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Metagenomic Study Links Microbes to Flavors in Kefir

Washington, DC - October 4, 2016 - A team of food scientists and microbiologists in Ireland have used high-throughput sequencing to analyze how microbial populations change as kefir ferments. It's a new frontier in food analysis: Using the data, collected over a 24-hour fermentation period, the ... Read More

Staphylococcus aureus has a resistance strategy that thwarts certain antimicrobials

The natural presence of fatty acids in the human body leads to increased resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to a class of antimicrobials that target bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This discovery, based on research by INRA scientists in collaboration with with INSERM, Hôpital Cochin APHP, th... Read More

A bacterial role in breast cancer development and prevention

Microbial infection is implicated in an ever-growing number of types of cancer. Adding to the already long list of microbial-associated cancers, an increasing body of evidence suggests breast cancer may also be associated with a specific microbial milieu. A report in Applied and Environmental Mi... Read More

Flint Michigan hit with an outbreak of shigellosis as residents shun city water

Residents of Flint, Mich., affected by the contaminated-water crisis have added a new complication to their lives: an outbreak of shigellosis, a bacterial illness that is easily transmitted when people do not wash their hands.

Health department officials in Genesee County, where Flint is the ... Read More

MMP #17: How bacteria can change graphene to propel rotors.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Julia Yeomans and Vikas Berry.

Julia Yeomans of Oxford University in the United Kingdom and chemical engineer
Vikas Berry of the University of Illinois, Chicago, talk with Jeff Fox about their separate, but in some ways similar, research effor... Read More

NYT - I’m a Doctor. If I Drop Food on the Kitchen Floor, I Still Eat It.

Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, discusses the five-second rule about dropping food on the floor and still eating it. He reminds us that we touch lots of dirty surfaces everyday, from cell phone screens to money and even the kitchen sink sponge.... Read More

Zika virus: The outbreak in Asia

How widespread is Zika in South East Asia? At least 19 countries and areas in the region have reported locally transmitted cases since 2007, according to the WHO. The majority - 13 - reported their cases this year. Thailand has recorded some 350 cases and Singapore nearly 400, including pregnant... Read More

Germs in wastewater often become airborne

Using household wastewater to irrigate food crops in drought-stricken or arid regions isn't the perfect solution. The chemicals and disease-causing germs it might contain could contaminate crops. Viruses that have their origin in the human intestines are often released into the air as fine spray... Read More

Remembering the General - D.A. Henderson and the Eradication of Small Pox

Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University and NYT writer, Lawrence K Altman, remembers Donald J. Henderson, MD, and his role in the eradication of small pox.

"The path to this monumental public health victory was tortuous, full of mini disasters, bureaucratic quagmires, rivalries,... Read More

Using satellite imagery to improve vaccination coverage

Looking for population shifts on satellite images could be a way to deliver vaccines and prevent or control disease outbreaks, a new study finds.

The findings, published in Scientific Reports, are based on analysis of satellite images, vaccine records, and measles case reports.

The researc... Read More

Roundworms even more useful than researchers previously thought

Caenorhabditis elegans (often abbreviated C. elegans) is a roundworm (nematode) used as a model system not only to study human diseases but also for understanding fundamental biological processes.

"Now we know that Caenorhabditis elegans do have the ability to produce chondroitin sulfate. Th... Read More

Smartphone microscope turns microbiology into game time

A new 3-D printed, easily assembled smartphone microscope developed at Stanford University turns microbiology into game time. The device allows kids to play games or make more serious observations with miniature light-seeking microbes called Euglena.

When it’s assembled, it has a platform for... Read More

Swarming Proteus

Proteus on a CLED plate. How and why does it swarm? Read More

Antibiotic history of a hospital bed may increase a patient’s risk of infection

If the previous occupant of a hospital bed received antibiotics, the next patient who uses that bed may be at higher risk for a severe form of infectious diarrhea, according to a new study.

Clostridium difficile (C. diff) diarrhea causes 27,000 deaths each year in the U.S. Hospital patients t... Read More

Evidence Mounting Zika Virus Causes Paralytic Disease

Researchers have discovered the strongest evidence yet linking the Zika virus to the paralytic illness Guillain-Barre syndrome. During the height of the viral epidemic the incidence of Guillain-Barre was 100 times the number of cases usually seen.

Guillain-Barre is a normally rare condition t... Read More

Japan's Nobel winner hopes to create center for microbiology

The night after receiving the news about winning the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, microbiologist Yoshinori Ohsumi expressed his eagerness to build a new research center for microbiology and create a system for supporting young scientists.

"Microorganisms support the living worl... Read More

Adding a related virus can boost vaccines

The results of a clinical trial suggest it is possible to modify the body’s response to an infection with a related virus.

The researchers report in Nature Microbiology that antibodies, under specific conditions, can intensify infection with a virus related to the causal organism. This phenom... Read More

LudusScope Turns Microbiology Into Real Games (video)

The LudusScope is an interactive smartphone microscope that can be made entirely out of 3D printed or commonly available materials and is easily assembled by middle school or high school students. Developed by Stanford bioengineer Ingmar Riedel-Kruse, it allows students to interact directly with... Read More

BacterioFiles 271 - Dictyostelium Delivers DNA Deathtraps

This episode: Slime molds have special cells that capture and kill bacteria using traps made of DNA!

(11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)

Show notes: 

Read More

History Lesson - The Day the US Senate Tried to Change the Name of Salmonella

In an attempt to preserve and defend the good name of the salmon fished in his state, Senator Warren Magnuson (D-WA), introduced in 1969 a bill in the US Senate pro­po­sing to change the name of Salmonella  to the more in­oc­cu­ous sounding Sanella. In some circles it may seem com­for­ting to th... Read More
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