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Fouchier vs the Dutch government on influenza H5N1 research

Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More

Community surveillance and polymicrobial infections

I'll start by saying this was a study from my own lab which provided insight into why multi-species bacterial infections are more severe than mono-culture infections. The idea of 'polymicrobial synergy' has been around for some time, but the reasons behind synergy have been elusive. I follow TWi... Read More

TWiP 60: Urine a game of cat and mouse



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson discus... Read More

TWiP 60 letters

Maureen writes:


Our vaccine unit here at NIH did a study of malaria vaccine with some promising results. I know Dickson has been a champion of conquering malaria.


http://www.scie... Read More

MERS At One: The Deadly Virus Drizzle

We have the dubious privilege of observing a new disease in the midst of being born. The disease could go on to spread around the world, stall out as a minor, local blight, or disappear altogether. Scientists have been observing its emergence for a year now, and while they know more than they di... Read More

Adjusting bacteria in intestines may lead to obesity treatments

A drug that appears to target specific intestinal bacteria in the guts of mice may create a chain reaction that could eventually lead to new treatments for obesity and diabetes in humans, according to a team of researchers.

Mice fed a high-fat diet and provided tempol, an anti-oxidant drug th... Read More

Researchers discover new microbe near Chilean coastal fault line

A team of researchers from McMaster and the University of Concepción are shining a light on rare sulfur-loving microbes off the coast of Chile.

The group's work near coastal fault lines has identified a previously unknown type of molecule, macplocimine A, which produces valuable natural chemi... Read More

Foot Cream Kills HIV by Tricking Cells to Commit Suicide

Ciclopirox is currently approved by the FDA as a topical antifungal cream (Credit: Fougera) A common drug that dermatologists turn to treat nail fungus appears to come with a not-so-tiny side effect: eradicating HIV.

In a study performed at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, not only does the... Read More

Toxin-producing bacteria integrated into a pest insect

A small cicada-like insect called the Asian citrus psyllid (Diaphorina citri) threatens the world's citrus industries, transmitting an incurable and lethal citrus disease. This notorious pest harbors two bacterial species within cells specially prepared for the purpose of symbiosis. Whereas thes... Read More

New Alien Life Claim Far from Convincing, Scientists Say

A new study that claims to present evidence of alien life is being met with a healthy dose of skepticism in the scientific community.

On July 31, a team of British researchers sent a balloon into the stratosphere over England, where it collected samples at an altitude range of 14 miles to 17 ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 136 - Swarmers Send Secret Signals

This episode: Swarming predatory bacteria may be communicating through tubes!




Download Episode (6.3 MB, 6.9 minutes)


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It takes a(n academic) village to determine enzyme's function

Scientists have sequenced the genomes of nearly 6,900 organisms, but they know the functions of only about half of the protein-coding genes thus far discovered. Now a multidisciplinary effort involving 15 scientists from three institutions has begun chipping away at this mystery – in a big way. ... Read More

Bacteria don’t always work ‘just in time’

'Just in time' - not only cars are being built according to this principle nowadays. Aircraft, mobile phones and computers are also produced following this method, in which all components are delivered exactly at the time when they are needed. This saves storage capacity and therefore cash. Henc... Read More

Dengue fever, chikungunya: a potential vector discovered in Mayotte

IRD researchers and their partners at the French Regional Health Agency, Indian Ocean, have identified a new mosquito species in Mayotte, which could be a vector of dengue fever and chikungunya hitherto unknown. Stegomyia pia , as the scientists have named it, in fact belongs to a group of speci... Read More

Smile! New Nanotube Surface Promises Dental Implants That Heal Faster and Fight Infection

A brighter, better, longer-lasting dental implant may soon be on its way to your dentist's office. Dental implants are posts, usually made of titanium, that are surgically placed into the jawbone and topped with artificial teeth. More than dentures or bridges, implants mimic the look and feel of... Read More

The Microscopic Flash Mob

Every day we see animals migrating through the air, across plains, and in the oceans, in beautifully coordinated patterns; starlings flock together in the thousands while sardines swim together in enormous shoals. These social behaviors are important in allowing animals to socialize, avoid preda... Read More

TWiV 251: Don't kiss the camel



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

In Life, Man Immune To HIV Helped Scientists Fight Virus

Stephen Crohn, a man best known for staying alive during the early days of the AIDS epidemic, died Aug. 23 at age 66. Throughout his lifetime, the New York artist helped researchers uncover vital clues about HIV and how to stop it.

Crohn's partner was one of the first people to die from AIDS ... Read More

Antibiotics Driving Resistant Bacteria In Urban Sewers

A new study from Chicago-based researchers has found that a confluence of sewage overflows and widespread antibiotic use is causing the proliferation of antibiotic-resistant bacteria in waterways around the Windy City.

Recently published in the journal Environmental Science and Technology, th... Read More

Exoenzyme activity

Ms. Karen Alarcon, 3rd yr - BS Biology student from St. Paul University Quezon City, Philippines is doing an exercise on exoenzyme screening by select bacterial isolates. On the picture, bacteria on starch agar flooded with iodine was analysed for the production of exoenzyme amylase. Read More

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