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Stress Affects the Balance of Bacteria in the Gut and Immune Response

Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

"These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said lead researcher Mi... Read More

Newly discovered virus implicated in deadly Chinese outbreaks

Five years ago, large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to an mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and an appalling mortality rate — as high as 30 percent in initial reports. Investigators from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Preven... Read More

Streptococcus Enzyme Could Compete With Toothbrushes, Dental Floss

Investigators from Japan show in vitro that the bacterium Streptococcus salivarius, a non-biofilm forming, and otherwise harmless inhabitant of the human mouth, actually inhibits the formation of dental biofilms, otherwise known as plaque. Two enzymes this bacteria produces are responsible for t... Read More

Volcanic origin of proteins?

The reanalysis of a 1958 experiment suggests that volcanic eruptions may have spawned the amino acids that contributed to the rise of life on earth. Scientific debates don't get much hotter than the one surrounding the origin of organic molecules at the dawn of life on Earth. New findings, based... Read More

Spacebound bacteria inspire earthbound remedies

Recent research aboard the Space Shuttle is giving scientists a better understanding of how infectious disease occurs in space and could someday improve astronaut health and provide novel treatments for people on Earth. The research involves an opportunistic pathogen known as Pseudomonas aerugin... Read More

Amazing survival of microorganisms (video)

Hear the story of Surveyor 3, the probe sent to the moon 2 years before the moon landing and returned to Earth complete with an extremely enduring life form. Brilliant video from BBC Horizon show 'We Are the Aliens'. Read More

Malaria mosquitoes reveal pathogen defense strategies

In analyzing malaria mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa, a Cornell-led team of researchers finds evidence of two very different evolutionary paths in the immune systems of neighboring mosquito groups. Genes in animal immune systems may evolve in one of two main ways in the constant fight against p... Read More

Compound from Chinese Medicine Blocks Biofilm Formation on Medical Implant Materials

A compound that is an active ingredient in plants commonly used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene and polycarbonate surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus. The research suggests that this compound, 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (PGG) is highly promising fo... Read More

The Enemy Within: A New Pattern of Antibiotic Resistance (preview; Scientific American access needed for full article)

In early summer 2008 Timothy Walsh of Cardiff University in Wales got an e-mail from Christian Giske, an acquaintance who is a physician on the faculty of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. Giske had been treating a 59-year-old man hospitalized that past January in Örebro, a small city about 100 mil... Read More

Study suggests alternative treatment for bacteria in oysters

A joint study by local oyster growers and researchers at the Virginia Institute of Marine Science shows that moving farmed oysters into saltier waters just prior to harvest nearly eliminates the presence of a bacterium that can sicken humans.

The findings—reported by VIMS professors Kim Reece... Read More

Economics and Evolution Help Scientists Identify New Strategy to Control Antibiotic Resistance

A team of scientists from the University of Oxford, U.K. have taken lessons from Adam Smith and Charles Darwin to devise a new strategy that could one day slow, possibly even prevent, the spread of drug-resistant bacteria. In a new research report published in the March 2011 issue of Genetics, t... Read More

SAME12 12th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology will take place in Germany – Rostock/Warnemünde 2011 from August 28th to September 2nd

For the upcoming 12th Symposium on Aquatic Microbial Ecology (SAME 12) held in Rostock/Warnemünde (Germany) from August 28th to September 2nd 2011 the registration and abstract submission has now started.

The conference will take place in the “AudiMax” lecture hall on the Campus of the Unive... Read More

Microbes Rule the World - USA Science and Engineering Festival

The blog for the USA Science and Engineering Festival has a post about the importance of microbes and the expanding roles of microbiologists, plus it features two MicrobeWorld videos.

Snippet:

"The average science student knows that microbiology is the study of bacteria and other microor... Read More

Biology's 'dark matter' hints at fourth domain of life

Step far enough back from the tree of life and it begins to look quite simple. At its heart are just three stout branches, representing the three domains of life: bacteria, archaea and eukaryotes. But that's too simple, according to a band of biologists who believe we may be on the verge of disc... Read More

Google Ventures Leads Financing of Biofuels Start-Up

Google Ventures has led a $20 million financing round in CoolPlanetBiofuels, a Southern California start-up that is developing mobile refineries to turn wood chips, agriculture waste and other biomass into biofuels.

CoolPlanetBiofuels, an 18-month-old company, has also attracted the attention... Read More

8 Million Disks Of Fecal Bacteria Littering Mass. Beaches

State and local environmental crews have scoured the beaches along the Merrimack River and Atlantic Ocean on the North Shore in search of several hundred thousand sewage treatment disks from a New Hampshire wastewater plant.

The 2-inch diameter white objects, which may contain dangerous bacte... Read More

3M develops microbiology testing tool for drinks

The new testing tool detects four of the most common contaminants in drinks; heterotrophic count, coliform, yeast and mold, and enterobacteriaceae.

3M developed the tool as an alternative to agar petri dishes. The company claims that the traditional approach of manufacturers using their own a... Read More

UT researchers help complete sequencing of brown tide species

Imagine the cool ocean breeze, the sunshine warming your face, the sand between your toes - and a body of brown water infested with harmful algal blooms.

This image of a beach vacation has become more common as brown tides turn into annual occurrences.

Brown tides have been appearing on th... Read More

TWiV 125: TWiV infects FiB

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despo... Read More

TWiV 125 Letters

Todd writes:


Hey Docs!


I'm a computer programmer who listens to podcasts on my long commute. The highest science education that I've had was college Chemistry. As an Electrical Engineer the science classes we took tended to not be biology oriented, so while so... Read More

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