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1 in 25 patients gets infection in hospital

When antibiotics first started being used in the 1940's they were considered a "miracle drug". It seemed that bacterial infections would no longer be a problem for the world. However, recently, one gene is making it seem as though the end of antibiotics is at hand. This gene is New Delhi metallo... Read More

BacterioFiles 199 - Prokaryote Protein Provokes Problem

This episode: A protein from gut bacteria has been tentatively linked with a human protein related to eating disorders!


(11.4 MB, 12.4 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Two new weapons in the battle against bacteria

Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen ... Read More

Continuing Discussion on Gain of Function

Should scientific journals publish gain-of-function (GOF) studies, especially those involving pathogens with pandemic potential? While journal editors at the American Society for Microbiology have done so after careful consideration, some scientists expressed concern over that decision. A series... Read More

The truth behind the '5-Second Rule': When in doubt, throw it out

The burger patty that slides off the plate, the ice cream treat that plops on the picnic table, the hot dog that rolls off the grill – conventional wisdom has it that you have five seconds to pick it up before it is contaminated.

Fact or folklore?

“A dropped item is immediately contaminate... Read More

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity in each drop of seawater

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological... Read More

Soil microbiomes can set plant flowering time

Scientists grew Boechera stricta plants in soil inoculated with microbes from natural B. stricta habitats to study the flowering time phenotype.

The technique researchers employed to isolate soil microbes to study their effect on a single plant phenotype can potentially be applied to other st... Read More

Frozen bacteria repair their DNA at -15ºC

Bacteria encased in ice can be resuscitated after thousands, perhaps even millions of years. How these hardy bugs manage to survive deep freeze is something of a mystery. If nothing else, the low levels of radiation hitting Earth’s surface should cause any ice-bound bacterium’s DNA to break apa... Read More

Healthy Lung Microbes Keep Mice Breathing Easy

Like humans, mice start life with sterile lungs that soon get colonized by microbes, which appear to protect the lung tissue from an asthma-like reaction in the presence of dust mites.

Human cells are outnumbered ten-to-one by the microbes that thrive in and on us. Now a study finds that the ... Read More

Human Sweat's Filthy Attributes Stop Bacteria-Fighting Brass

Human sweat is actually much dirtier and bacteria-filled than we initially thought. Scientists have found that sweaty hands can reduce the effect that brass objects have of fighting bacteria. Brass objects can be found in hospitals and schools and sweat can fight off its abilities just an hour a... Read More

Researchers map gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes, to help prevent disease

Virginia Tech entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever.

With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carri... Read More

Diet Affects Men’s and Women’s Gut Microbes Differently

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications. These results suggest ... Read More

TWiV 310: From bacteriophage to retroviruses with Ann Skalka

Vincent and Glenn meet up with Ann and talk about her long and productive career in virology, from biochemistry to bacteriophage lambda to retroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

Rising star uses paper to tackle food-borne diseases

A University of Alberta researcher’s star is rising thanks to her idea to detect deadly pathogens such as E. coli using a paper device only slightly larger than a postage stamp.

Frédérique Deiss, a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science, is working on ways to help detect food- and wat... Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... Read More

How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

TWiM 80 Letters

Bob writes:


Dear TWIM hosts,


I enjoyed episode 76, "Genetic biopixels and a pathogenic sweet tooth". I really enjoyed hearing about the course that Dr. Schaechter teaches and in particular the work his students did in developing the biosensor. I would like to ... Read More

Fla. dolphins harbor potentially deadly bacteria

One in every three bottlenose dolphin tested in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida's Atlantic coast has antibodies to a bacteria that can make them more vulnerable to other deadly infections, according to a new study.

The finding comes as researchers struggle to figure out what has caused a r... Read More

Lab-on-a-Chip Tracks Down 'Most Wanted' Microbe

A diagnostic tool that’s about the size of a credit card has identified a highly prized gut microbe.

The microbe contains interesting genetic sequences, but it has proven challenging to culture in the lab.

Researchers used the device, called SlipChip, to isolate microbes from a patient’s g... Read More

Study: Salad Ingredient Kills Drug-Resistant TB

One of the world's oldest known disinfectants – and favorite salad dressings – may prove even stronger than previously thought.

An international research team has found that vinegar – or, more specifically, the active ingredient in vinegar – can kill mycobacteria, including a highly drug-resi... Read More
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