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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Tuberculosis: Exclusive Clips From “The Forgotten Plague”

Measles and Ebola have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but there are plenty of other infectious diseases lurking among us. One is tuberculosis, which, in various times through its long history, was also known as the captain of death, the white plague, and consumption.

Tomorrow, PBS’... Read More

Drug Combinations a Good Approach for Infectious Fungus

Researchers at the University of Toronto have discovered that Candida albicans — a leading cause of potentially fatal hospital-acquired infections — rarely develops resistance to combination drug therapy and, when it becomes resistant, it also becomes less dangerous.

The team may also have fo... Read More

Friendly fungi: How they could help barley growers feed the world without chemicals

Botanists from Trinity College Dublin have made a breakthrough discovery that could save barley farmers sleepless nights and millions of Euro each year: naturally occurring plant-friendly fungi prevent crop-ravishing diseases from spreading, and also aid plant survival in testing environmental c... Read More

TLR9: Two rings to bind them?

University of Tokyo researchers have elucidated how Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) binds to pathogen DNA, activating the innate immune system. This discovery is vital for the design of new antiviral, antibacterial, allergy and other drugs targeting TLR9.

Invading pathogens such as bacteria or vi... Read More

BacterioFiles 201 - Plastic-Producing Prokaryote Process

This episode: Bacteria from wastewater treatment sludge can produce lots of biodegradable plastic!


(7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jour... Read More

'Virtual virus' unfolds the flu on a CPU

Combining experimental data from X-ray crystallography, NMR spectroscopy, cryoelectron microscopy and lipidomics, researchers have built a complete model of the outer envelope of an influenza A virion for the first time. The approach, known as a coarse-grained molecular dynamics simulation, has ... Read More

Bacteria's hidden traffic control

Not unlike an urban restaurant, the success of a bacterial cell depends on three things: localization, localization and localization. But the complete set of controls by which bacteria control the movement of proteins and other essential biological materials globally within the confines of their... Read More

In Treating Ebola, Even Using a Stethoscope Becomes a Challenge

Doctors treating Ebola patients while wearing “the full spacesuit” — protective gear, including waterproof hoods — are struggling with a clinician’s dilemma: what to do if they can’t use one of the oldest, most basic tools in medicine — a stethoscope.

It’s not safe to cut holes in the hood, a... Read More

TWiV 323: A skid loader full of viromes

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, Read More

PhatoMap of New York Subway System

The microbes that call the New York City subway system home are mostly harmless, but include samples of disease-causing bacteria that are resistant to drugs — and even DNA fragments associated with anthrax and Bubonic plague — according to a citywide microbiome map published today by Weill Corne... Read More

Streptococcus pneumoniae mucoid strain

Streptococcus pneumoniae cells are Gram-positive, lancet-shaped cocci. Usually, they are seen as pairs of cocci, but they may also occur singly and in short chains. In this photo a mucoid strain on blood agar showing alpha hemolysis (green zone surrounding colonies). Note the zone of inhibition ... Read More

Researchers find link between microbiome, type 1 diabetes

In the largest longitudinal study of the microbiome to date, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group have identified a connection between changes in gut microbiota and the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The st... Read More

Mosquitoes ramp up immune defenses after sucking blood

If you were about to enter a crowded subway during flu season, packed with people sneezing and coughing, wouldn't it be helpful if your immune system recognized the potentially risky situation and bolstered its defenses upon stepping into the train?

After ingesting a meal of blood, mosquitoes... Read More

TWiP 82: A NOD to helminths

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel solve last week's case study, present a new one, and reveal how secreted proteins from a helminth prevent diabetes in mice.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

TWiP 82 letters


Allan writes:


Dear Vincent, Dickson and Daniel,


I like your idea of a TWIP coffee mug prize (or maybe a mug discount).


In this second case study you presented, the present symptoms are pretty vague, but his history is interesting. Also since with ... Read More

Livestock-Associated Staphylococcus aureus: The United States Experience

Animal associated S. aureus are distinct from human strains but some recent studies suggested the human infection caused by animal origin strain of MRSA. Extensive and unregulated use of antibiotic in animal husbandry might be one of the causes for development of multidrug resistant strain. Tran... Read More

Microorganisms isolated from rain

Rain plated on Eosine Methylene Blue Agar
Incubation Conditions: 4d at 20°C

This drawing was done in the Pr. Vinatzer lab at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Read More

Enterobacteria deposited with rain

Created by: Caroline L. Monteil, PhD
Isolates: Two strains enterobacteria isolated from rain and mixed together.
Agar: Eosine Methylene Blue Agar
Incubation Conditions: 48 hours at 20°C

This drawing was done in the Pr. Vinatzer lab at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA. Read More

Researchers discover critical molecule in fight against lung infection

A Montana State University graduate student who wants to reduce the number of people dying from lung infections has discovered a molecule that's critical for immunity.

Caffrey researches the early immune response against Aspergillus fumigatus, a common mold that can be found in soil or compos... Read More

Bacteria help breastfed babies digest solid food

A closer look at gut bacteria suggests exclusively breastfed babies have an easier time transitioning to solid food—potentially with fewer stomach aches.

Researchers found differing amounts of about 20 bacterial enzymes in exclusively breastfed babies when compared to exclusively breastfed ba... Read More
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