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Human African trypanosomiasis

A false-coloured scanning electron microscope image of an African trypanosome, the parasite which causes sleeping sickness. Read More

TB or not TB: that is the question.

Tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious public health problem: 8.7 million cases in 2001 and over 1.4 million deaths per year. In 2006, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has been confirmed in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. The emergence ... Read More

Bacteria in space!

Where humans travel, bacteria will follow. If people are in space for any amount of time, bacteria are sure to thrive there so it’s good to know that there are already researchers looking at how the environment within spaceships affects bacterial populations. Work done on planktonic colonies of ... Read More

Should variola virus, the agent of smallpox, be destroyed?

Later this month (May 2014) the World Health Assembly will decide whether to destroy the remaining stocks of variola virus – the agent of smallpox – or to allow continued research on the virus at WHO-approved laboratories. We are interested in your opinion on this issue. Please follow the link t... Read More

Algae able to switch quantum coherence on and off

A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis.

The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thoug... Read More

Poison-breathing bacteria

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in Calif... Read More

Malnutrition: Starving Children Lack Crucial Gut Bacteria

When children are starving, the bacteria that live in their intestines may determine whether they can be saved, scientists working in Bangladesh are reporting. And they say it may become imperative to find a way to give children bacteria as well as food.

The study, done by researchers from Wa... Read More

CDC: 75 Scientists Possibly Exposed to Anthrax

As many as 75 scientists working in government laboratories may have been exposed to live anthrax bacteria, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Thursday. The scientists are being offered treatment to prevent infection.

The potential exposure occurred after researchers worki... Read More

BacterioFiles 171 - Segments Select Specific Strains

This episode: Ahmed Gomaa and I discuss how to keep some microbes and get rid of others using bacteria's own immune system!


(15.1 MB, 16.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

This Psychedelic Art Is Actually Bacteria

This swirling mass may look like some kind of LSD trip, but it's actually fractal artwork created using bacteria.

Produced by Eshel Ben-Jacob—a scientist-cum-artist at Tel Aviv University—the piece came about thanks to two strains of bacteria which grew together in interesting and weird ways.... Read More

Caulobacter crescentus

The common waterborne bacterium Caulobacter crescentus reproduces asymmetrically. When a cell divides, one of its daughter cells is a free-swimming “swarmer,” powered by a hairlike flagellum. The other, “stalk” daughter cell is immobile, anchoring itself to a surface with one of nature’s stronge... Read More

Pertussis on Rise in U.S. Elderly - ICAAC 2013

Pertussis, a respiratory illness commonly known as whooping cough, is a very contagious disease caused by a type of bacteria called Bordetella pertussis. Since the early 1980s, there has been an overall trend of an increase in reported pertussis cases. In this video participants discuss the resu... Read More

New Research on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Pressure Ulcers, Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis, and More

Two million people suffer antibiotic-resistant infections yearly, and 23,000 die each year as a result. Most of these infections occur in the community, but deaths usually occur in healthcare settings. Cost estimates vary but may be as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs.

C... Read More

Calling All Scientists! Show Us Your Science! - The ASM Global Video Challenge

How is your microbiology improving the world? Show us in a short video and you could win big!

ASM is asking our members to create a 30-90 second video that illustrates the impact of their science on the world. Members both in the U.S. and around the world can participate! Explore the them... Read More

Breastfeeding increases prevalence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in infants

Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota d... Read More

Pseudomonas paints a picture!

A student and I painted with bacteria and this is what happened! We used a method similar to that used by artist Sarah Roberts (UK) and microbiologist Simon Park.

Motility agar plates were prepared and painted with watercolor paint before inoculation with P. aeruginosa. After 7 days at room t... Read More

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

What’s eating you? The first food web inside humans suggests potential new treatments for infection

Imagine going to the doctor with an infection and being sent home with a course of drugs. Unknown to your doctor you actually have two infections. If you take the drugs will the other infection go away by itself? What if you take the drugs and the other infection gets worse? This quandary faces ... Read More

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis hovers threateningly at Australia’s door

Hello dear TWIM'ers!

Firstly I would like to apologize in advance for my poor English skills since my native language is Portuguese. This past few years much has been the attention towards drug resistant bacteria. I am aware that a couple of your podcast touched this subject, but a few weeks ... 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

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