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Bacteria that could pass as X-men: part 1

Great article from Scientific American... click 'source' to see the whole piece...

1) The Blob

Like many of the X-men, the Blob has gone through several incarnations of character but the one main continuous feature is that he’s big. That’s pretty much it. The size gives him supernatural s... Read More

New bug eats sulfates, makes two kinds of magnet

A bacterium recently discovered near Death Valley has some very unusual properties according to a report published in the December 23 issue of Science magazine. While some ‘bugs’ are like migratory birds, making tiny magnets that they use to guide their navigation, this is the first bacterium to... Read More

100 trillion good bacteria call human body home

In the search for new life, scientists have studied the depths of the ocean and the lips of steaming volcanoes. They've looked on Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and even planets beyond this solar system.

Dr. David Relman went searching inside his own mouth. On a routine dental visit in 1998, ... Read More

Controversial 'bird flu' edits move ahead

Top US scientists on Wednesday defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global cooperation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.

Meanwhile, scientists involved in the experiments said they are cooperating with government officials and... Read More

Bacteria that could pass as X-men: part 2

'Second part of my thinly veiled excuse to research X-men and call it work. The first post can be found here. This is only meant to be a two-parter but I’ll see how I feel on Monday, and whether I can find any more X-men that are as amazing as bacteria.'

4) Multiple Man

Multiple Man’s powe... Read More

Bushmeat can be a viral feast

Monkeys and apes are considered edible game in many parts of Africa. As people from these regions have emigrated to other parts of the world, some have retained their love of this and other types of bushmeat. A new study now finds that meat from nonhuman primates — from chimps to monkeys — can h... 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

TWiV 165 Letters

Justin writes:


Are you, Alan Dove and Prof. Racaniello, saying you think Mikovits and/or others on the Lombardi paper lied about the results or blinding? I think circumspection is a natural human reaction to the allegations of theft that have been made against Dr. Mik... Read More

TWiV 163 Letters

Ronnie writes:


Hello Professor Vincent,


First of all, thank you for your wonderful podcasts! I'm a CFS sufferer and also a student Applied Science so I'm interested in many of the topics discussed for those two reasons and always learning new things.


I... Read More

TWiV 159 Letters

Jenny writes:


Hi Vince and the rest of the TWIV-cast!


You might have come across this news already, but it would be interesting to hear the TWIV gang's take on this study done by Fouchier's group from the Netherlands.


Read More

How hosts recognize bacteria

We are surrounded by bacteria, viruses, fungi and parasites. The fact that we nevertheless do not fall prey to infections is thanks to certain cellular sensor molecules such as toll-like receptors (TLR), which recognize the molecular structure of pathogens and intercede by ensuring an often comp... Read More

Norton Zinder, 1928-2012

Norton Zinder made two important discoveries in the field of virology. While a Ph.D. student with Joshua Lederberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he found that viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages) could move genes from one host to another, a process called transduction. Later in his own ... Read More

Study finds how starving bacteria beat antibiotics

Some bacteria fight off antibiotics even as they starve.

For years, scientists believed antibiotics failed to work against starving bacteria because the medicines' target spot within the bacteria had slowed or gone dormant.

As it turns out, the bacteria's starvation triggers a reaction tha... Read More

Science Friday: Debate Persists Over Publishing Bird Flu Studies (Live at 2pm ET)

Ira Flatow of Science Friday will host a panel discussion on the issues surrounding a federal advisory board that has urged scientific journals not to publish the research from two labs that have developed an airborne bird flu virus (H5N1). Virologist Vincent Racaniello and Biosecurity expert D.... Read More

Mind-controlling virus forces parasitic wasp to put all its eggs in one basket

In a French meadow, a creature that specialises in corrupting the bodies of other animals is getting a taste of its own medicine.
Leptopilina boulardi is a wasp that lays its eggs in fly maggots. When the wasp grub hatches, it devours its host form the inside out, eventually bursting out of its... Read More

The Berkeley Pit

“To go to Berkeley Pit Lake, you have to complete a forty-hour Hazmat program—and that’s just to stand next to the water,” advises Andrea Stierle, a research professor at the University of Montana-Missoula, who began studying samples from the Pit sixteen years ago. And when employees of the Mont... Read More

Bacteria meets its match in the Meat Science Lab

Crystal Lopez isn’t squeamish.

The animal sciences senior has worked at the UA Animal Sciences Meat Science Laboratory for more than three years. The job requires her to come in close contact with the carcasses of freshly harvested animals.

The lab has facilities to slaughter and store cat... Read More

Bacteria outbreak in Northern Europe due to ocean warming, study says

Manmade climate change is the main driver behind the unexpected emergence of a group of bacteria in northern Europe which can cause gastroenteritis, new research by a group of international experts shows.

The paper, published in the journal Nature Climate Change on Sunday, provided some of th... Read More

Milestones in the Effort to Eradicate Polio [Timeline]

Advances in the 1950s and 1960s, including unprecedented cooperation between Soviet and U.S. scientists, allowed polio to be eradicated throughout the Americas by 1994 and all of Europe in 1998. Eliminating the crippling scourge has been more difficult, however, in some parts of Africa and Asia.... 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

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