In this show, I report on four exciting stories: a new giant virus, bacteria that fight cancer, ancient microbial DNA, and using viruses to modify plants.
The aptly named Germ Terminator aims to conquer the world of germ-ridden shopping carts in supermarkets and other stores by using ultraviolet rays to kill bacteria on the carts' handlebars.
The origin of the Germ Terminator began when Danny Glenn, Fleet Cleaning Supply chief executive officer... Read More
A RIKEN-led research team has unraveled the molecular details of a key mechanism of the immune system in the gut. The work opens the way to new possibilities for developing versatile, inexpensive vaccines that are swallowed, rather than injected.
“The description of this molecular pathway fil... Read More
A bird flu scare has hit the Kaziranga National Park in Assam, a northeastern state of India, with carcasses of at least a dozen migratory Bar-headed Geese found in the sanctuary, officials said on Friday.
A park warden said at least seven geese were found dead on Friday. Five carcasses of th... Read More
Hyperthermophiles are microorganisms that can live in extremely hot conditions. Instead of photosynthesis, these organisms perform chemosynthesis to produce energy. Click "source" above to watch the Learning Channel's "It Came From Outer Space: Hyperthermophiles". Read More
This 41-inch-long sculpture of the Escherichia coli bacterium is part of British artist Luke Jerram’s “Glass Microbiology” series of portraits. Other organisms he has vitrified include HIV, SARS and swine flu.
To create each one, Jerram used images from an electron microscope and had guidance... Read More
Frequent testing and treatment of infection does not reduce the prevalence of chlamydia in urban teenage girls, according to a long term study by Indiana University School of Medicine researchers published in the January 1, 2010 issue of the Journal of Infectious Diseases.
Despite the fact th... Read More
A salmonella outbreak in 31 states was linked to pet frogs, U.S. health officials said, suggesting that public-health efforts to educate children about the proper handling of reptiles should be expanded to amphibians.
Nearly two-thirds of the 85 people infected with the Typhimurium strain of ... Read More
Learn all about yeast in this fun minute-long animation featuring Aspergillus awamori, Aspergillus oryzae, Aspergillus sojae and Aspergillus niger. Read More
A research published in Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences rejects the theory that the origin of life stems from a system of self-catalytic molecules capable of experiencing Darwinian evolution without the need of RNA or DNA and their replication. The research, which was carried out wit... Read More
Researchers at Oregon State University and the University of Georgia have developed an improved, more efficient method to test for Haemonchus contortus, or "barber pole" worms, a parasitic species that is very pathogenic to sheep, goats and llamas causing. hundreds of millions of dollars in loss... Read More
Here is a composite of 384 electron microscope photographs, combined into one image so that you can zoom and pan:
http://gigapan.org/gigapans/27625/ Read More
Björn writes: (first letter to TWiP)
Hi Dick and Vincent,
My name is Björn. I am a biochemist and PhD student working on trypanosomes here in Germany. I am a long time listener of your twiv podcast and just listened to the first Read More
Platypus Technologies has been awarded a $2.2 million federal contract from the US Department of Defense to further develop molecular sensing technology, the company said this week.
The one-year contract with the Edgewood Chemical and Biological Center in Maryland expands on work completed ea... Read More
Arthritis patients being treated with the drug rituximab should be given flu vaccinations immediately before treatment begins or several months later, but not in the first two months after treatment, Dutch researchers have found. The vaccine is not dangerous when given after treatment with the d... Read More
In the 1980s, Harald zur Hausen and his co-workers discovered that specific types of human papillomavirus (HPV) cause cervical cancer. Scientists soon found out how these pathogens cause cells to degenerate. It is known today that the main culprits are viral proteins E6 and E7. Both proteins swi... Read More
Scientists already know that smallpox, measles, tuberculosis, seasonal influenza and severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) can be transmitted during commercial flights. Now, in the first study to predict the number of H1N1 flu infections that could occur during a flight, UCLA researchers foun... Read More
A new retrovirus, xenotropic murine leukaemia virus-related virus (XMRV), first identified in tumor tissue of individuals with prostate cancer, was subsequently found in 68 of 101 US patients with chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS). This observation raised the possibility that XMRV is the etiologic ... Read More
Invetech has announced that it has delivered the world's first production model 3D bio-printer to Organovo, developers of the proprietary NovoGen bioprinting technology. Organovo will supply the units to research institutions investigating human tissue repair and organ replacement.
According ... Read More