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H5N1 Bird Flu Pandemic Potential Revealed

Two papers published this week, and one last month, reveal the pandemic potential of H5N1 "bird flu". One identifies four, another identifies five, genetic changes the virus would have to undergo before it could spread easily in humans, and the third paper suggests some of these changes are alre... Read More

Flesh Eating Bacteria Makes Super Molecular Glue

The same bacteria that eats flesh can make a super glue used to bind molecules.

Dr. Mark Howarth, with his graduate student Bijan Zakeri in Oxford University's department of biochemistry, developed an adhesive that sticks molecules together, nearly inseparably.

They used the bacteria Strep... Read More

Explore the Human Microbiome [Interactive]

Learn about the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that maintain human health.

The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In add... Read More

The Super-Resistant Bacteria That Has India 'Hell Scared'

Over 50 percent of bacterial infections in Indian hospitals are resistant to commonly used antibiotics, and surveys show that many widespread bacterial pathogens in India are also resistant to powerful, broad-spectrum antibiotics.

In 2010, a team of South Asian and British scientists analyzed... Read More

The Glowing Spider-Worms of New Zealand

Imagine you are a tiny caddisfly pupa. When you emerge from your pupal case, it is dark, but not pitch black, and high above you, you see the faint glow of a starry sky. On new wings, you rise. Cue angelic voices.

Suddenly, you struggle against an invisible barrier. Cue scary cello. You begin... Read More

Seven Wonders of the Microbe World (combined)

From the Open University, a neat video highlighting seven amazing things microbes do. Read More

TWiM 30 Letters

Megan writes:

I am a Clinical Microbiologist, and have really been enjoying the insights and discussion on TWIM and TWIV (and am hoping to get to TWIP soon). I have really found the information being... Read More

New Infant Formula Ingredients Boost Babies' Immunity by Feeding Their Gut Bacteria

Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report.

"The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-... Read More

TWiV 169: Epidemiology causes conclusions



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

Zombie Bacteria - Lag Phase In Salmonella

Bacteria can multiply rapidly, potentially doubling every 20 minutes in ideal conditions but this exponential growth phase is preceded by a period known as lag phase, where no increase in cell number is seen. Lag phase was first described in the 19th Century, and was assumed to be needed by bact... Read More

TWiV 162: Transcription



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit... Read More

1 in 6 cancers worldwide caused by infections that can be prevented or treated

One in every six cancers worldwide is caused by an infection that is preventable or treatable, according to new estimates published in the journal Lancet Oncology. The research indicates infections are attributable for approximately 2 million new cancer cases every year.

"Infections with cert... Read More

The Secret of Weight Loss May Be In 3,000-Year-Old Mummy Poop

Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.

The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. Acco... Read More

Microbiology: Learning about who we are

Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.

Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More

Texas A&M center confronts antibiotic crisis with potential new bacterial treatment

It’s been called “the trots,” “Montezuma’s Revenge,” “the runs” and worse. But no matter the name, when it strikes, victims wish for a medicine that could go straight to the offending bacteria to quickly knock it dead.


That wish will ultimately come true if work by... Read More

Goat milk holds malaria vaccine

The latest episode of the Animal Science Podcast from the American Society of Animal Science interviews researcher Mark Westhusin at Texas A&M University which recently announced the birth of a genetically modified goat that produces a malaria vaccine in its milk. This goat could help people in ... Read More

Potential New Treatment Identified for Leishmaniasis

Researchers at the College of Life Sciences have identified fexinidazole as a possible, much-needed, new treatment for the parasitic disease visceral leishmaniasis.

Leishmaniasis is named after William Leishman, a Glasgwegian doctor serving with the British Army in India, who first identified... 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

Bean bugs found to harbor bacteria that keep them safe from an insecticide

Conventional wisdom says that in order for a species of insect to develop resistance to an antibiotic, several generations have to pass, whereby genes from those that have some natural resistance pass them on to their offspring. But sometimes conventional wisdom fails to take into account how so... Read More

Virus Find Helps Mystery Disease Probe in Cambodia

The investigation of a mystery disease that has killed dozens of children in Cambodia is advancing after the discovery in patient samples of a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease.

The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge found enterovirus 71 in 15 of 24 patients sampled since mid-June, Phi... Read More

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