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Grow Your Own Computer?

There may be a new wave of computer technology on the way thanks to scientists at the University of Leeds and Japan’s University of Agriculture and Technology: Growing your own computer.

Magnet-making bacteria may be used to create the next generation of hard drives, making them much smaller ... Read More

Built-in dengue virus killer found in humans

Scientists may have hit gold in their fight against dengue. They have located a human antibody that can neutralise and kill its virus within two hours.

Significantly, they have also identified a way to reproduce this antibody in large quantities, potentially opening the door to a cure for den... Read More

MicroRNAs and Retroviral Integrity

Jamie Henzy, a postdoctoral researcher at Boston College, has authored a post on Small Things Considered that explores the shady world of the deltaretrovirus genus.

"Among retroviruses, the deltaretrovirus genus is something of a shady bunch, its members lurking in the shadows, causing troubl... Read More

Worm kills insects by vomiting Hulk-like bacteria

Insects have been around for almost 400 million years. That’s plenty of time for evolution to fashion countless horrific deaths for them. Case in point: some insects die because a little worm vomits glowing bacteria inside their bodies.

The worm is Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, a microscopic... Read More

Friendly Fungi: Elucidating the fungal biosynthesis of stipitatic acid

In a tale worthy of Sherlock Holmes, scientists in the School of Chemistry at the University of Bristol, UK have solved a biochemical mystery that had previously proven elusive for 70 years: How the fungus Talaromyces stipitatus produces stipitatic acid (6), which is a tropolone, one of an atypi... Read More

Evolutionary Lessons From Superbugs

Virulent drug-resistant "superbugs" are back in the news. We have a lot to learn from these small but smart creatures. To the dismay of many in the pubic health field, the FDA just dropped plans to enforce a 1977(!) decision to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which facilitates the e... Read More

Study Shows First N.C. Case of Feral Pig Exposure to Nasty Bacteria

A North Carolina State University study shows that, for the first time since testing began several years ago, feral pigs in North Carolina have tested positive for Brucella suis, an important and harmful bacteria that can be transmitted to people.

The bacteria are transmitted to humans by uns... Read More

Microbial Movers - A Small Things Considered Post

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered has authored an interesting post today about the motility of bacteria, specifically Paenibacillus, although he does highlight several other strains that swarm, glide or twitch.

"Microbes get around. They can be carried by the wind, by insects, or by ... Read More

phytoplankton seem from space

In this Envisat image, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands.

During this period in the southern hemisphere, the ocean becomes rich in minerals from the mixing of surface waters with deeper waters. Phytoplankton depen... Read More

Cellular Aging

A protein called tubulin (green) accumulates in the center of a nucleus (outlined in pink) from an aging cell. Normally, this protein is kept out of the nucleus with the help of gatekeepers known as nuclear pore complexes. But NIGMS-funded researchers found that wear and tear to long-lived compo... Read More

How Bacteria Sense Salt Stress

Scientists' finding is a major breakthrough in understanding a decades-old problem of how bacteria detect environmental changes.

A team of scientists led by Assistant Professor Ganesh S Anand and Professor Linda J. Kenney from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Biologica... Read More

Parasite of the Day: Xenopsylla ramesis

There is no parasite that is universally infective, even generalist parasites that can infect many different host species are usually limited to a particular taxonomic group - such as fish, insects, or mammals. Some parasites may infect a broad spectrum of hosts during one stage of their life-cy... Read More

FDA waffles as superbugs spread

The FDA is sending mixed signals: It unveiled new limits this week on one class of livestock antibiotics, two weeks after scrapping a 34-year push to limit two others. All three can promote drug-resistant bacteria, aka superbugs.

If you didn't keep up with the Federal Register over the holida... Read More

TWiP 38: How to Trichomonas



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson tack... Read More

TWiP 39: I encyst, said the amoeba



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson review the biology an... Read More

TWiM #32: Not the shadow biosphere

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiP 40: Doctor, there's a worm in my eye!



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson discuss loaiasis caus... Read More

TWiP 41: Flying and crawling beasts



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson review medi... Read More

TWiM #38: The sound of whooping cough

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiM #31: Screen door on a submarine

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Jo Handelsman Read More

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