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Gut bacteria imparity tied to type 1 diabetes

The variety of bacteria in the digestive tract is strongly linked to whether a child will develop type 1 diabetes, according to a new study.

The connection could give doctors an early test for the condition and lead to new treatment for the disease.

There appears to be little or no genetic... Read More

New Anti-HIV Gel For Women Cuts AIDS Virus Transmission Chances in Half, Study Says

In a potential breakthrough in the prevention of AIDS, researchers are reporting today that a vaginal gel containing an existing AIDS drug can cut in half a woman's chances of getting HIV from an infected partner.

The women involved in the study used it only 60 percent of the time, and it was... Read More

A Universe of Us

We think of ourselves as individuals — perhaps, in philosophical moments, as the merger of body and soul. Most of us are barely aware of the estimated 10 trillion individual cells that make up the human body or of the 100 trillion or more bacteria that live collaboratively and benignly within an... Read More

Frog killer caught in the act

The first before-and-after view of an amphibian die-off has just been published by scientists working at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama.

Like a wave, the fungal disease that wipes out frogs—chytridiomycosis—advances through the Central America highlands at a rate of abo... Read More

Of bugs and brains: Researchers discover that gut bacteria affect multiple sclerosis

Biologists at the California Institute of Technology (Caltech) have demonstrated a connection between multiple sclerosis (MS)—an autoimmune disorder that affects the brain and spinal cord—and gut bacteria. Read More

Computer program predicts MRSA's next move

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center are using computers to identify how one strain of dangerous bacteria might mutate in the same way a champion chess player tries to anticipate an opponent's strategies. Read More

Polio: Setbacks in a Mostly Successful Fight to Eliminate a Paralyzing Disease

The battle to eliminate polio, which has been more than 99 percent successful and has hovered on the verge of victory for a decade, has sustained new setbacks.

There has been an outbreak of more than 300 cases in Tajikistan this year. (Tajikistan is just north of Afghanistan, and fighting on... Read More

Solazyme Provides U.S. Navy with Algal Jet Fuel

Biofuel producer Solazyme delivered 1,500 gallons of its algae-based jet fuel to the U.S. Navy’s testing and certification program today, helping the military reach its goal of switching half of its fleet to clean fuel by 2020. The Navy will use the fuel to power jets.

Solazyme produces fuel ... Read More

Vaccine-delivery patch with dissolving microneedles eliminates 'sharps'

A new vaccine-delivery patch based on hundreds of microscopic needles that dissolve into the skin could allow persons without medical training to painlessly administer vaccines – while providing improved immunization against diseases such as influenza. Read More

Microbial world's use of metals mostly unmapped

A new way of surveying microbes for the metals they contain reveals that biologists have been relying on the equivalent of a 15th century map of the world. Read More

Bacteria powered micromotor

Cool video of a bacteria-powered machine; 20-micrometer device that is powered by bacteria moving around in a narrow groove etched out in silicon (the green line). Read More

How Cranberry Juice Fights Bacteria at the Molecular Level

Revealing the science behind the homespun advice, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has identified and measured the molecular forces that enable cranberry juice to fight off urinary tract infections in people.

The data is reported in a paper published in the journ... Read More

Vaccine Via Dissolvable Microneedle Skin Patch Shows Promise

Scientists in the US who developed a skin patch that uses hundreds of microscopic dissolvable needles to deliver vaccine into the body have shown it works on animals, perhaps even better than the traditional injection method; they envisage that one day this approach could reduce the cost and adm... Read More

Feature: Weapons of mass infection

As the 2009 Fenner Award winner, Associate Professor Elizabeth Hartland presented the prestigious Fenner lecture at the Australian Society of Microbiology’s (ASM 2010) annual conference in Sydney in July. Hartland and her team at the University of Melbourne study highly specialised systems used ... Read More

Keeping the Packers staph free

Football players usually worry about wrecked knees, torn hamstrings and concussions. Not staph infections.

"I never think about it," said Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. "I don't even know anything about that."

Red Batty would like to keep it that way.

The Packers equipmen... Read More

Doctors reconsider old antibiotics despite hazards

More than half a century ago, when antibiotics were transforming modern medicine, a now almost forgotten drug was hailed as something close to the miracle of miracles. Doctors rushed to prescribe it for an array of medical problems — that is, until they discovered that the drug, chloramphenicol,... Read More

Compound crucial in sea and air

An international team of researchers has devised a technique to study how ocean-dwelling microbes respond to a compound that signals good foraging patches for fish and mammals, but also contributes to cloud-forming sulfur aerosols. The research offers further insight into the chemical ecology of... Read More

Cell Signaling Classification System Gives Researchers New Tool

Using ever-growing genome data, scientists with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are tracing the evolution of the bacterial regulatory system that controls cellular motility, potentially giving researchers a method for predicting impo... Read More

TWiV 91 Letters

Darrick and Scott write:


Hello Professor Racaniello,


We are two graduate students from the University of Guelph in Canada studying oncogenic sheep betaretroviruses and we are big fans of the show. Part of the reason we like the show so much is that we can use ... Read More

TWiV 91; You're an ERVous wreck

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.

On episode #91 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of en... Read More

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