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Sharks are overrated, lets talk about their microbiome (blog post)

Yes, like humans (all other animals on Earth), sharks have a gut microbiome too. Everyone’s just been way too busy talking about all that Megalodon crap to think about this *real* and much cooler science.

There is a diverse and abundant gut microbiome associated with finfish, sharks, and blue... Read More

Real-Time Mass Spectrometry On Living Microbes

Microbes are tiny synthetic masters, producing molecules that have led to many important drugs. Chemists want new ways to sift through the compounds produced by microbes to find the next big drug lead. Now, scientists report a mass spectrometry technique that allows them to monitor molecules pro... Read More

TWiV 246: Pandora, pandemics, and privacy



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, ... Read More

Bollux Bacteria Biofilm Formation to Prevent Disease (podcast)

In labs, bacteria may swim freely. But out in the world, including our bodies, bacteria often exist packed together in dense communities called biofilms. And these configurations can help them cause illness. Finding clues about how such bacteria group together could therefore lead to better ther... Read More

Antibiotic Use in Chickens: Responsible for Hundreds of Human Deaths?

In the long back and forth between science and agriculture over the source of antibiotic resistance in humans — Due to antibiotic overuse on farms, or in human medicine? — one question has been stubbornly hard to answer. If antibiotic-resistant bacteria do arise on farms, do they leave the farm ... Read More

How a virus spreads from animals to humans

On June 24, 2012, a 60-year-old Saudi man died from severe pneumonia complicated by renal failure. He had arrived at a hospital in Jiddah 11 days earlier, and some of his symptoms were similar to those in severe cases of influenza or SARS, but this wasn't either of those diseases.

This was so... Read More

Snakeheads in Potomac contract virus that threatens largemouth bass

Northern snakeheads in the Potomac River have apparently contracted a virus that is known to cause massive kills among largemouth bass, the U.S. Geological Survey announced Tuesday.

But that doesn’t mean the pathogen, known as largemouth bass virus, will negatively affect snakeheads, an invas... Read More

One Day We’ll Light Our Homes With Bacteria

A team of undergraduate students at the University of Wisconsin are attempting to shine light on the problem of electricity-gobbling bulbs by creating a light source that doesn’t require an electric input at all. Genetically engineered E. coli housed within a bulb-like casing can produce biolumi... Read More

The Snot-Tunneling Bacteria Duo That Can Help Save the Oceans from Climate Change

Symbiotic relationships between species are a popular evolutionary strategy, a reality anyone with a dog can verify. But the bacterial strains Thioploca and Anammox are taking it to a whole other level: in exchange for being Thioploca's toilet, Anammox gets to ride its elevator-like “sulfer brai... Read More

New virus could help rule out mad cow

Researchers have sequenced the genome of an astrovirus that causes symptoms similar to mad cow disease.

While this particular new virus is unlikely to pose a threat to human health or the food supply, the new findings are critically important because they provide researchers with a relatively... Read More

Major Find in Fight Against Ebola Virus

The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla has made a major advance in the fight against the Ebola virus by greatly clarifying how it replicates and spreads a disease that causes horrific illness and, in many cases, death.

Biologist Erica Ollmann Saphire and her collaborators spelled out the ... Read More

A durable, bacteria-killing surface for hospitals

Scientists at EPFL have developed a new method for making antimicrobial surfaces that can eliminate bacteria under a minute. The technology, now tested in a hospital, shows enormous potential for preventing hospital-acquired infections.

One of the biggest problems for hospitals is maintaining... Read More

Spaceflight Alters Bacterial Social Networks

When astronauts launch into space, a microbial entourage follows. And the sheer number of these followers would give celebrities on Twitter a run for their money. The estimate is that normal, healthy adults have ten times as many microbial cells as human cells within their bodies; countless more... Read More

Bacteria-Powered Light Bulb Is Electricity-Free

Bacteria is experiencing a boon as of late. Just recently, microorganisms have been used to make a better sunscreen. Another bright idea comes from scientists who are using bacteria as the key ingredient in a biological light bulb that requires no electricity.

Created by three undergraduates ... Read More

Watching Bacteria Evolve, With Predictable Results

If we could somehow rewind the history of life to the dawn of the animal kingdom, it would be unlikely that we humans would ever evolve, the evolutionary biologist Stephen Jay Gould argued. The history of life was shaped by too many flukes and contingencies to repeat its course.

Scientists ca... Read More

Researchers create three-dimensional model of bacterium

Certain bacteria can build such complex membrane structures that, in terms of complexity and dynamics, look like eukaryotes, i.e., organisms with a distinct membrane-bound nucleus. Scientists from Heidelberg University and the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) made this discovery empl... Read More

Bent Out of Shape: Stressed Bacteria Accumulate Misfolded Proteins and Stop Growing

Whether a man, a mouse or a microbe, stress is bad for you. Experiments in bacteria by molecular biologists in Peter Chien’s lab at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, with others at MIT, have uncovered the mechanism that translates stress, such as exposure to extreme temperature, into bloc... Read More

Bacteria in drinking water are key to keeping it clean

Bacteria commonly found in drinking water creates conditions which enable other- potentially harmful – bacteria to thrive, says research by engineers from the University of Sheffield.

The research, published in the latest issue of Water Science and Technology: Water Supply, points the way to ... Read More

MRSA Strain in Humans Originally Came from Cattle

A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers who conducted the genetic analysis of strains of Staphyl... Read More

Boy infected with rare brain-eating amoeba in Florida

Another child has been infected with a rare, brain-eating parasite, less than a month after Kali Hardig ended up in an Arkansas hospital, fighting for her life.

The new patient is 12-year-old Zachary Reyna, his family told CNN affiliate WBBH. A spokesperson for the Hendry-Glades Health Depart... Read More

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