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Fungus May Block Alzheimer's Protein

Some natural types of fungus appear to inhibit the build-up of tau—a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

“Tau is a protein that is produced by the body,” says T. Chris Gamblin, associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Kansas. “I... Read More

Blood agar/Hemolysis

Three organisms inoculated onto blood agar, straight line inoculation, to demonstrate hemolysis. From top to bottom:
Streptococcus pyogenes: beta, complete lysis of red blood cells, clear area around colony growth.
Streptococcus bovis: alpha, incomplete lysis of red blood cells, green area ... Read More

Evolving superbug threatens to create an infection tsunami

An international study led by The University of Queensland has tracked a potentially devastating multi-drug resistant E. coli strain that is only one gene away from being resistant to almost all antibiotics.

UQ Australian Infectious Diseases Research Centre scientist Dr Nouri Ben Zakour said ... Read More

Scientists build man-made 'living-materials' inside bacterial cells

Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Te... Read More

Nano-paper filter can remove viruses

Researchers at the Division of Nanotechnology and Functional Materials, Uppsala University have developed a paper filter, which can remove virus particles with an efficiency matching that of the best industrial virus filters. The paper filter consists of 100 percent high purity cellulose nanofib... Read More

Fighting Cholera With Mass Vaccination

When studying bacteria it is quite easy to get fascinated with them as a laboratory specimen while forgetting the huge impact they can have in real life societies. I find the PLoS journal of Neglected Tropical diseases redresses that as it covers work with bacteria and parasites from the front l... Read More

Hawaii, Other States Calling Dibs On Official State Bacteria

State legislators like to claim official symbols for nearly everything. There are state birds, state dinosaurs, even a state question (New Mexico's “Red or green?”). The South Arkansas Vine Ripe Pink Tomato is both Arkansas's official fruit and its vegetable. Nebraska’s official drink is water. ... Read More

Twenty-six lectures in virology

In the spring of each year I teach a virology course to undergraduates and masters students at Columbia University. I produce video recordings of all my lectures not only for students in the course, but for anyone else who is interested in learning about viruses.

You can find my virology lect... 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

Versatility in Genetic Expression Aids Rapid Microbial Evolution

Microbiologists from Trinity College Dublin have discovered that an identical protein is used differently by two species of bacteria to help them cope with distinct types of environmental stress. The discovery reveals an extraordinary level of versatility in the way different genes are ‘switched... Read More

"Crowdsourced" Microbes Heading to the Space Station

NASA Public Affairs Officer Dan Huot talks with Dr. David Coil about Project MERCCURI, which will study a "crowdsourced" collection of microbial samples scheduled to launch to the International Space Station aboard the SpaceX-3 mission.

Follow along with Project MERCCURI at: http://spacemicro... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 162 - Desert Dwellers Densify Dunes

This episode: Spraying cyanobacteria could turn deserts into useful land!


(9.3 MB, 10.13 minutes)


Show notes: 
Ne... Read More

Tamiflu-resistant influenza: parsing the genome for the culprits

It doesn’t take long for the flu virus to outsmart Tamiflu. EPFL scientists have developed a tool that reveals the mutations that make the virus resistant, and they have identified new mutations that may render ineffective one of the few treatments currently available on the market.

Tamiflu ... Read More

New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables

Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... Read More

Popular probiotics have few cons, experts say

Every year, half of all Americans take some kind of pill as insurance against their diets.

But recently, researchers have noticed a surprising trend: Use of some of the most popular supplements is waning, possibly because of recent reports questioning their benefits and raising awareness abou... Read More

Five new Listeria species found; may improve tests

Cornell researchers have discovered five new species of a group of bacteria called Listeria – including one named for Cornell – that provide new insights that could lead to better ways to detect soil bacteria in food. To date, of the 10 previously known species of Listeria, only two are pathogen... Read More

Gut Reactions to Beneficial Bacteria

Q. When you eat yogurt or take a probiotic supplement, why aren’t the probiotic bacteria killed by stomach acids?

A. The point of consuming a probiotic supplement in a food like yogurt, a powder or a capsule is to introduce beneficial bacteria in the gut, said Dr. Christine Frissora, a gastro... Read More

Antibiotic resistance enzyme caught in the act

Resistance to an entire class of antibiotics – aminoglycosides -- has the potential to spread to many types of bacteria, according to new biochemistry research. A mobile gene called NpmA was discovered in E. coli bacteria several years ago. Global spread of NpmA and related antibiotic resistance... Read More

Ancient Virus DNA Gives Stem Cells the Power to Transform

A virus that invaded the genomes of humanity's ancestors millions of years ago now plays a critical role in the embryonic stem cells from which all cells in the human body derive, new research shows.

The discovery sheds light on the role viruses play in human evolution and could help scientis... Read More

Fauci: Robust Research Efforts Needed to Address Ongoing, Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance

Given the evolutionary ability of microbes to rapidly adapt, the threat of antimicrobial resistance likely will never be eliminated. Today, many factors compound the problem, including the inappropriate use of antibiotics and a dwindling supply of new medicines, leading to a global crisis of ant... Read More

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