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TWiM 70 Letters

Jim writes:


Just heard TWIM 67 -- excellent of course -- and recalled, like Elio, being in basic training in the 60's when meningitis cases occurred on the base and we had to sleep with all the barracks windows open. I think we were double-bunked but can't recall if w... Read More

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms. These traits enable these microbes to eke out a living in deep sandstone formations that also happen to be useful for hydrocarbon extrac... Read More

Paramecium, showing contractile vacuole and ciliary motion (video)

Olympus BioScapes 2013 10th place Winner, Mr. Ralph Grimm. Paramecium, showing contractile vacuole and ciliary motion.

Click "source" to view. Read More

Banana Fungus, Insect Outbreak Threaten Global Supply

Banana lovers better satiate their appetites now. The world's supply of the fruit is under attack.

According to Scientific American, strains of a particular soil fungus -- Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, or Foc -- have struck a key variety of banana grown for export in Mozambique and Jorda... Read More

Fungus could control mosquitoes, research suggests

Researchers at Swansea University say a fungus could be the key to controlling mosquitoes.

Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae lives in soil and kills a whole range of insects and researchers say it also affects mosquito larvae if added to the water where the insect breeds.

The insects carry dis... Read More

Burglary-ring-like mechanism found in lethal Nipah virus

A team of scientists from Washington State University has discovered how one of the planet’s most deadly known viruses employs burglary-ring-like teamwork to infiltrate the human cell.

Nipah virus is so menacing that the nation’s top infectious disease experts served as consultants in the fil... Read More

'Citrus greening' bacteria devastating world's orange crop

A glass of orange juice in the morning is something many of us take for granted. But that might soon change thanks to a citrus disease affecting every major orange-growing region in the world.

The world's orange crop is being threatened by "citrus greening," a bacterial infection carried by a... Read More

Scientists: Mosquito Virus Spreads to Americas

A nasty virus first detected in Africa that is spread to people by the bite of infected mosquitoes is being locally transmitted in the Americas for the first time on the tiny French Caribbean dependency of St. Martin, health officials said Tuesday.

Epidemiologists have so far confirmed about ... Read More

Diversity of Antiviral Bacteria Discovered

Wolbachia, a symbiont that resides naturally up to 70% of all insect species, are probably the most prevalent infectious bacteria on Earth. In 2008 Luis Teixeira, now a principal investigator at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, and other scientists have discovered that Wolbachia can protect ... Read More

Deadly Coronavirus Found in Camels on Farm of Infected Owner

The coronavirus that’s killed 71 people was detected in three camels in Qatar, supporting a thesis that the animals may be a source of human infection.

The dromedary camels were identified in a barn about 19 miles northwest of Doha owned by a 61-year-old man who was diagnosed in October with ... Read More

How Dogs Might Protect Kids Against Asthma: Gut Bacteria

Scientists studying why pets appear to protect kids against asthma and allergies say the answer might lie in the world of bacteria that live in the gut.

A new study published Monday found that exposing mice to dust from households where dogs were allowed outdoors significantly changed the com... Read More

Harmful bacterial infection grows more common in clinics and doctor’s offices

A serious infection that has been on the rise in hospital patients is being increasingly reported among people who work or spend time in doctor’s offices, clinics and other health-care settings. Caused by the bacterium Clostridium difficile, also known as C. diff, the infection can cause chronic... Read More

FDA: Anti-Bacterial Soaps May Not Curb Bacteria

After more than 40 years of study, the U.S. government says it has found no evidence that common anti-bacterial soaps prevent the spread of germs, and regulators want the makers of Dawn, Dial and other household staples to prove that their products do not pose health risks to consumers.

Scien... Read More

Fixing 'Misfolded' Proteins for New Drug Treatments (NPR Podcast)

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, researchers were able to fix "misfolded" proteins and restore their function in mice. Lead researcher Michael Conn discusses how to mend an incorrectly folded protein and what this may mean for developing future therapies for a va... Read More

Fungal pathogen shows profound effects from spaceflight

At Arizona State University’s Biodesign Institute, Cheryl Nickerson and her team have been investigating the intriguing effects of spaceflight on microbial pathogens.

In a new paper appearing in the current issue of the journal PLOS ONE, the team reports their recent work examining spacefligh... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 106 - Ricardo Santos

Aunque el género Mycobacterium es asociado a infecciones tales como la lepra y la tuberculosis, hay un gran número de especies que son por lo general no patogénicos o patógenos oportunistas. En el episodio de hoy tenemos al Dr. Ricardo Santos del Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa, Portugal... Read More

Life under the Microscope: Stunning Photographs from the BioScapes Competition [Slide Show]

In the 1800s English poet William Blake famously challenged his readers to “see a world in a grain of sand.” If only he had owned a modern microscope. Thanks to increasingly powerful optical tools, we now know that beneath the skin of every leaf, inside each speck of dirt, and within our own blo... Read More

Botulism Bacteria Blamed for Deaths of Waterbirds on Lake Ontario

Last year, I wrote about finding the carcasses of dead loons and cormorants on the shores of a Northern Lake Michigan beach. Now officials in New York are reporting similar waterbird deaths from Type E botulism on Lake Ontario.

Sadly, finding type E botulism in waterbirds is becoming an “annu... Read More

NTU scientists discover potential vaccine for malaria

Scientists from Singapore’s Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have discovered a key process during the invasion of the blood cell by the Malaria parasite, and more importantly, found a way to block this invasion.

With this new knowledge, NTU is looking to collaborate with the industry on... Read More

Worms and Hot Baths: Novel Approaches to Treating Autism

A new study shows that two unusual treatment approaches may have beneficial effects on the symptoms of autism in children and adults with the disorder. Using a hot bath to raise body temperature and thereby mimic the effects of infection, or using worm eggs to stimulate the production of immunor... Read More

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