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Why are bacteria all the same size

Just when we think we know everything, a story comes along to remind us that there is something fundamental--and seemingly elementary--that we still haven't figured out. “Why are we the size we are? Why are our organs the size they are? Why are the cells in those organs a stereotypical size? Wha... Read More

Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defences against them.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the... Read More

TWiV 312: She sells B cells

The TWiVbolans discuss the finding that human noroviruses, major causes of gastroenteritis, can for the first time be propagated in B cell cultures, with the help of enteric bacteria.


Hosts:  Read More

Bacteria Can't Cling to 'Repulsive' New Surface

Bacteria can’t stick to a new type of nanoscale surface that could prove useful in food processing, medical, and shipping industries.

The technology uses an electrochemical process called anodization to create nanoscale pores that change the electrical charge and surface energy of a metal sur... Read More

Should We Destroy Our Last Living Samples of the Virus That Causes Smallpox?

This month the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet to decide whether or not to destroy the last living strains of the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Since the WHO declared the disease eradicated in 1979, the scientific community has debated whether or not to destroy live virus sampl... Read More

Protein's "hands" enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

When it comes to infecting humans and animals, bacteria need a helping hand.

Kansas State University biochemists have found the helping hand: groups of tiny protein loops on the surface of cells. These loops are similar to the fingers of a hand, and by observing seven individual loops on the ... Read More

Scientists Build a Yeast Chromosome From Scratch. Next Up? Designer Genomes

Creating synthetic organisms with specially-tailored genomes is a long way off, but the first synthetic eukaryotic chromosome is a big step forward.

Humans have been using what they know about the biological world to make stuff for centuries—from beer to antibiotics. But, what if you could ma... Read More

Lipid Agar

Lipid Plate/Tributyrin Agar used to test for an organisms ability to produce the exoenzyme lipase which breaks down the lipids in the agar creating a clear zone around the organism. (A) Serratia marcesens, lipid hydrolysis, indicated by a zone of clearing around the growing colony, as well as th... Read More

Early Exposure To Bacteria Protects Children From Asthma And Allergies

Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.

It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... Read More

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More

Parvo Trial Shows Promising Results In Effort To Combat Puppy Virus

A North Dakota company that discovered an antibody technology while trying to cure flocks of dying geese is using its research for a more warm and fuzzy purpose: saving puppies.

Early tests performed on about 50 puppies in seven U.S. states for Grand Forks-based Avianax have resulted in a 90 ... Read More

TWiV 303: Borna this way

The TWiV team discusses transmission of Ebola virus, and inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by viral DNA in the ground squirrel genome.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

"Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy" Infographic

The American Academy of Microbiology has just released a new report, "Microbe-Powered Jobs: How Microbiologists Can Help Build the Bioeconomy," and along with it, an infographic, that summarizes the main points of the report. The full report can be found here: http://bit.ly/1lk346I, and a link t... Read More

Apes Have Better Gut Bugs than Humans

It's not a secret that the microbes living in our guts play a huge role in our well-being, or that, at least in the United States, we're doing a good job of killing them off.

But now new research finds that apes -- our closest relative -- have much more varied gut flora than humans do, and es... Read More

Scientist Finds Link between Antibiotics and Bacterial Biofilm Formation Cause of Chronic Ear, Sinus, and Lung Infections

Researchers from the University of Southern California and the Oak Crest Institute of Science have discovered the link between antibiotics and bacterial biofilm formation leading to chronic lung, sinus and ear infections. The study results, published in the current issue of PLOS ONE, illustrate ... Read More

How E. coli passes safely through stomach acid

In some parts of the world, many small children become infected with severe diarrhea which often proves fatal. The condition is usually caused by strains of Escherichia coli (commonly known as E. coli) bacteria, and bacteria of the genus Yersinia. These bacteria attach themselves to the wall of ... Read More

Blood agar/Hemolysis

Three organisms inoculated onto blood agar, straight line inoculation, to demonstrate hemolysis. From top to bottom:
Streptococcus pyogenes: beta, complete lysis of red blood cells, clear area around colony growth.
Streptococcus bovis: alpha, incomplete lysis of red blood cells, green area ... Read More

Bacteria Proposed for Passaic River Superfund Site Cleanup

A decades long fight over cleaning up one of the nation's most contaminated riverbeds has posed a difficult question: how to safely remove enough toxic material from New Jersey's Passaic River to fill two MetLife Stadiums.

The federal government is moving forward with long-stalled efforts to ... Read More

BacterioFiles 201 - Plastic-Producing Prokaryote Process

This episode: Bacteria from wastewater treatment sludge can produce lots of biodegradable plastic!


(7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jour... Read More

Scientists create accurate predictor of the next year’s flu virus

Influenza viruses evolve rapidly, making it hard to develop protective vaccines against them. Despite a great deal of effort, scientists have found it difficult to forecast which way the virus’ evolution would take it. Now, thanks to improvements in our ability to study viruses and a new mathema... Read More
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