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BacterioFiles 272 - Parasite Prevents Pollution Poisoning

This episode: Worm parasites infecting brine shrimp help them survive better in arsenic-polluted environments!

(7.9 MB, 8.6 minutes)

Show notes: 
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Morel mushrooms pop up, cluster together after wildfires

Avid mushroom hunters will tell you that fire is essential for finding morels. These fungi, distinguishable for their dark, honeycomblike caps, pop out of the ground by the bushel in spring after a large wildfire.

This ecological knowledge is mostly anecdotal, shared among morel enthusiasts f... Read More

Scientists uncover new facets of Zika-related birth defects

In the new study, the scientists observed the virus's effects in animal models at two different points -- during early postnatal development, when the brain is growing rapidly, and at weaning, when the brain has largely reached adult size.

"In early postnatal Zika-infected models some brain a... Read More

Where Zika Struck Hardest, Brazil Moms Say More Help Needed

Zika initially was known only to cause flu-like symptoms in some people. But a surge late last year in cases of babies born with small heads in northeast Brazil set off worldwide alarm about the virus, which was later linked to a birth defect known as microcephaly. When the connection was made, ... Read More

New research offers insights into managing agricultural runoff and coastal dead zones

A study published today in Ecology Letters adds to a growing body of work examining the relationship between harmful algal blooms in the Gulf of Mexico and agricultural runoff. The article focuses on water chemistry, specifically the ratio of dissolved silica to dissolved inorganic nitrogen in 1... Read More

TWiM #137: The battle for oxygen

Highlights of the Recent Advances in Microbial Control meeting in San Diego, and expansion of a gut pathogen by virulence factors that stimulate aerobic respiration.


Vincent Racaniello, <... Read More

Zika Virus Found in Woman's Vagina for Weeks

A woman infected with Zika carried the virus in her vagina for weeks, researchers reported Tuesday.

It's yet more evidence that the virus can hang out in the human body for weeks or months after symptoms have cleared up. The findings, rushed online by the journal Emerging Infectious Diseases,... Read More

Breaking a bacterial-made magnet apart

Currently, it is well established that prokaryotes possess cytoskeleton and organelles. This image depicts how magnetic organelles, magnetosomes, are properly partitioned and segregated by a mechanism that relies on the treadmilling of a dedicated cytoskeletal structure, the actin-like MamK fila... Read More

New science museum exhibit explores 'the secret world' inside us

The N.C. Museum of Natural Sciences in downtown Raleigh opens a new special exhibit this weekend that explores the secret world inside all of us.

"The Secret World Inside You" uses larger-than-life models, computer interactives, videos and art installations to explore the evolving science tha... Read More

Happy couple

Happy bacteria couple drawn on TSA plate using a MRSA culture.
This picture illustrates how happy bacteria can become when people don't take all the antibiotic treatment correctly. Antibiotic resistance is a big problem nowadays. Read More

The Sleeping Monsters in your Mouth

The oral cavity is wet, warm and nutrient rich. These characteristics allow microorganisms to flourish -- however they are normally kept in check by the host. Oral diseases like periodontitis are mediated by bacteria. Curiously, it is not a single bacterium that is the cause of disease, but a... Read More

Zika virus detected in ‘a few’ units of donor blood in Florida

Zika virus has been detected in units of donated blood in Florida, federal health officials said Tuesday.

But the number so far is small, and new testing in high-risk areas kept the virus from entering the U.S. blood supply.

Food and Drug Administration officials confirmed that “a few” uni... Read More

Frederick C. Neidhardt (1931 − 2016) An Obituary

A towering figure in microbiology, our friend Fred Neidhardt died on October 7, 2016 at his re­tire­ment home, the Academy Village near Tucson AZ. He made fundamental and abiding con­tri­bu­tions to research, teaching, academic administration, and social issues. In each, he left deep-root­ed mar... Read More

Cyanophages: Maximizing the Photo– and Redirecting the –Synthesis

Daniel Haeusser, an Assistant Professor in the Biology De­part­ment of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, discusses the misconception of assuming that photosynthesis exists as single process of strict coupling between energy conversion and carbohydrate production. Read More

Experiment in monkeys raises hopes of "functional cure" for HIV

A new drug combination helped stave off a monkey version of HIV for nearly two years after stopping all treatments, raising hopes for a functional cure for HIV, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

The treatment involved standard HIV drugs, known as antiretroviral therapy or ART, plus an experi... Read More

Generation Zika

U.S. public health officials are bracing for a wave of babies with severe Zika-related birth defects. The latest official numbers suggest 808 pregnant women in the U.S. appear to have been infected with Zika. Yet doctors are also steeling themselves for the possibility of birth abnormalities in ... Read More

Zika infects neural cells related to skull formation, affecting their function

Cranial neural crest cells--which give rise to the bones and cartilage of the skull--are vulnerable to Zika virus, report Stanford University School of Medicine researchers September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe. The discovery, made by infecting in vitro cultures of human cells, offers a potential ... Read More

Antarctica is practically defined by ice: What happens when it melts?

A single season of intense melting buffeted Antarctica in 2001-2002. It yielded changes that ranged from speeding up microbial food webs to shifting penguin populations. A special section in the October issue of BioScience examines the impacts on two very different Antarctic ecosystems.

...... Read More

Oxidase Test

The oxidase test is performed using a reducing agent to detect bacteria’s ability to produce cytochrome c oxidase, an enzyme in the electron transport chain. The reducing agent (N,N,N′,N′-tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine (TMPD)) changes or produces a purple color as it become oxidized. Pseudom... Read More

Bacteria on Device Said to Infect at Least 12 Patients in Pennsylvania

A device used during open-heart surgery that infected at least 12 patients at a Pennsylvania hospital last year was probably tainted at the plant in Germany where it was made, a federal investigation has found.

The device, called a heater-cooler machine, uses water to regulate the temperature... Read More
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