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Fecal Bacteria on 72% of Shopping Carts

Fecal bacteria — that is, germs from poop — can be found on 72% of shopping carts, MSNBC reports.

It’s yet another icky finding from University of Arizona microbiologist Charles Gerba, PhD, sometimes called “Dr. Germ.”

In his latest report, Gerba reportedly found traces of fecal bacteria o... Read More

Genetic treatment closes door on HIV

A pioneering treatment to thwart HIV by genetically altering blood cells so the virus cannot invade them has shown promise in the first nine people to receive it.

The treatment involves taking the white blood cells most prone to infection by HIV, called CD4+ cells, from someone with HIV. Thes... Read More

TWiP 23: Strongyloides sterocoralis, a most unusual parasite

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.


Vincent and Dickson review the life cycle and pathogenesis of the world's most unusual parasite, Strongyloides stercoralis.


Download  Read More

TWiP 23 Letters

Eric writes:

Dear Vincent and Dickson:


I am retired (40 years in computers) and so I have lots of time to study
anything that interests me. It's good brain exercise and I simply loved
the 3 shows on Trichinella worms. What a fantastic job of explaining a Read More

Treponema pallidum bacteria

An electron photomicrograph of two spiral-shaped Treponema pallidum bacteria.

Here we see two Treponema pallidum bacteria scanned by an electron microscope, magnified 36,000X. T. pallidum is the causative agent of syphilis. It contains one of the smallest prokaryotic genomes consisting of abo... Read More

Bacteria Communicate through Nanotubes (video)

Ben-Yehuda's group identified a previously uncharacterized type of bacterial communication mediated by nanotubes that bridge neighboring cells. The researchers showed that these nanotubes connect bacteria of the same and different species. Via these tubes, bacteria are able to exchange small mol... Read More

US syphilis experiment scandal: probes begin

Two official investigations have begun into an unpublished study from the 1940s in which a US researcher deliberately infected Guatemalan prisoners and soldiers with syphilis and gonorrhoea.

Both were ordered last November by President Barack Obama after the study came to light through invest... Read More

Malarial Parasite as a trophozoite

This diagrams, as a trophozoite, the various forms that the developing malarial parasite undergoes prior to its schizont stage.

As the parasite increases in size, the ring morphology of the early trophozoite disappears, and becomes what is referred to as a mature trophozoite, which undergoes ... Read More

Space Odyssey: Scientists go to the extremes of the earth to divine the secrets of extraterrestrial life

If it's just us in this universe, what a terrible waste of space. For thousands of years, humans have wondered about who and what might be living beyond the confines of our planet: gods, beneficent or angry; a heaven full of sinners long forgiven; creatures as large and strange as our imaginatio... Read More

Ross River Virus Cases Increase in Australia

The highest number of cases of this mosquito borne [virus] disease has been reported from the South West, the Peel region. More than 150 cases of the virus have been confirmed from Perth metropolitan area.

The health department says that high tides have resulted in an increase in the number o... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 166. El Microbioma de la Tierra. Earth's Microbiome



























El podcast del Microbio 166 is dedicated to the Earth Microbiome Project. El Podcast del Microbio Nº 166 está dedicado a re... Read More

Gym Bacteria Study Can't Find MRSA

Many worry that fitness centers attract not just people to exercise, but offer bacteria a place to thrive. But a new University of Florida study of bacteria levels on gym equipment offers a surprising result, about what it didn’t find. Researchers tested dumbbells, benches, and other gym equipme... Read More

Four New Species of Zombie Ant Fungi Discovered in Brazilian Rainforest

Four new Brazilian species in the genus Ophiocordyceps have been published in the online journal PLoS ONE. The fungi, named by Dr. Harry Evans and Dr. David Hughes, belong to a group of "zombifying" fungi that infect ants and then manipulate their behavior, eventually killing the ants after secu... Read More

Turning bacteria into butanol biofuel factories

Univ. of California, Berkeley, chemists have engineered bacteria to churn out a gasoline-like biofuel at about 10 times the rate of competing microbes, a breakthrough that could soon provide an affordable and “green” transportation fuel.

The advance is reported in Nature Chemical Biology by M... Read More

'5 second rule' disproven

If you're a parent then you're familiar with the 5-second rule.

"The 5-second rule probably should become the zero-second rule," Dr. Roy M. Gulick, chief of the division of infectious diseases at Weill Cornell Medical College, told the Times. "Eating dropped food poses a risk for ingestion of... Read More

Good Fungi Might Prove Even Better for Plant, Human Health

Researchers have come closer to understanding how a common fungus "makes its living in the soil," which could lead to its possible "career change" as a therapeutic agent for plant and human health.

Because they are mycoparasites, T. virens attack other, less desirable fungi that can harm root... Read More

Fewer Patients in I.C.U. Getting Blood Infections

Bloodstream infections caused by tubes inserted into major blood vessels of intensive care patients showed a big drop from 2001 to 2009, government researchers said on Tuesday.

But the researchers also reported unacceptably high rates of the same type of infections in other hospital wards and... Read More

Bacteria Communicate With Each Other Through Nanotubes

A pathway whereby bacteria communicate with each other has been discovered by researchers at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem. The discovery has important implications for efforts to cope with the spread of harmful bacteria in the body.

Bacteria are known to communicate in nature primarily ... Read More

Using artificial, cell-like 'honey pots' to entrap deadly viruses

Researchers from the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the Weill Cornell Medical College have designed artificial "protocells" that can lure, entrap and inactivate a class of deadly human viruses—think decoys with teeth. The technique offers a new research tool that can b... Read More

CAMP test of Group-B streptococci

If the laboratory is not able to identify group-B streptococci (GBS) by the Lancefield grouping procedure, there are other microbiologic tests that can be used to identify GBS. This picture shows one of these tests. It is called the CAMP test. CAMP is an acronym for the authors of this test (Chr... Read More
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