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Mtb Craves Sweets

Tuberculosis is an ancient disease that still affects millions of people, largely in developing countries. A startling statistic valued by fundraisers for tuberculosis research is that this devastating disease claims three lives every minute worldwide. Since a major factor underlying this import... Read More

Gut Lecture

Over the many years that I taught microbiology to medical students, perhaps my least favorite lecture was the one on the “normal flora,” what we now call the microbiome. What used to make me grumpy was that I could talk only in vague generalities, rambling about the intestinal flora being an imm... Read More

TWiV 248: TWiP infects TWiV



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Rich Condit


Vincent, Dic... Read More

Bacteria Supplemented Their Diet to Clean Up After Deep Water Horizon Oil

Bacteria living in the Gulf of Mexico beaches were able to 'eat up' the contamination from the Deep Water Horizon oil spill by supplementing their diet with nitrogen, delegates at the Goldschmidt conference will be told today, Friday 30th August.

Professor Joel Kostka will tell geochemists ga... Read More

Infrared light used to outwit sneaky, deadly bacteria

Researchers have devised a way to turn the tables on a sneaky strain of bacteria that can cause life-threatening diseases, based on a technique using infrared light.

Scientists at the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna said the technique lets them differentiate strains that can cause ... Read More

Dueling Infections: Parasitic Worms Limit the Effects of Giardia, and Vice Versa

If the idea of hookworms makes you shudder, consider this: Those pesky intestinal parasites may actually help your body ward off other infections, and perhaps even prevent autoimmune and other diseases.

Studying members of the Tsimane, an indigenous population in the lowlands of Central Boliv... Read More

Oral Infections Causing More Hospitalizations

Left untreated, a serious tooth abscess can eventually kill.

In 2007, Deamonte Driver, a 12-year-old boy in Maryland, died after bacteria from an abscessed tooth spread to his brain. The case drew widespread media attention, and his is the cautionary tale cited whenever politicians and advoca... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 133 - Microbe Manacles Metal, Muzzles Microbe

This episode: A strain of E. coli helps reduce severity of Salmonella infection by competing with it for iron in the gut!




Down... Read More

Gut bacteria 'too low' in quarter of population

Scientists say that around a quarter of the population, particularly those who are obese, have 40% less intestinal bacteria than needed to maintain good health, according to a study published in the journal Nature.

Researchers from Europe conducted a genetic analysis on human gut microbial co... Read More

Deep microbes live long and slow

A diverse range of life forms exists deep below Earth's surface, scientists have concluded, but they survive at an incredibly slow pace.

Long-lived bacteria, reproducing only once every 10,000 years, have been found in rocks 2.5km (1.5 miles) below the ocean floor that are as much as 100 mill... Read More

Staying Healthy Takes Guts Full of Microbes (podcast)

Everywhere you go, the trillions of microbes in your gut go too. And that's a comforting thought. Because according to a new study, a more diverse population of intestinal bacteria is linked to better health. The work is in the journal Nature. [Emmanuelle Le Chatelier et al, Richness of human gu... Read More

Greater Array of Gut Bugs Points to Metabolic Health

People who have less diversity in their intestinal microbiomes tend to be heavier and have more inflammation and metabolic dysfunction than those who have a more robust portfolio of gut bacteria, researchers found.

In an analysis of data from the European consortium MetaHIT, about a quarter o... Read More

Got mom's bacteria?

What types of microbes do mothers transmit to their newborns and how universal is maternal microbial transmission throughout animals, including from your mother?

The sterile womb paradigm is an enduring premise in biology that human infants are born sterile. Recent studies suggest that infant... Read More

Dispatches from the Teaching Front, Part 1: Student Self-Evaluation

Based on a Twitter conversation with two microbiology educators, I share a story of how (through a survey) I encourage students to look deeply at their study strategies and promote "ownership" in their classroom experience. Read More

Immune System, Skin Microbiome 'Complement' One Another

Researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania demonstrate for the first time that the immune system influences the skin microbiome. A new study found that the skin microbiome -- a collection of microorganisms inhabiting the human body -- is governed, at least... Read More

Learn "How Microbes can Help Feed the World," by reading the Academy's newest report

In order to feed the growing global population that is expected to reach 9 billion by 2050, agricultural yields will need to increase by 70-100%. However, increasing this yield using current methods is not a viable option. Not only is it environmentally damaging, it is also not economically feas... Read More

The Amazing Story of a Mammal Virus That Became a Bird One

This is one the most extraordinary and convoluted evolutionary tales that I have ever heard. It’s the origin story of a group of viruses called REVs. It’s the tale of how naturalists and scientists inadvertently created a bird virus out of a mammalian one through zoo-collecting and medical resea... Read More

Die-off of bottlenose dolphins, linked to virus, is worst in 25 years

A widespread die-off of bottlenose dolphins off the Mid-Atlantic Coast — the worst of its kind in more than a quarter-century — almost certainly is the work of a virus that killed more than 740 dolphins in the same region in 1987 and 1988, marine scientists said Tuesday.

Since the beginning o... Read More

New Zealand botulism scare likely a false alarm

A botulism scare that damaged New Zealand's international reputation for providing top quality and safe dairy products was likely a false alarm.

New Zealand government officials said Wednesday they had found no sign of botulism bacteria after retesting ingredients used in recalled milk produc... Read More

MSF Starts Emergency Rabies Intervention in DRC

The international medical humanitarian organization Doctors Without Borders/Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) has started a rabies intervention in the east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) after an alarming number of people were bitten by rabid dogs. With ten deaths already reported, the e... Read More

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