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This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex

Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike... Read More

TWiP 77: Mixed messages

Vincent and Dickson discuss the exchange of messenger RNAs between a parasitic plant and its hosts.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

TWiM 87 Letters

Varun writes:


Greetings TWiM Profz,


As a perso... Read More

TWiM #87: Avogadro, archaeal fossils, and ICAAC

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they even cause pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineer... Read More

What we are not afraid to say about Ebola virus

In a recent New York Times OpEd entitled What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, Michaeal Osterholm wonders whether Ebola virus could go airborne:

You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one... Read More

Fibroblast Expressing Ebola Virus

Honorable Mention - 2008 Olympus Bioscapes International Digital Imaging Competition

Dr. David McDonald
Case School of Medicine
Cleveland, OH, USA
Specimen: Fibroblast Expressing Ebola Virus
Technique: Fluorescence/Deconvolution

Click "source" to view image. Read More

TWiP 77 letters

Andy writes:


Dear Professors,


I have been following TWIP for several years. I am a software engineer and parasitology is only an avocation. As an undergraduate in the early 80's I discovered my love of history of science and ecology, although I continued the p... Read More

Microbes After Hours – The Water Supply

Creating and maintaining a clean, sustainable water supply means delivering drinking water and collecting wastewater while dealing with pathogenic microorganisms and infrastructure challenges. It's not all challenges, however. Two speakers; George Hawkins, General Manager of DC Water, and Kel... Read More

Motorcycling to Ebola Treatment Could Spread the Infection

Ambulances are scarce in areas of west Africa roiled by the Ebola outbreak, so when ill patients and their families need to go to the clinic they often turn to the next best thing—a motorcycle taxi. An ill passenger will wrap her arms around the driver’s waist and away they will go—sometimes dri... Read More

White House Unveils Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance poses a dire threat in hospitals and communities. To help limit such risk, health care professionals should begin sequencing the DNA of offending bacteria, the White House’s council of science advisors said in a new report. Armed with genome-sequencing technology that enabl... Read More

How NASA's Microbe Detection Technology Speed Up Tissue Transplants

What do the Curiosity rover and a bone allograft have in common? They both have got to be super duper clean.

That’s why AlloSource, a Colorado-based nonprofit that specializes in human tissue donation, has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to make... Read More

White House Fact Sheet: US Takes Actions to Combat Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Today, President Obama signed an Executive Order directing key Federal departments and agencies to take action to combat the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. The Administration also released its National Strategy on Combating Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria. In addition, the President’s Cou... Read More

TWiV 303: Borna this way

The TWiV team discusses transmission of Ebola virus, and inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by viral DNA in the ground squirrel genome.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Genetically Engineered Bacteria Could Repair Ships

Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of MIT engineers has designed new materials that could be used to repair ships or help heal wounds and surgical incisions... Read More

Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses

The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research. On average, healthy individuals carry about five types of viruses on their bodies, the researchers report. The study is the... Read More

Ebola outbreak “out of all proportion” and severity cannot be predicted

A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick.

Dr Thomas House, of the University’s Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated da... Read More

Research predicts possible 6,800 new Ebola cases this month

New research published in the online journal PLoS Outbreaks predicts new Ebola cases could reach 6,800 in West Africa by the end of the month if new control measures are not enacted.

Arizona State University and Harvard University researchers also discovered through modelling analysis that th... Read More

Engineered proteins stick like glue — even in water

New adhesives based on mussel proteins could be useful for naval or medical applications.

Shellfish such as mussels and barnacles secrete very sticky proteins that help them cling to rocks or ship hulls, even underwater. Inspired by these natural adhesives, a team of MIT engineers has designe... Read More

New Insights on an Ancient Plague Could Improve Treatments for Infections

Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.

In a study published online Sept. 18, 2014, in the journal... Read More
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