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Geneticists discover global strategies used by bacteria to adapt to changing environmental conditions

The research findings, published this week in two papers in the journal Science provide new insights into the behavior of bacteria.

International collaborative research by Trinity College Dublin geneticists has established a blueprint as to how bacteria respond to environmental and nutritiona... 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

Fed fiber, killer cells may ward off cancer

Fiber supplements may help the body’s own killer cells fight bacterial infection and reduce inflammation, greatly decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

Prebiotics are fiber supplements that serve as food for the trillions of tiny bacteria living in the gut. When taken, they can stimulate the g... Read More

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

Modeling social networks

What looks like a Native American dream catcher is really a network of social interactions within a community. The red dots along the inner and outer circles represent people, while the different colored lines represent direct contact between them. All connections originate from four individuals... Read More

TWiV 188 Letters

Judi writes:


To our TWIV leaders!


If you have a mac with Apps, please go to the app store and download cell images.... I think you'll have a great time going through them.


One other thing - I listened to your show on science reform with interest but I ... 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

TWiM 25 Letters

Peter writes:


Dear TWiM team I saw this fascinating paper on how the variety of bacteria populating human skin can influence who mosquitoes chose for the... Read More

Killer bird flu? What's behind the controversy over bird flu research

Trine Tsouderos, Chicago Tribune reporter, has published a Q&A with several leading virologists on the controversy surrounding the potential impact of full publication of two studies on the airborne transmissibility of H5N1.

"Media reports about the controversy have been marked by frightenin... 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 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

Synthetic Stool a Prospective Treatment for C. Difficile

A synthetic mixture of intestinal bacteria could one day replace stool transplants as a treatment for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). C . difficile is a toxin-producing bacteria that can overpopulate the colon when antibiotics eradicate other, naturally protective bacteria living there.

... Read More

Killer whales facing an airborne threat

New research shows that killer whales are inhaling bacteria, fungi and viruses once believed to be found only on land. Some of the pathogens are highly virulent. And some are even antibiotic-resistant.

The scientists followed the killer whales by boat, trying to catch the precise moment the a... Read More

India polio-free for one year

A year has passed since the last reported case of poliomyelitis in India, which occurred on 13 January 2011 in a two year old girl in Howrah, West Bengal. 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

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

Controversial H5N1 research papers OK to publish, says U.S biosecurity panel

Two controversial papers on bird flu will be published by scientific journals this year after the go-ahead was given by a U.S biosecurity panel.

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) took a stand over the papers last year out of concerns that details of the studies - whi... 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

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

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

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