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Fractal patterns spontaneously emerge during bacterial cell growth

Scientists discover highly asymmetric and branched patterns are the result of physical forces and local instabilities; research has important implications for understanding biofilms and multicellular systems.

Despite bacterial colonies always forming circular shapes as they grow, their cells... Read More

Clearing the BAR to oral vaccines

A new technology under development by an academic–industry partnership protects oral vaccines from destruction by the digestive system. From the mouth to the small intestine, the digestive system presents a series of challenges designed to protect us by killing ingested bacteria. If a microbe su... Read More

Glowing Plants: Crowdsourced Genetic Engineering Project Ignites Controversy

In April three biohackers from a California Do-It-Yourself biology lab, BioCurious, posted a Kickstarter campaign to crowdsource their plan to bioengineer a glowing plant. They asked for $65,000. But by the close of their campaign at midnight on Thursday, June 6, they had raised a remarkable $48... Read More

Adult Vaccination Rates Rise, but Not Enough

Vaccines are just for kids, right? Not any more. U.S. health officials now recommend at least a half dozen vaccines for adults, to prevent pneumococcus virus, hepatitis, shingles and other ailments. And although the portion of adults who get these vaccinations rises slightly each year, the rates... Read More

In India, test a billion people for HIV

Testing every person in India’s billion-plus population every five years for HIV would not only be cost-effective but also could save millions of lives for decades to come, a new study suggests.

In India most people who are HIV positive don’t know it—even though testing and treatment are rela... Read More

Fungus, Bacteria Found In Drugs From Tennessee Pharmacy

The FDA reports finding of bacteria and fungus in drug vials from a Tennessee compound pharmacy that recalled all of its injectable medicines last month. The CDC is evaluating these and other sterile products produced by Main Street Family Pharmacy in Newbern, TN. A fungal meningitis outbreak in... Read More

In the shadows

Plasmodium vivax is one of the human-infectious Plasmodium spp., transmitted by the female Anophele s mosquito. It is a major threat to health in Southeast Asia and South America, infecting a larger number of people than its more deadly cousin, Plasmodium falciparum.

Image: A fluorescent micr... Read More

How Germs Could Help Us Live on Mars

At the end of May, 1971, NASA undertook another one of its great leaps for humanity by launching Mariner 9, a satellite destined not for orbit around Earth, but Mars. Around the same time, a highly regarded professor at Cornell, Carl Sagan, hypothesized that Mars might have the potential to beco... Read More

Mutant mosquitoes lose their appetite for humans

What draws a mosquito to bite its host has long been studied from the perspective of the victim—uncovering which smells and chemicals lure the insect in. But researchers at Rockefeller's Laboratory of Neurogenetics and Behavior, headed by Robin Chemers Neustein Professor Leslie Vosshall, are aim... Read More

Finally, Farewell to “Stamp Collecting”...

The perspective paper by Margaret McFall-Ngai and colleagues was recently featured by Elio in this blog, strongly emphasizing its Chicxulub-like impact on microbiology. Here I offer a postscript, a few loosely connected thoughts from a historical perspective about its impact on biology and life ... Read More

Circadian Rhythms Play Role In Fighting Off Intestinal Bacterial Infections: Study

Your body clock may play a role in fighting off bacterial infections in the gut, according to a new study in animals.

Researchers said the findings could help explain why people who have disruptions in their circadian rhythm -- like those who fly across time zones frequently, or shift workers... Read More

Classic microscopy reveals borrelia bacteria

Over the past year, two experienced biologists at Oslo University have seen something that very few scientists experience. They have been sought out by a persistent stream of people from all over Norway who are asking for help.

"People so sick that they can barely stand up have come here to K... Read More

Middle East coronavirus: No reward for man behind discovery

(op-ed article) There is a new and deadly threat making its round in Saudi Arabia. It is the Mers, or the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus and what makes this virus an ominous threat is that the majority of those who had contracted the disease died from it.

Saudi Arabia seems to b... Read More

Fractal Bacteria

Bacteria are single celled organisms that can do amazing things in multicellular groups, with complex coordinated behaviors emerging from the interaction of genetic networks, chemical environments, and the physics of cell growth. Last year I wrote about the work of Tim Rudge and Fernan Federici ... Read More

TWiV 236: Flu gets the VIP treatment



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

Gut Bacteria Play Key Role in Vaccination

The bacteria that live in the human gut may play an important role in immune response to vaccines and infection by wild-type enteric organisms, according to two recent studies resulting from a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute for Genome Science... Read More

Wolbachia Bacteria Evolved to Infect Stem Cell Niches Through Successive Generations of Their Hosts

Wolbachia are intracellular bacteria that infect invertebrates at pandemic levels, including insects that cause such devastating diseases as Dengue fever, West Nile virus, and malaria. While Wolbachia-based technologies are emerging as promising tools for the control of the insect vectors of the... Read More

FDA finds fungus, bacteria in recalled pain shots

The Food and Drug Administration has found bacteria and fungus in vials of pain shots made by a Tennessee pharmacy whose products have been linked to infections.

FDA said it found the contaminants in two sealed vials of steroids made by Main Street Family Pharmacy, which has recalled all its ... Read More

BacterioFiles Special Edition - ASM2013 General Meeting Day 2

Here's my summary of the second day of ASM2013, an exciting day full of science.




Download Episode (... Read More

Virology course on Coursera

For fours years I have taught a virology course at Columbia University and have posted videos of each lecture on my website, virology.ws, and at iTunes University. Nearly 100,000 individuals have subscribed to my virology course at iTunes University. Now Columbia has signed an agreement with Cou... Read More

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