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TWiM #31: Screen door on a submarine

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Jo Handelsman Read More

Spirochete Treponema pallidum

This photomicrograph depicts a Treponema pallidum bacterium, a spirochete 5 - 15 micrometers in length, which is the causative agent of syphilis.
Syphilis, is passed from person to person through direct contact with a syphilis sore. Sores occur mainly on the external genitals, vagina, anus, or ... Read More

TWiV 186 Letters

Kurt writes:


Dear Vincent,


Sorry I missed your visit to NU- my teaching duties in Evanston prevented it!


Several of my students attended both and had good reports all around. Your work on ISGs sounds like it is coming along well.


I just today l... Read More

TWiV 192: Viral tertulia

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and  Read More

TWiV 173: Going to bat for flu research

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Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove Read More

TWiM 31 Letters

Peter writes:

Dear TWiM Team


A fascinating article from New Scientist this week.


Standard medical teaching is that the foetus is sterile and that the microbiome only begins to develop post natal.


New research from Spain indicates that the microbiome s... Read More

TWiV 170: From variolous effluvia to VLPs

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Hosts: Alan DoveRich Condit, and Dickson Despo... Read More

MRSA Staph Strain Developed Drug Resistance in Your Burger: Research demonstrates the need to use antibiotics sparingly in food production, researchers say

A bacteria strain that causes a hard-to-treat staph infection probably developed its antibiotic resistance in food animals, a team of scientists announced Tuesday.

The strain of staph, known as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, or MRSA CC398, most often infects farm workers who com... Read More

CDC says C. difficile infections at “historic high”

It’s become a sad fact that many people being treated in health-care facilities end up catching a bad -- and potentially deadly -- bug in the very place where they’re supposed to get better.

A report on the increased incidence of clostridium difficile infections in hospitals and other health-... Read More

Bacteria ‘munching’ on Titanic: scientists

In less than 30 years, there may be nothing left of the Titanic but a heap of “rusticles,” warns researcher Henrietta Mann, who has spent four years researching bacteria gnawing on its sunken hull.

A scientific expedition in 1991 to the disintegrating wreck some 12,400 feet (3,780 meters) to ... Read More

Genetic variation in human gut viruses could be raw material for inner evolution

A growing body of evidence underscores the importance of human gut bacteria in modulating human health, metabolism, and disease. Yet bacteria are only part of the story. Viruses that infect those bacteria also shape who we are. Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, professor of Microbiology at the Perelman ... Read More

A confocal micrograph of an intestinal biopsy from a child infected with shiga toxin-producing E. coli.

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

The Microbiology of Speciation

The fields of microbial symbiosis and speciation have achieved astonishing advances during the past two decades, yet symbiosis and speciation are not commonly discussed together and can seem to be odd partners in their capacity to operate synergistically in nature. Indeed, microbial symbiosis is... Read More

Knight Science Journalism Tracker review of TWiM Episode 32 with Rosie Redfield

"Take a listen to four very savvy and plain-talking biologists chatting on their business at an inside-the-academy site called This Week in Microbiology, and more specifically at episode TWiM 32. There host and Columbia U. faculty member Vincent Racaniello and two colleagues talk of arsenic and ... Read More

TWiV 177 Letters

John writes:


Dear TWIVvers,


In TWIV 173, you talked about a study on antibody levels to bird flu (H5N1) in various populations, and related this to infections that don't cause serious enough illness to send someone to the hospital, or perhaps to get them teste... Read More

Study upholds immune system’s role in autism

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

Slow-Motion Microbes Still Living off Dino-era "Lunch Box"

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

TWiM 26 Letters

Peter writes:
Dear Twim team

An interesting paper on artificial selection of yeast giving rise to evolved  clusters. The clusters evolved to be larger, produce multicellular progeny, and even s... Read More

Sheets of virus generate electricity when squished

Squishing a stack of virus sheets generates enough electricity to power a small liquid crystal display. With increased power output, these virus films might one day use the beating of your heart to power a pacemaker, the researchers behind them say.

Piezoelectric materials build up charge whe... Read More

In First, Software Emulates Lifespan of Entire Organism

Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed the first software simulation of an entire organism, a humble single-cell bacterium that lives in the human genital and respiratory tracts.

The scientists and other experts said the work was a giant step toward... Read More
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