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Thymus Teaches Immune Cells to Ignore Vital Gut Bacteria

The tiny thymus teaches the immune system to ignore the teeming, foreign bacteria in the gut that helps you digest and absorb food, researchers say.

When immune cells recognize essential gut bacteria as foreign, inflammatory bowel disease such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease can be ... Read More

Going viral on Science Sunday Hangout on Air

I joined Buddhini Samarasinghe and Scott Lewis on a Science Sunday Hangout on Air to talk about my career in virology: how I came to be interested in viruses, and what goes on in my laboratory. You can find hangouts and more at the ScienceSunday community.


{youtube}WpLH4gRk9gc{/youtub... Read More

Hospitals see surge of superbug-fighting products

They sweep. They swab. They sterilize. And still the germs persist.

In U.S. hospitals, an estimated 1 in 20 patients pick up infections they didn't have when they arrived, some caused by dangerous 'superbugs' that are hard to treat.

The rise of these superbugs, along with increased pressur... Read More

How Parkinson's Disease Protein Acts Like a Virus

A protein known to be a key player in the development of Parkinson's disease is able to enter and harm cells in the same way that viruses do, according to a Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine study.

The protein is called alpha-synuclein. The study shows how, once inside a ne... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 123 - Proteobacteria Protonate Poison

This episode: Soil microbe has a good enzyme for degrading cyanide pollution!




Download Episode (4.2 MB, 4.5 minutes)


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A Potential Way to Eat Eggs Without Dying

Bacteria are all over us, inside and out. Jiri Hulcr recently found 1,458 species of bacteria "new to science" in a small sample of human belly buttons. What we know about our little passengers and how they affect our bodies is dwarfed by what we do not. That can be disconcerting to think about,... Read More

Three wrongs make a right

Pancreatic cancer is a dreadful disease. Even in rich countries, only about 4% of those diagnosed with it are still alive after five years. In America it is the third-most-common cause of cancer deaths among women, after lung and breast cancer; among men it is fourth, after lung, prostate and co... Read More

TWiV 230: Gene goes to Washington, flu chickens out



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Read More

Mutant version of H5N1 flu virus found to be more preferential to human infection

In its native state, according to the CDC, the H5N1 flu virus is highly contagious and is especially deadly to birds. Fortunately, few people have contracted this strain of flu as it's quite deadly in people as well. Luckily, there have been very few cases of transmission of the virus between pe... Read More

How Much Should We Fear H7N9?

There’s been a recent surge in cases of the avian influenza A (H7N9) viral infection in China. As of this morning, there have been over a hundred reported cases and more than twenty deaths. The virus’ relatively sudden appearance in April, usually considered the end of flu season in the northern... Read More

Gut Bacteria Vaccine Could Help Control Autism Symptoms

A vaccine created to treat a gut bacteria common in children with autism could also help control some symptoms of the neural development disorder, according to new research published in this month’s edition of the journal Vaccine.

Researchers Brittany Pequegnat and Mario Monteiro of the Unive... Read More

Not My Job: Kal Penn Takes A Quiz On The Microbiome (NPR's 'Wait, Wait, Don't Tell Me' segment)

Kal Penn has a pretty unusual resume: He has starred in Harold and Kumar, the most successful series of stoner movies made in the past decade; and has served in the White House as the Obama administration's liaison to youth. Now he's hosting a new show, The Big Brain Theory, on the Discovery Cha... Read More

H7N9 more deadly than SARS: experts

The H7N9 strain of avian influenza is more lethal than the coronavirus that caused the global SARS outbreak in 2003, a National Taiwan University Hospital doctor said.

Citing a University of Hong Kong report, Huang Li-min, head of the hospital’s Department of Pediatric Infectious Diseases, sa... Read More

Wet Market Poultry Transmitting H7N9 Bird Flu To Humans In China

Researchers have confirmed that the A H7N9 bird flu virus, which began in February 2013, was transmitted from chickens at a wet poultry market to humans, according to a new study published in the The Lancet.

Wet markets, which are common in Asian countries, are live animal markets.

A H7N9 ... Read More

Illustrating Some Simple Microbiological Concepts: Transformation, Antibiotic Resistance, and GFP.

In this blog post, I describe a simple "colony transformation" experiment I have done with my freshman students, illustrating transformation, antibiotic resistance, and GFP. The visual aspects help drive home the points effectivel. Read More

A few reminiscences on Hilary Koprowski

Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April 2013 at the age of 96. His main accomplishments are nicely summarized in the New York Times, but for a more comprehensive overview of his life, I highly recommend his biography Listen to the Music by Roger Vaughan. I did not have many opportunities to... Read More

Study describes pump mechanism that enables bacteria to evade antibiotic attack

Researchers have uncovered details of a mechanism that bacteria use to avoid the effects of antibiotics, which could pave the way for developing new drugs to counteract antibiotic resistance.

The discovery, from researchers at Durham University and the University of Birmingham, gives the firs... Read More

The microbes you inhale on the New York City subway

The microbial population in the air of the New York City subway system is nearly identical to that of ambient air on the city streets. This research, published ahead of print in the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology, establishes an important baseline, should it become necessary to m... Read More

Clues to Making Vaccine for Infant Respiratory Illness

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have identified the structure of a critical RSV component called the fusion glycoprotein.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects th... Read More

Thanks to Rare Alpine Bacteria, Researchers Identify One of Alcohol’s Key Gateways to the Brain

Thanks to a rare bacteria that grows only on rocks in the Swiss Alps, researchers at The University of Texas at Austin and the Pasteur Institute in France have been the first to identify how alcohol might affect key brain proteins.

It’s a major step on the road to eventually developing drugs ... Read More

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