In 1976, a group of health workers took a pair of film cameras to what was then known as Zaire and documented their discovery of a new, deadly virus.
Today we know that virus as Ebola.
A 27-year-old Belgian microbiologist named Peter Piot and his colleagues were the first to scientifically... Read More
The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More
Fecal transplants can be life-saving for people with stubborn bacterial infections, but they're not for the faint of heart. So doctors have come up with a way to make them more palatable – the frozen poop pill.
People infected with Clostridium difficile suffer debilitating diarrhea, but the b... Read More
Creating and maintaining a clean, sustainable water supply means delivering drinking water and collecting wastewater while dealing with pathogenic microorganisms ... Read More
The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g.... Read More
In light of the recent emergence of the lethal Ebola virus in the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebo... Read More
Disruptions in the human circadian clock can throw off microbes in the gut, potentially boosting the risk of obesity, a new study suggests.
The results may help explain why shift workers and people who get jet lag by traveling frequently often pack on extra pounds.
"These surprising findin... Read More
The HIV pandemic with us today is almost certain to have begun its global spread from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new study.
An international team, led by Oxford University and University of Leuven scientists, has reconstructed the genet... Read More
Treating dairy cows and other farm animals with antibiotics and then laying their manure in soil can cause the bacteria in the dirt to grow resistant to the drugs. But a study now suggests that the manure itself could be contributing to resistance, even when it comes from cows that are free of a... Read More
Given the extent of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, transport of an infected individual to the US was bound to happen. The case is an adult who had contact with an Ebola virus-infected woman in Liberia, then traveled to Dallas. He had no symptoms before arriving in the US and therefore ... Read More
A study of biofilm formation in the model haloarchaeal species Haloferax volcanii has led to the observation of a fascinating example of coordinated social motility (and of cellular differentiation and gene transfer). Haloferax volcanii was first isolated from Dead Sea sediment in 1975, but was ... Read More
A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola’s family history.
The research shows that filoviruses — a family to which Ebola and its similarly lethal relative, Marburg, belong — are at least 16-23 million years old.
Filoviruses likely existed in the Miocene Epoch, and at that time, the evolutio... Read More
Tara Smith joins the TWiEBOVsters to discuss the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa, spread of the disease to and within the US, transmission of the virus, and much more.
(Interesting study from PNAS)
It is increasingly apparent that bacteria in the gut are important determinants of health and disease in humans. However, we know remarkably little about how this organ transitions from a sterile/near-sterile state at birth to one that soon harbors a highly dive... Read More
For bacteria, the mammalian gut is like Shangri-La. It’s warm and consistently so, sheltered from the environment, and regularly flooded with a nutritious soup. But what happens when this all-you-can-eat buffet stops serving? What happens to microbes if their host stops eating?
When animals f... Read More
A short interview with artist Selin Balci on her use of microbes as an artistic medium. Here's a quote from the piece on SkyLife.com...
"Bio-art has not yet been defined in a way that is accepted by artists. Some artists, for example, make DNA models and call that BioArt. To me, BioArt has to... Read More
For millennia, bacteria and other microbes have engaged in intense battles of chemical warfare, attempting to edge each other out of comfortable ecological niches. Doctors fight pathogens with an arsenal of weapons—antibiotics—co-opted from these microbial wars, but their efforts are frustrated... Read More
A University of Otago researcher is part of an international team that has discovered that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) played a surprisingly large role in the evolution of primitive microbes known as archaea.
HGT, which involves acquiring genetic material from another unrelated organism in... Read More
Viruses can convert their DNA from solid to fluid form, which explains how viruses manage to eject DNA into the cells of their victims. This has been shown in two new studies carried out by Lund University in Sweden.
Both research studies are about the same discovery made for two different vi... Read More