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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Researcher seeks to understand link between obesity, flu severity

The recent H1N1 flu pandemic was found to be particularly dangerous to obese people, and a Wayne State University researcher is looking for clues as to why.

Emily Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has begun... Read More

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

Across the horizon and miles out to sea toward the north, the Atlantic Ocean's own spring and summer ritual is unfolding: the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton.

In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom, an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, f... Read More

Bacterial gene 'therapy' to combat cholera

Cholera is an extremely virulent intestinal infection caused by ingestion of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae). EU researchers elucidated the molecular mechanisms behind expression of virulence genes with important implications for new therapies.

Click "source" to read more.

"Inv... Read More

Cat Litter Parasite Tied to Suicide Risk in New Moms

Mothers with IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii at delivery are at risk for later self-harm or suicide, particularly if they have higher titers against the parasite, a Danish study found.

The risk of self-directed violent behavior was increased 1.53-fold (95% CI 1.27 to 1.85, Psk rose to 1.9... 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

A novel imaging technique sheds new light on bacterial mobility and adhesion

A scientific endeavour carried out by two French groups belonging to INSERM and CNRS at Aix-Marseilles University shows for the very first time that both bacterium adhesion to and bacterium motion on a surface are driven by the same mechanism (see paper in PNAS: "Wet-surface–enhanced ellipsometr... Read More

Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthens Immune System

Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the F... Read More

Innate immune system protein provides a new target in war against bacterial infections

Research led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has identified a possible new approach to defeating bacterial infections by targeting an innate immune system component in a bid to invigorate the immune response.

In this study, researchers demonstrated that the primary functio... Read More

Fourth of July: American Presidents and Infectious Diseases

Happy Fourth of July! In honor of this historic holiday we’ve compiled a list showing how infectious diseases and vaccines have affected the lives of our most heralded leaders – the American presidents. These concise accounts are evidence that diseases can strike anyone, anywhere at any time, an... 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

Superbug infections dropping across US, army finds

Bloodstream infections caused by the MRSA superbug may be on the decline in communities across the U.S., according to a large study of military personnel.

Previous data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show a drop in infections contracted in healthcare settings. But the tra... Read More

Lessons from the ASM meeting (#ASM2012)

Some lessons and notes from the ASM meeting from Jonathan Eisen on "The Tree of Life" Read More

Inspired by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed... Read More

Time in space may stretch worm lifespan

Scientists studying loss of bone and muscle mass among astronauts find that spaceflight’s effects on microscopic worms may help them live longer.

The researchers discovered that spaceflight suppresses accumulation of toxic proteins that normally accumulate within aging muscle.

In addition,... Read More

Searching for an Ancient Syphilis DNA in Newborns

Ancient DNA of the bacteria causing syphilis, the Treponema pallidum pallidum, can be recovered from the ancient bones of newborns. This is the conclusion reached by a study led by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), which was able to obtain the genetic material from the bacteria in more th... 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

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

TWiV 192 Letters

Colm writes:


Do you plan to do any promotion of an #asv2012 hashtag for the meeting in Madison this year? I remember some limited tweeting from Minneapolis last year (in between melting into the sidewalk) but I think TWiV would be a great way to promote it ahead of ti... Read More

Aaron J. Shatkin, 77

Aaron J. Shatkin was well known for his work on reoviruses beginning in the 1960s in his laboratory at the Roche Institute of Molecular Biology in Nutley, NJ and then at Rutgers University. He was among the first to appreciate that virus particles contained many different enzymes, such as RNA po... Read More
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