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Narrow-Spectrum UV Light May Reduce Surgical Infections

Despite major efforts to keep operating rooms sterile, surgical wound infections remain a serious and stubborn problem, killing up to 8,200 patients a year in the U.S. A study by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) researchers suggests that narrow-spectrum ultraviolet (UV) light could dram... Read More

Promising HIV Vaccine May Take 10 Years to Perfect

If a breakthrough in developing an HIV vaccine occurred today, scientists and drug companies would need another decade to provide a commercial product. But, after a long struggle, researchers may indeed have made that breakthrough using a new vaccine approach that combines two prior ones. Given ... Read More

TWiM #66: The shape of a container

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Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio Schaechter Read More

TWiM 66 Letters

Neva writes:
You may have seen this. Thought you all might enjoy this header illustration from
http://blogs.scientificamerican.com/artful-amoeba/2013/08/24/wonderful-things-the-hidden-beauty-of-the-horse-dung-fungus/


All your podcast are my favorites!


<... Read More

CIC bioGUNE discovers a new form of virus reproduction

- The laboratory of Dr. Abrescia has described for the first time how the virus PRD1 uses lipids and proteins that are part of its structure to generate a nanotube used to translocate its genome and to penetrate and infect cells.

- The finding could boost new strategies to fight against bact... Read More

Canadian scientists fine-tuning possible Ebola virus therapy

Scientists at Canada's National Microbiology Laboratory are continuing to fine-tune a possible treatment for Ebola virus infection, one of the deadliest known to humankind.

In a newly published article, the Winnipeg-based scientists reported that their combination therapy saved three of four ... Read More

Bacteria-Eating Viruses 'Magic Bullets in the War On Superbugs'

A specialist team of scientists from the University of Leicester has isolated viruses that eat bacteria -- called phages -- to specifically target the highly infectious hospital superbug Clostridium difficile (C. diff).

Now an exciting new collaboration between the University of Leicester, th... Read More

Separating the good from the bad in bacteria

New microfluidic technique quickly distinguishes bacteria within the same strain; could improve monitoring of cystic fibrosis and other diseases. There are good bacteria and there are bad bacteria — and sometimes both coexist within the same species.

Take, for instance, Pseudomonas aeruginos... Read More

High hopes

Care must be taken not to raise unrealistic expectations for RTS,S malaria vaccine. Vaccines have been an unparalleled public-health success: they have eradicated smallpox and driven polio to near extinction, and routine childhood immunization saves millions of children a year from death from di... Read More

Tracking viral DNA in the cell

Cell biologists and chemists from the University of Zurich reveal how viral DNA traffics in human cells. They have developed a new method to generate virus particles containing labeled viral DNA genomes. This allowed them to visualize, for the first time, single viral genomes in the cytoplasm an... Read More

Prions May Develop Drug Resistance: The Implications for Mad Cow, Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s

Clumps of proteins twisted into aberrant shapes cause the prion diseases that have perplexed biologists for decades. The surprises just keep coming with a new report that the simple clusters of proteins responsible for Mad Cow and other prions diseases may, without help from DNA or RNA, be capab... Read More

Microbiome meets big social science: What’s the potential?

Over the last decade or so, biologists have mustered an ever-growing appreciation for the essential role of microbial communities in a diversity of environments.

“We’re recognizing that the biosphere is run by microbes at every level,” notes UW-Madison Professor of Medical Microbiology and Im... Read More

Virus may be causing deadly coral 'white plague' epidemic in Caribbean

The Caribbean Sea is battling an epidemic — a nasty plague that spreads and kills quickly. Unlike the historical Black Plague, which killed millions of people in the Middle Ages, this so-called white plague is devastating populations of marine corals.

Scientists long believed the scourge, whi... Read More

Glowing Antibiotics Reveal Bacterial Infections

Despite surgeons’ best efforts, bacteria often manage to sneak onto medical implants such as bone screws, where they can cause severe infections. Research published today in Nature Communications suggests that using fluorescent antibiotics could reveal such infections before they become too seve... Read More

Beyond antibiotics: “PPMOs” offer new approach to bacterial infection

Researchers at Oregon State University and other institutions today announced the successful use of a new type of antibacterial agent called a PPMO, which appears to function as well or better than an antibiotic, but may be more precise and also solve problems with antibiotic resistance.

In a... Read More

Giving Health Workers Their Own Hand Gel Reduces Operating Room Contamination Significantly

Simple remedies -- from keeping the antibacterial gel dispenser clean to giving health care workers their own hand sanitizer -- can help keep patients safe by decreasing contamination in operating and recovery rooms, suggest two studies presented at the ANESTHESIOLOGY™ 2013 annual meeting.

Ke... Read More

TWiP 61: Some creep crept into the crypt and crapped



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson review... Read More

TWiP 61 letters


Ian writes:


Dear TWiPers,


I just finished listening to the superb Twip #56 and I am thrilled because I am a huge fish nerd. In fact I spent much of my youth catching and chasing fish on the same lovely New Jersey barrier island mentioned in that episode. ... Read More

Pushing and shoving: A cost factor in protein synthesis

When cells grow and proliferate, they need to produce large amounts of protein. All this protein is made by ribosomes, therefore rapid growth requires many ribosomes. Because ribosomes are expensive machines for the cell, the cell needs to use them efficiently. In a new study, published in PNAS,... Read More

Discovery of complex symbiotic system comprising the metabolic pathways of mealybugs

Researchers from AIST, in collaboration with the University of Montana (USA), the Open University of Japan, and others, have discovered that two types of bacteria with extremely reduced genomes endocellularly reside in a nested manner within the symbiotic organ of mealybugs that are known as agr... Read More

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