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Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

By shifting evolution into reverse, it may be possible to use “green chemistry” to make a number of costly synthetic drugs as easily and cheaply as brewing beer. Normally, both evolution and synthetic chemistry proceed from the simple to the complex. Small molecules are combined and modified to ... Read More

Engineers design ‘living materials’ - Hybrid materials combine bacterial cells with nonliving elements that can conduct electricity or emit light

Inspired by natural materials such as bone — a matrix of minerals and other substances, including living cells — MIT engineers have coaxed bacterial cells to produce biofilms that can incorporate nonliving materials, such as gold nanoparticles and quantum dots.

These “living materials” combin... Read More

Stopping malaria transmission: A Virginia Tech biochemist is out for blood

Fighting malaria in today’s world will require a new, targeted approach, and Virginia Tech researchers are out for blood.

The parasites responsible for the mosquito-borne infectious disease are increasingly resistant to current drug approaches, and almost half of the world is at risk of cont... Read More

Drugs fail to reawaken dormant HIV infection

Scientists report that compounds they hoped would "wake up" dormant reservoirs of HIV inside immune system T cells -- a strategy designed to reverse latency and make the cells vulnerable to destruction -- have failed to do so in laboratory tests of such white blood cells taken directly from pati... Read More

Six to Tango

One genome at a time can be exciting, but two even more so. I’m not entirely sure why this is, although it may explain our fascination with sex. And what if more than two entities were involved? What if the intimacy were not just between two individual organisms, but between a greater number of ... Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis

Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs.
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Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix grown on TSA for 48 hrs. Serratia marcescens grows red due to prodigiosin and Escherichia coli grows opaque white. Read More

Micrococcus luteus

Micrococcus luteus grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Arctic bacteria gene swap to detoxify mercury

On the list of substances you really don’t want to mess with, elemental mercury is pretty high up. Inhalation or absorption of the volatile metal can quickly lead to irreversible poisoning. Unfortunately, Hg is also a hallmark of industrial society.....Mercury-resistant bacteria carry a collecti... Read More

TWiV 277: My podcast Vinny



Hosts: Glenn Rall, Ann Skalka, and  Read More

Fungus on toilet seat

Culturing microbes on nutrient plate and testing for different kind of microbes on specific environment areas. This inoculated nutrient plate that was left for a period of 14 days showed the present of a few different kind of fungus species. It’s common to think that the human palm contains more... Read More

Comeback of an abandoned antibiotic

Trimethoprim is more effective against streptococci than expected. Scarlet fever and infections of the skin and throat are often caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes. In less-developed countries, inexpensive and well-tolerated antibiotics for therapy are often not available. Scien... Read More

Nanovaccines that need no-refrigeration could curb diseases in remote areas

A new kind of single-dose vaccine that comes in a nasal spray and doesn't require refrigeration could dramatically alter the public health landscape - get more people vaccinated around the world and address the looming threats of emerging and re-emerging diseases. Researchers presented the lates... Read More

Brighter future for bacteria detection

Ever wonder why fruits and vegetables sometimes hit the shelves contaminated by pathogenic bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella? According to Tim Lu, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering at MIT, it boils down to the inefficient bacteria-detect... Read More

A Non-Coding RNA Promotes Bacterial Persistence and Decreases Virulence by Regulating a Regulator in Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal and an opportunistic pathogen that causes a large range of community and hospital-acquired infections. The bacteria produce an array of virulence factors, the expression of which is regulated by a set of regulators including proteins and RNAs. In recent years... Read More

Mycobacteriophages: Windows into Tuberculosis

Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Mycobacteriophages display a remarkable genetic diversity. About 30 distinct types (called clusters, or singletons if they have no relatives) that share little or no nu... Read More

8 unusual uses for probiotics

Most of us are familiar with taking our daily probiotic supplement in the conventional way, either in capsule or powder form. It is however becoming increasingly apparent that people are discovering some weird and wonderful ways to use their probiotics, and here nutritional therapist Jo Saunders... Read More

Physarum polycephalum

Physarum polycephalum, slime mold, grown in a large perti plate on moist paper towels using oatmeal as the food source. Culture was grown in the dark at room temperature. The paper towel was moistened every day with tap water. After 3 week’s the culture formed sporangia (fruiting bodies). Im... Read More

Click-Chemistry Labeling of Oligonucleotides and DNA - Lumiprobe - Protocol


Click chemistry is a versatile reaction that can be used for the synthesis of a variety of conjugates. Virtually any biomolecules can be involved, and labeling with small molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, biotin, and other groups can be readily achieved.

Click chemistry reaction takes pl... Read More

Octopic cultivation

Cute octopus-like device for anaerobic cultivation of cellulolytic bacteria aimed to replace O2 with argon. Situated at the Faculty of Biology, Moscow State University, Russia. Read More

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