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Neanderthal Viruses Found in Modern Humans

Ancient viruses from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA by researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University.

The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer p... Read More

New Models Predict Where E. coli Strains Will Thrive

Bioengineers at the University of California, San Diego have used the genomic sequences of 55 E. coli strains to reconstruct the metabolic repertoire for each strain. Surprisingly, these reconstructions do an excellent job of predicting the kind of environment where each strain will thrive, the ... Read More

New Bacterial Life-Form Discovered in NASA and ESA Spacecraft Clean Rooms

High atop a platform inside a clean room at the European Space Agency’s (ESA) launch site in South America, scientists painstakingly searched for microbes near the Ariane 5 rocket due to launch the Herschel space telescope in May 2009. Only very unusual organisms can survive the repeated sterili... Read More

Bacteria Recycle Broken DNA: Modern Bacteria Can Add DNA from Creatures Long-Dead to Its Own

From a bacteria’s perspective the environment is one big DNA waste yard. Researchers have now shown that bacteria can take up small as well as large pieces of old DNA from this scrapheap and include it in their own genome. This discovery may have major consequences – both in connection with resi... Read More

Interview of Cave Microbiologist, Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham (aka Ann)

Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham, is a famous cave microbiologist. Dr. Cheeptham has been fascinated with the world of biology since she was out catching butterflies as a child with her father in her native country, Thailand. Her interest in microbiology developed while studying at Chiang Mai University ... Read More

New method to diagnose sepsis is faster, cheaper

In managing bloodstream infections, minutes count, and delays in treatment or administering the wrong antibiotic can kill a patient. In mBio today, scientists from bioMérieux, Inc. describe a new method that could cut hours off the time it takes to diagnose blood infections while also eliminatin... Read More

Reducing antibiotic requests from patients with viral infections

For anyone interested in Antibiotic Awareness Week, a big part of the story is that patients (or their parents) demand antibacterials even for viral infections. And doctors often comply, just to get rid of them (the patients, that is). This high-resolution PDF can be printed out for waiting ro... Read More

Antimicrobial resistance: a global health issue (Video)

How can antibiotics be better used? How can the development of resistance to antibiotics be avoided? What are the consequences of their ill-considered usage for humans and also for animals? These were some of the topics that the organizers of ICPIC 2013, the International Conference on Preventio... Read More

Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick - Science History Rap Battle

Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick - Science History Rap Battle Read More

HIV-infected H9 T Cell

Scanning electron micrograph of an HIV-infected H9 T cell. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

H1N1 Influenza Virus Particles

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles. Surface proteins on the virus particles are shown in black. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

Glassy coating keeps viruses happy in harsh environments

What's a virus to do when it finds itself in an inhospitable environment such as hot water? Coating itself in glass seems to not only provide protection, but may also make it easier to jump to a more favorable location to spread.

Researchers led by a group from the Center for Life in Extreme ... Read More

Will Antibiotics Be There When You Need Them? Get Smart

Just in time for “Get Smart about Antibiotics Week,” I had a refreshing experience recently, working in a different rural hospital. Over that week, I didn’t see one patient with “superbugs” other than the occasional MRSA. No one had the now scarier Gram negative bugs known as ESBLs (extended spe... Read More

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Californ... Read More

Antarctica's Deep Lake: A Frigid Home for Steadfast Archaea

Some time ago, we asked this Talmudic Question: Can you think of a place on Earth where there is free water but no microbes? (A sterile flask of nutrient broth in a lab, the insides of the body, or an IV bag in a hospital don't count.) Someone answered that perhaps deep in Antarctica there would... Read More

Barring the gates: How plants defend against invading bacteria

Bacteria will exploit any opportunity to invade a new living space, in particular taking advantage of any easily-colonisable entrances into other living organisms. In plants one of these entrances is a doorway between the interior of the leaf and the outside air in order to exchange gases. Plant... Read More

The manipulative friend: bacterial hijacking of plant symbiosis signalling

Members of the legume family of plants (e.g. peas, soybean) can form symbioses with nitrogen-fixing bacteria known as rhizobia. In return for receiving nitrogen-containing compounds (e.g. ammonia) from the rhizobia, the plant supplies the rhizobia with sugars and a home in special organs in the ... Read More

TWiV 259: Windows into the soul of a cell

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit


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Drug clears up persistent bacteria by getting them to digest themselves

Drug resistant bacteria are, justifiably, a serious cause for concern. Most of the attention has focused on mutations or genes that confer resistance to our current repertoire of antibiotics. But bacteria have a second way to avoid being offed by our drugs: a tiny fraction of many bacterial spec... Read More

First Case of New Bird Flu Identified in Human Patient

The latest version is called H6N1, and represents the first time that this strain of bird flu has jumped from birds to people.

Flu researchers are especially wary of birds, from wild avian species like migrating geese to run-of-the-mill chickens at local poultry markets. They harbor a series ... Read More

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