t’s counterintuitive but true: Some microorganisms that use flagella for locomotion are able to swim faster in gel-like fluids such as mucus. Research engineers at Brown University have figured out why. It's the angle of the coil that matters. Findings are reported in Physical Review Letters.
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A fungus that leads to a deadly disease that has killed almost seven million bats in the US is continuing its spread westwards, results have shown.
Officials said the disease had been confirmed in Arkansas after samples tested positive for the fungus known to cause white-nose syndrome (WNS).
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A widespread die-off of bottlenose dolphins off the Mid-Atlantic Coast — the worst of its kind in more than a quarter-century — almost certainly is the work of a virus that killed more than 740 dolphins in the same region in 1987 and 1988, marine scientists said Tuesday.
Since the beginning o... Read More
A team of researchers at the University of Pittsburgh has developed antibacterial compounds, derived from the outer coating of HIV, that could be potential treatments for drug-resistant bacterial infections and appear to avoid generating resistance. These new agents are quite small, making them ... Read More
As if space wasn’t already dangerous enough, some newly reported research on bacterial growth in orbit indicates some strains of microorganisms can thrive in zero gravity, even if they are deprived of nutrients. This could change the way astronauts prepare for and live in space, especially as th... Read More
An interesting recent paper characterizing the fungal microbiome ("mycobiome") of human skin. It would be lovely if the TWIM crew could discuss this in an upcoming episode!
"Traditional culture-based methods have incompletely defined the microbial landscape of common recalcitrant human fungal... Read More
A long-forgotten candidate for antiviral therapy is undergoing a renaissance: Since the 1970s, the small molecule CMA has been considered a potent agent against viral infections, yet it was never approved for clinical use. Scientists at the Bonn University Hospital have now deciphered how the mo... Read More
Most of our physiological functions fluctuate throughout the day. They are coordinated by a central clock in the brain and by local oscillators, present in virtually every cell. Many molecular gearwheels of this internal clock have been described by Ueli Schibler, professor at the Faculty of Sci... Read More
A research team led by Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences has discovered that marine microbes are adapted to very narrow and specialized niches in their environment. This may explain why so few of these microbes—usually less than 1%—can be grown for study in the laboratory. By utilizing new g... Read More
Scientists have for the first time traced a novel virus that infected two men from northwestern Missouri in 2009 to populations of ticks in the region, providing confirmation that lone star ticks are carrying the recently discovered virus and humans in the area are likely at risk of infection. T... Read More
The ice cream and caramels are delicious, but it's the brioche that really convinces you eating algae could be a winning idea. The oily, yellow, flour-like residue of wrung out algae—dubbed "algalin" by its marketers—can easily replace the butter and eggs in prototypical French pastry bread.
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One in six Americans (or 48 million people) get foodborne illnesses every year. Better detection can lower that number dramatically. Bacteria detection sniffers have been studied for several years now. They are based on a wireless acoustic wave sensor platform, which is a fancy way of saying tha... Read More
Over the last decade or so, biologists have mustered an ever-growing appreciation for the essential role of microbial communities in a diversity of environments.
“We’re recognizing that the biosphere is run by microbes at every level,” notes UW-Madison Professor of Medical Microbiology and Im... Read More
In labs, bacteria may swim freely. But out in the world, including our bodies, bacteria often exist packed together in dense communities called biofilms. And these configurations can help them cause illness. Finding clues about how such bacteria group together could therefore lead to better ther... Read More
By unleashing a genetically modified virus onto microscopic electrode wires, researchers from MIT have shown that the performance of lithium-air batteries can be significantly improved -- a remarkable breakthrough that could revolutionize the way our electric devices are powered.
Indeed, lith... Read More
Vincent Racaniello of Columbia University did groundbreaking research on reconstructing the DNA of viruses (sort of like microbial Jurassic Park). The method was used to re-create the spectacularly lethal influenza behind the 1918 Spanish flu epidemic, which killed between 50 and 100 million peo... Read More
Bacteria of the genus Legionella have evolved a sophisticated system to replicate in the phagocytic cells of their hosts. LMU researchers have now identified a novel component of this system.
In humans, Legionella is responsible for the so-called Legionnaires’ disease, a form of bacterial pne... Read More
The immune system has the capacity to "remember" particular viruses and store those details in B memory cells that reside in the lungs to help ward off future infections. But a new study shows the flu virus takes advantage of this and uses the way the memory cells store its details to recognize ... Read More
Microbes are everywhere – thousands of species are in your mouth, and thousands are in a glass of tap water. The ones in your mouth are mostly harmless – as long as you brush and floss so they don't form a biofilm that allows gum disease a path into the blood stream.
Microbes in the tap water... Read More
The influenza virus particle is made up of the viral RNA genome wrapped in a lipid membrane (illustrated). The membrane, or envelope, contains three different kinds of viral proteins. The hemagglutinin molecule (HA, blue) attaches to cell receptors and initiates the process of virus entry into c... Read More