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Exploitive prions versus your innocent immune system

Prions are infectious prions which are responsible for often fatal neurological diseases in mammals but just how do they do this? What allows them to enter your body? How does it initially replicate itself? And how does it get into your brain? Research out last week in PLoS Pathogens shows that ... Read More

BESC researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production.

Scientists have long been on the hunt for cost-effective ways to break down complex pla... Read More

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.

Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More

New GM Crops Could Make Superweeds Even Stronger

Herbicide-resistant superweeds threaten to overgrow U.S. fields, so agriculture companies have genetically engineered a new generation of plants to withstand heavy doses of multiple, extra-toxic weed-killing chemicals.

It’s a more intensive version of the same approach that made the resistant... Read More

Thoughts on the Inaugural Conference on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

". . . a guest post [to microbe.net] by David Thaler, who is one of the Sloan-funded investigators working on the microbiology of the built environment . . ."

"A few thoughts after the Inaugural meeting of Microbiology of the Built Environment Boulder.

My own opinions on these points are s... Read More

TWiP 39: I encyst, said the amoeba

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson review th... Read More

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

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson discuss l... Read More

TWiM #38: The sound of whooping cough

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

Borrelia burgdorferi

Borrelia burgdorferi is a spirochete, a class of long, slender bacteria that typically take on a coiled shape. Infection with this bacterium causes Lyme disease.

Credit: Tina Carvalho, University of Hawaii at Manoa, NIGMS photo gallery
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Clostridium difficile

A colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph image showing a cluster of Clostridium difficile on a surface. Clostridium difficile is a species of Gram-positive bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing bacteria in the gut flora have been wiped out by anti... Read More

One Health: Humans, Animals and the Environment

The health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected. Disruption of the environment often creates new niches for the evolution of infectious diseases, and provides opportunities for the transmission of pathogens to animals or humans. The majority of infectious disea... Read More

TWiV 186: From Buda to stump grinding

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

TWiV 189: Five postdocs in Glasgow

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Vanessa Cowton, Mary Holton, Mark Robinson, Swetha Vijayakrishnan, and Gavin Wilkie


Vincent re... 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

Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Discover How Cancer Cells “Hijack” a Mechanism to Grow

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida have discovered a mechanism that explains how some cancer cells “hijack” a biological process to potentially activate cell growth and the survival of cancer gene expression.

Their study appeared in a recen... 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

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

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

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