Vincent and Dickson... Read More
The human microbiome consists of thousands of viral and microbial species which inhabit the human body and have co-evolved with us to protect against pathogens, regulate organ function and supply nutrients and other factors essential for health. When these members fall out of balance, it can le... Read More
The health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected. Disruption of the environment often creates new niches for the evolution of infectious diseases, and provides opportunities for the transmission of pathogens to animals or humans. The majority of infectious disea... Read More
Dear TWiM Team
I see that some action is now being taken in America against the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics as livestock growth promoters:
Pared down genomes are the norm in symbiotic microbes, but how do non-symbionts get away with cutting out functions it would appear that they need? The authors of an Opinion piece in mBio this week explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions may well be ... Read More
A person’s mere presence in a room can add 37 million bacteria to the air every hour, a new study finds.
The bacterial material is largely left behind by previous occupants and stirred up from the floor when someone enters.
“We live in this microbial soup, and a big ingredient is our own m... Read More
We’ve all heard the claims of probiotic yogurts and their benefits for human health, but aside from improving our belly dancing skills, what exactly are probiotic bacteria doing?
An elegant study from the Jeffrey Gordon lab explored the effects of consuming fermented milk products (FMPs) cont... Read More
Food safety officials are investigating whether raw fish in sushi and other foods is responsible for a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people in Illinois.
So far, no deaths have been connected to the strain of the bacteria, which has sent 10 people to the hospital and ... Read More
If you know anything about snakes you might be familiar with snake inclusion body disease, or IBD. This transmissible and fatal disease affects snakes of a variety of species but has been best studied in boas. The name comes from the presence of large masses (inclusions) in the cytoplasm of cell... Read More
Volcanoes bring death and destruction, but out of the ashes life soon finds fertile ground. A unique experiment is sifting through floating debris from an ongoing volcanic event to see how microbes move in. The results may help in assessing a recent hypothesis that the first life forms may have ... Read More
Just a quick note to say how much I enjoy TWiM, and in particular, how much I enjoyed episode 32 featuring Rosie Redfield. I don't know how you find time to do this, but I'm gl... Read More
Shiga toxin is an extremely potent toxin that is produced when the bacterium contains a bacteriophage carrying the toxin gene. It is closely linked with Haemolytic Uraemic Syndrome and acute renal failure in children. After ingestion via contaminated food or water the E. coli bacteria colonize t... Read More
Living in the guts of worms are seemingly innocuous bacteria that contribute to their survival. With a flip of a switch, however, these same bacteria transform from harmless microbes into deadly insecticides.
In the current issue of Science, Michigan State University researchers led a study t... Read More
Escherichia coli is no stranger to the human body. In around 20% of us, E. coli is the predominant species in our gastrointestinal tract, where it lives as a commensal. But when E. coli gets out of hand it can cause anything from gastroenteritis to sepsis to urinary tract infections. It's those ... Read More
Researchers use stealthy nanoscale particles to infiltrate vaginal mucus and keep herpes at bay in mice.
Tears and a runny nose can be unpleasant on a windy day, but these mucosal secretions play a vital role in protecting the body from viruses and other malicious microbes. Unfortunately, muc... Read More
Changes in an overactive immune system can contribute to autism-like behaviors in mice, new research shows.
Scientists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) pioneered the study of the link between irregularities in the immune system and neurodevelopmental disorders such as auti... Read More
For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.
“I would like to lose the language of warfa... Read More
A leading cause for meningitis and septicemia in the UK is meningococcus B (MenB) bacterium infection. Healthy children can become severely ill within just a few hours if they contract meningitis or septicemia, as both illnesses develop randomly and with alarming speed. It often occurs in babies... Read More
Buried under the seafloor for 86 million years, a bacterial community lives so slowly it's still surviving on a "lunch box" from dinosaur days, a new study says. (See marine-microbe pictures.)
It's been known since the 1990s that microbes can live trapped in ocean sediments for millions of ye... Read More