardens Into Battlefields

We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis, and it doesn’t involve Siberian tigers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine says that many species of germs are disappearing from our bodies—and that’s a problem. In his new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of ... Read More

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope

The Foldscope is a fully functional microscope that can be laser- or die-cut out of paper for around 50 cents.

This bookmark-sized microscope can be assembled in minutes, includes no mechanical moving parts, packs in a flat configuration, is extremely rugged and can be incinerated after to s... Read More

Soap Compound Could Make It Easier For Staph Bacteria To Colonize In Your Nose

A common ingredient in antibacterial soap can be found in some people's noses, and the presence of this ingredient could be promoting the colonization of Staph bacteria, according to a small new study in the journal mBio.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found triclosan in the nasa... Read More

This Spinning Disk Can Detect Salmonella In 30 Minutes

Analytical Chemistry Researchers have created a spinning disk that can quickly tell--within 30 minutes--if food samples contain Salmonella. The most widely-used method to test for the pathogen involves growing out samples on petri dishes and can take days so this has potential to be much quicker... Read More

Physarum polycephalum Different view

Physarum polycephalum, slime mold, grown in a large perti plate on moist paper towels using oatmeal as the food source. Culture was grown in the dark at room temperature. The paper towel was moistened every day with tap water. After 3 week’s the culture formed sporangia (fruiting bodies). Image ... Read More

Tube morphology

Three organisms inoculated in TSB to look at tube morphology. From left to right:
Staphylococcus aureus: flocculent growth/turbid, growth throughout the tube.
Mycobacterium smegmatis: pellicle, growth at the top of the tube. M. smegmatis tends to stick to the tube and grow up the side.
Ba... Read More

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