This episode: Engineered bacteria could help capture CO2 and convert it into a solid form for storage!
(7.3 MB, 8 minutes)
E. coli engineered to produce the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which converts carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and then to calcium carbonate,... Read More
Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.
Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More
The American Academy of Microbiology has released its newest report on the human microbiome. Based on the deliberations of some of the leading experts, the report answers common questions people have about this new field of science. While there is still much to be learned, this report presents t... Read More
This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!
(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)
Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.
A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More
It might sound strange to say that humans have forgotten what human-food is, but many scientists believe this is the case. For thousands of years, the environment in which humans lived evolved at a glacial pace—our nutrition and culture changed slowly, and our bodies adapted to it at a matching ... Read More
That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva ... Read More
Another potentially significant answer in the long-running mystery behind colony collapse disorder (CCD) may have just emerged: Researchers have found a virus that typically infects plants has been systemically infecting honeybees in the United States and China.
Click on 'source' to read more... Read More
Of all the public transit etiquette violations out there, the sneeze-and-touch at the height of cold and flu season is among the worst. Everyone who rides in a city has seen it: that sickly looking person across the train or bus who sneezes into a free hand then grabs the pole we all share. Rese... Read More
Do you eat bread? Or drink beer? If so you've probably consumed yeast products from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures.
Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people. Brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae, features widely in products we consume... Read More
For a little over four months in 2003, the world was gripped in the clutches of an alarming new disease, one that spread at jet speed to at least 30 countries. Then, as quickly as it emerged, SARS vanished.
The World Health Organization declared severe acute respiratory syndrome contained on ... Read More
Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's to autism, depression and cancer.
Click on 'source' to read more. Read More
As the deadly MERS virus continues to infect people throughout the Middle East and Europe, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has begun to prepare for the disease’s potential spread to the United States.
Currently, the U.S. has had no confirmed cases of the MERS virus, a respi... Read More
When you purchase chicken eggs at the market, they usually have white or brown shells. But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused by insertion of a retrovirus into the chicken genome, which activates a gene involved in the production of blue eggs. Read More
A new study published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the evolutionary relationships of influenza virus across different host species over time. In addition to dissecting how the virus evolves at different rates in different host species, the study chall... Read More
Earlier this month the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) published the DNA sequence of the genome of HeLa cells, the cell line that is widely used for research in virology, cell biology, and many other areas. This cell line was produced from a tumor taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951.... Read More
This episode: Cold-loving bacteria can repair surprising amounts of DNA damage even sub-zero temperatures!
(9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)
Bacteria isolated from the Siberian arctic permafrost are exposed to a lot of radiation over thousands of years, but somehow they are able to repair... Read More
Vincent and friends,
While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More
During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More
Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women and causes a sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in about half of infected women. Infections are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, an increased inc... Read More