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Hot-spring bacteria reveal ability to use far-red light for photosynthesis

This video contains images of LaDuke hot spring in Gardiner, Montana, along the Yellowstone River, near Yellowstone National Park. The images show the rich mat community of chlorophototrophic bacteria that grow along the hot spring's effluent channel. The dark-green-colored organisms are mainly ... Read More

Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate

Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are d... Read More

Polio: mutated virus breaches vaccine protection

Thanks to effective vaccination, polio is considered nearly eradicated. Each year only a few hundred people are stricken worldwide. However, scientists are reporting alarming findings: a mutated virus that was able to resist the vaccine protection to a considerable extent was found in victims of... Read More

Dandruff-Causing Skin Fungi Discovered Unexpectedly in Deep Sea Vents, Antarctica

Until relatively recently, the fungus Malassezia was thought to have one favorite home: us. As the dominant fungus on human skin and sometimes-cause of dandruff, the yeast Malassezia was thought to live a simple if sometimes irritating domestic existence humbly mooching off the oils we exude.

... Read More

Bacterial Nanowires: Not What We Thought They Were

New videos of morphing bacteria reveal that the strange, distinguishing features of so-called “electric bacteria” aren’t quite what they at first appeared to be.

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric... Read More

Seals Brought Tuberculosis to Americas

Ancient bacterial genome sequences collected from human remains in Peru suggest that seals first gave tuberculosis (TB) to humans in the Americas.

Modern TB strains found in North and South America are closely related to strains from Europe, suggesting that the Spaniards introduced the diseas... Read More

Life Found 800 Meters Down in Antarctic Subglacial Lake

A cold breeze blew off the Antarctic plain, numbing the noses and ears of scientists standing around a dark hole in the ice. Flecks of ice crackled off a winch as it reeled the last few meters of cable out of the hole. Two workers in sterile suits leaned over to grab the payload — a cylinder the... Read More

TWiM #85: Oscillation in the ocean and a Verona integron

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

TWiM 85 Letters

Tom writes:


Hi TWIM, TWIV and TWIP Argonauts,


Your three wonderful podcasts are the nutrient media for growing my scientific knowledge. I have been downloading them from ITunes for a couple of years, and although as a mere amateur I sometimes struggle to keep ... Read More

Experimental Vaccine For Chikungunya Passes First Test

Scientists have taken the first steps to developing a vaccine for chikungunya — an emerging mosquito-borne virus that has infected more than a half million people in the Western Hemisphere this year. About 600 Americans have brought the virus to 43 states.

The study was small. Only 25 people ... Read More

The Discoverability Challenge – How Can We Make Research Data Easier to Find and Use?

Enhancing the discoverability of public health and epidemiology research data is a key to ensuring that it gets more widely used. This was the topic of a recent workshop hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where researchers and data experts explored the findings of a re... Read More

Microbiology: Microbiome science needs a healthy dose of scepticism

Explorations of how the microscopic communities that inhabit the human body might contribute to health or disease have moved from obscure to ubiquitous. Over the past five years, studies have linked our microbial settlers to conditions as diverse as autism, cancer and diabetes.

This excitemen... Read More

Ebola crisis: A doctor's view from Sierra Leone

West Africa's Ebola epidemic, the deadliest on record, presents particular challenges for medical staff. Here, Irish doctor Gabriel Fitzpatrick describes working for Medecins Sans Frontieres (MSF) at the centre of the outbreak in Sierra Leone:

MSF constructed a special Ebola treatment centre ... Read More

Vaccines can cut the spread of meningitis by nearly 40 per cent

Investigators at the University of Southampton have discovered that two new vaccines can prevent the transmission of meningitis bacteria from person to person.

The vaccines do this by reducing ‘carriage’ of the responsible bacteria in the nose and throats of the population.

Meningitis is... Read More

Progress in the fight against harmful fungi

A group of researchers at the Max F. Perutz Laboratories has created one of the three world's largest gene libraries for the Candida glabrata yeast, which is harmful to humans. Molecular analysis of the Candida glabrata fungus mutations led to the discovery of 28 new genes that are partly respon... Read More

Fluoribacter bozemanae expressing blue-white fluorescence under long-wave UV light.

Fluoribacter bozemanae expressing blue-white fluorescence under long-wave UV light. If you look carefully one of the steaks does not fluoresce on the right hand side of the plate. The dark colony is actually Legionella pneumophila. Read More

Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit its infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal U... Read More

Farmers Fight Poisonous Wheat Fungus with Cleaning and Waiting

Dave Wiechert of Nashville, Illinois, does good business most years cleaning seed for farmers in preparation for planting season. But this year, Wiechert is doing big business after harvest: cleaning fungus off wheat so farmers can sell it.

The "head scab" fungus can produce vomitoxin, a chem... Read More

Scientists Finally Catch On to Social Media

In 2011, Emmanuel Nnaemeka Nnadi needed help to sequence some drug-resistant fungal pathogens. A PhD student studying microbiology in Nigeria, he did not have the expertise and equipment he needed. So he turned to ResearchGate, a free social-networking site for academics, and fired off a few e-m... Read More

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
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