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Food borne bacteria sickens 8 in Illinois, 93 nationwide

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

Special Session on Human Microbiome Livestreaming Free Online from ASM Annual Meeting

A newly added session at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology will focus on the latest data release by the NIH Human Microbiome Project (HMP).

The HMP has been a five-year endeavor to produce community resources to support the human microbiome field. These activit... 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

RNA virus packaging specificity explained?

In 1969 David Baltimore proposed that poliovirus RNA replication is coupled with packaging, in that only those genomes actively replicating will be selectively encapsidated. From an evolutionary standpoint, it is an ingenious requirement to ensure that only virus genomes capable of replication ... Read More

Thyme's Time as Acne Remedy May Be Coming Soon

The next new acne treatment may be found in the produce section of your food store.

Largely due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, the herb thyme -- which is found with other herbs in the produce section of most food stores -- may well earn itself a place in the skin care... Read More

NEJM: The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine

At first glance, the inaugural 1812 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of Science seems reassuringly familiar: a review of angina pectoris, articles on infant diarrhea and burns. The apparent similarity to today's Journal, however, obscures a fu... Read More

Microbes Capable of Surviving Harsh, Mars-Like Conditions Discovered

Soil samples obtained from South American volcanoes have revealed a smattering of different microbe types that have somehow managed to survive in extreme conditions, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder) announced in a June 8 press release.

According to the university, the scientist... Read More

Group urges speedier approvals for badly needed antibiotics

Infectious-disease doctors have proposed a speedier, easier approval process for drug companies developing antibiotics against untreatable illnesses.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) made the proposal today at a hearing of a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Com... Read More

A viral mashup in snakes

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

“Snowing Microbes” On Saturn’s Moon?

Enceladus, Saturn’s 318-mile-wide moon that’s become famous for its ice-spraying southern jets, is on astronomers’ short list of places in our own solar system where extraterrestrial life could be hiding — and NASA’s Cassini spacecraft is in just the right place to try and sniff it out.


On ... Read More

Microbes Go Rafting on Floating Volcanic Rocks

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

TWiM 36 Letters

Todd writes:

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

Yale Nobel laureate creates compound that halts growth of malaria parasite

A drug candidate that has shown promise for neutralizing dangerous bacteria also prevents growth of the parasite that causes malaria, new research by a Yale University team headed by Nobel laureate Sidney Altman shows.

The compound created in the labs of Altman and co-senior author Choukri Be... Read More

New study maps hotspots of human-animal infectious diseases and emerging disease outbreaks

A new global study mapping human-animal diseases like tuberculosis (TB) and Rift Valley fever finds that an "unlucky" 13 zoonoses are responsible for 2.4 billion cases of human illness and 2.2 million deaths per year. The vast majority occur in low- and middle-income countries.

The report, wh... Read More

Common bacteria may cause colic

A bacteria that is known to be associated with more than 80% of gastric and doudenal ulcers, may be associated with infant colic. The bacteria, Helicobacter Pylori (H.pylori), is found in the lining of the of the stomach wall.

Dr. Abdelrazak Mansour Ali from Al-Azhar University in Cairo, Egyp... 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

Jekyll and Hyde bacteria aids or kills, depending on chance

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

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

Serratia marcescens on a DNA plate

Serratia marcescens streaked on a DNA plate and incubated for 48 hours at room temperature. Read More

Kawaoka paper published on aerosol transmission of H5 influenza virus in ferrets

One of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past six months was published today in the journal Nature. I have read it, and I can assure you that the results do not enable the construction of a deadly biological weapon. Instead, they illuminate important requir... Read More

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