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BacterioFiles Episode 8

In this show, I report on four exciting stories: a plant-fungus symbiosis, making algae make medicine, fighting cancer with a virus, and making biofuels out of wood scraps.



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Plant Viruses and Crops by Roger Beachy, April 2008 - Part 1: Cell and Molecular Biology of Plant Virus Infection: Early Events and Mechanisms of Pathogenesis

This seminar describes the cell and molecular biology of plant virus infection. The first lecture will discuss how virus replication centers are set up in plants and how viruses use host cell mechanisms to facilitate cell to cell movement and eventual pathogenesis. Read More

Synthetic Biology: Engineered Bacteria

Researchers have devised a way to attach sugars to proteins using unique biological and chemical methods. This means that large quantities of different glycoproteins can be generated for various medical and biological studies.

The E. coli bacterium produces a protein to which a sugar is attac... Read More

Virus could help combat arthritis

A virus first discovered in primates living in the Tana River Valley in Kenya is being tested by a London company as a treatment for rheumatoid arthritis.

Viron Therapeutics is reporting that in tests with mice, VT-346 -- derived from the Tanapox virus -- has been up to 100 times more potent ... Read More

New microscopy technique offers close-up, real-time view of cellular phenomena

For two decades, scientists have been pursuing a potential new way to treat bacterial infections, using naturally occurring proteins known as antimicrobial peptides (AMPs). Now, MIT scientists have recorded the first microscopic images showing the deadly effects of AMPs, most of which kill by po... Read More

Mineral Studies Advance Antibacterial Alternatives

Alternative approaches to medicine are stock-in-trade in the ASU laboratory of microbiologist Shelley Haydel.

So when ASU senior Jenny Koehl joined Haydel's investigative team seeking firsthand knowledge of how basic research is done, how drugs are tested and potential cures produced, she fou... Read More

Acne Drug May Help in the Fight Against AIDS

A cheap acne drug that's been used for decades appears to target infected immune-system cells in which HIV lies dormant before coming back to life and spreading infection, researchers have found.

The authors of a new study say the antibiotic drug, minocycline, sold under names such as Minocin... Read More

In Soviet Russia, TB bacteria takes drugs for you!

Really though, even Yakov Smirnoff would be worried about this one - bacteria put Big Pharma's R&D to shame, evolving resistances much faster than we develop new antibiotics. Read More

Biology of Algae

This classic educational video covers algae and aquatic microorganisms. Produced in 1979 by BioMedia Associates, it features some great microscopy. Read More

The D225G change in 2009 H1N1 influenza virus

Last year a mutation in the HA gene of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was identified in isolates from patients with severe disease. At the time I concluded that the emergence of this change was not a concern. Recently the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that the mutation, which caus... Read More

NIH Wants to Hear About Genetic Tests

Kathy Hudson has been worrying about the quality of genetic tests for years, and now—after becoming chief of staff to National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins—she's doing something about it.

More than 1600 genetic tests are on the market, and there aren't enough regulations to e... Read More

Drug-resistant TB at record levels worldwide, the WHO says

An estimated 440,000 people had multi-drug resistant tuberculosis in 2008 and a third of them died as the new variant of the TB mycobacterium continues to spread, the World Health Organization said Thursday. Nearly half of the cases were in China and India, which have been hit hardest by the out... Read More

Bacteria divide like clockwork

It’s well established that critical human body functions, including sleep, hormone production and regulation of body temperature, follow a circadian (24-hour) cycle. These genetically programmed patterns stay in effect even under isolation from the naturally occurring daily light-dark cycles of ... Read More

Baby Seal near McMurdo Station in Antarctica

This baby seal was found on the sea ice near McMurdo Station during one of many excursions to collect soil samples for microbiological analysis. During November and December, there are many baby seals in the area. Photo taken by Hubert Staudigel from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and... Read More

Tuberculosis cases in U.S. dropped sharply, reach all-time low in 2009, CDC says

The incidence of tuberculosis infections in the United States dropped by an unusual and unexpectedly large 11.4% in 2009, the largest one-year decrease since federal agencies began tracking the disease in 1953, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported Thursday in its Morbidity and... Read More

Got RNA? 1,000 Antisense RNAs Discovered in E. coli

When a bacterium goes over the top with making a particular gene transcript, it needs a way to degrade that mRNA before it invests too much energy and resources in creating unneeded proteins. A new Observation piece accepted for the inaugural issue of mBio reveals that antisense RNAs may be an ... Read More

Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature

A team of scientists based at San Diego State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of South Florida have analyzed all sequence data available in public databases from complete genomes and environmental community genomes, and found out that jumping genes (known as transposase... Read More

Chinese hampster ovary cell assay

Chinese hampster ovary cell assay for cholera enterotoxin. Top = untreated control cells; bottom = cholera toxin-treated cells Read More

Duke Transforms Proteins Into Glass

Duke Univ. researchers have devised a method to dry and preserve proteins in a glassified form that seems to retain the molecules' properties as workhorses of biology.

They are exploring whether their glassification technique could bring about protein-based drugs that are cheaper to make and ... Read More

Bacterial 'Conversations' Have Impact on Climate

It’s wondrous how the vast and the infinitesimal combine to make our planet work. Scientists at Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) have found that bacteria in the ocean, gathering in sort of “microbial block parties,” communicate and cooperate with each other to have a significant impac... Read More

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