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Stinky feet may lead to better malaria traps

For decades, health officials have battled malaria with insecticides, bed nets and drugs. Now, scientists say there might be a potent new tool to fight the deadly mosquito-borne disease: the stench of human feet.

In a laboratory study, researchers found that mosquitoes infected with the tropi... Read More

Deadly MERS-CoV virus spreads to Italy

The sometimes deadly MERS-CoV virus has spread to Italy, the World Health Organization said in statements this weekend.

Sunday's announcement that two female patients had contracted the virus follows one Saturday that said a 45-year-old man, who had recently traveled to Jordan, had become inf... Read More

A Virus Shield That Protects Us From Our Own Bacteria

There has been a lot of news lately about the bacteria living in our gut—the human gut microbiome. Researchers are learning which bacteria live there, who is naughty and who is nice and even a somewhat distasteful way to replace naughty with nice (a fecal transplant).

What gets lost in all of... Read More

Terraforming Mars With Microbes

Using new advances in synthetic biology and our updated understanding of Martian geochemical conditions, we should be able to inoculate the planet Mars with specially designed extremophilic microbes in an attempt to start (or re-start) life on its surface. This could be the largest and most auda... Read More

TWiV 235: Live in Edmonton, eh?



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

Lab Notes: Stop Hepatitis C from Multiplying

Hep C may be thwarted by muting its ability to replicate. Also this week: a promising approach to preserve muscle in ALS, and the body's microbiota fight a sexually-transmitted disease.

Stopping HCV in Its Tracks

Researchers have identified a possible new approach to stopping hepatitis C v... Read More

AIDS Epidemic: Is an End Possible?

More than 30 years after the discovery of the AIDS virus, experts are optimistic that a cure for the disease will be found, and that an end to the AIDS epidemic is possible.

But they caution there is still a lot of work to be done.

Since the first cases of AIDS were reported in 1981, more ... Read More

Bacteria may provide some of gastric bypass surgery's boost

In the latest of a slew of studies examining the role of the so-called microbiome -- the mix of microscopic critters that colonize our bodies and our environment -- in human health, Harvard researchers said Wednesday that part of the reason that Roux-en-Y gastric bypass surgery works so well in ... Read More

Gut microbes again linked to diabetes -- but geography matters

Particular combinations of bacteria in the human digestive system can identify patients who have or are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, scientists reported Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Nature.

But the precise combinations of microbes that influence development of the dise... Read More

5 Costliest Microbes in Financial History

The field of synthetic biology is still in its infancy, with many of the most promising companies residing outside of public markets, but make no mistake: The bioeconomy is on its way. Just about everything and anything -- fuels, chemicals, oils, foods, pharmaceuticals, metals, and materials -- ... Read More

Next to You on the Subway

Norman R. Pace, a microbiologist at the University of Colorado Boulder, pioneered the use of DNA to study microbes. He has searched for extremophiles (organisms that can exist in extreme environments) in the hot springs of Yellowstone National Park and once descended in the submersible Alvin to ... Read More

Prototype iPhone biosensor detects viruses, bacteria, toxins, allergens

Researchers at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign have developed a versatile iPhone-based biosensor that, with about $200 worth of parts, is just as accurate as a $50,000 laboratory spectrophotometer.

The system, consisting of an iPhone cradle and an app, can detect viruses, bacte... Read More

Instagerms: A Photographer's Strangely Beautiful Portaits of His Own Bacteria

We’ve seen so many different ways to create a self-portrait, but nothing on this scale before.

Erno-Erik Raitanen cheekily refers to his latest project as a series of self-portraits, but they don’t actually resemble the photographer himself, as much as they do a stoner’s screensaver or a Flam... Read More

Estrogen-Eating Bacteria = Safer Water

Usually, when you mention bacteria in connection with water, it’s a bad thing. But one Texas A&M engineering researcher believes the right bacteria are a natural weapon for fighting an emerging water contaminant: estrogen.

Increasingly sensitive methods of screening water for polluting substa... Read More

How Poop-Eating Bacteria Could Clean La Jolla Cove

When San Diego city officials first brainstormed ways to clean up the bird guano at La Jolla Cove, they envisioned processes involving vacuuming or picking up the mess.

A Northern California business presented them with a different option: using bacteria that would eat up the bird poop natura... Read More

Bacteria Without Borders: The Fight Against TB & Malaria

n this series on superbugs—meaning bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics—we’ve looked at germs on a national level. But you probably already know that bugs don’t respect borders: Drug resistance is definitely a global problem. And there are two particularly troubling e... Read More

Possible Pandemic: Is MERS the New SARS?

A 65-year-old man infected with a new SARS-like virus died of multiple organ failure on Monday in France.

He was the first French patient to die from the condition, which is known as Middle East Respiratory Symptom Coronavirus, or MERS-CoV. As of Wednesday, 49 people have been infected with t... Read More

Google celebrates Julius Richard Petri, inventor of the Petri dish

Have you googled anything today? If so, you may have noticed that the Google Doodle looks different. That's because today is the 161st anniversary of the birth of German bacteriologist, Julius Richard Petri. He was the inventor of the Petri dish – one of the most ubiquitous items used by microbi... Read More

JULIUS RICHARD PETRI: Animated Google Doodle lets viewers mix it up with father of the Petri dish

SOMETIMES, to achieve broad cultural immortality, it’s less what you made your name in — and much more what you put your name on.

That is why, in the wider world beyond the lab, Robert Bunsen’s name burns so bright. And if anyone understands the conditions for how our culture behaves (and mut... Read More

Dictyostelium discoideum fruiting body II

The life cycle of D. discoideum begins as spores that are released from a mature fruiting body. Read More

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