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My Dishwasher Is Trying to Kill Me: Extreme Conditions Suit Pathogenic Fungus

A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found. A new paper published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier, shows that these sites make perfect habi... Read More

At least 59 people dead in Guinea Ebola outbreak

An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- we... Read More

Shingles Vaccine Coverage Low in Elderly Americans - ICAAC 2013

Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. Despite the approval and recommendation by the FDA of a shingles vaccine for adults over 50, only 16% of American seniors over 60 are vaccinated. Vaccinations are even lower for those aged 50-60. A... Read More

Gut bacteria may be best defense against nasty germs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it more and more difficult to treat infections. But research suggests that the best defense against harmful bugs could be a healthy population of “good” gut bacteria. The human relationship with microbial life is complicated. At almost any su... Read More

TWiM 63 Letters

Hugh writes:


Hi Vincent,


I really enjoyed hearing about Carl Woese in TWiM #50. You mentioned the controversy surrounding of Woese's 1977 discovery of Archea as a third domain of life, as it contradicted entrenched scientific beliefs. Although Archea soon foun... Read More

TWiV 250: Wookie viruses



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Robert Garcea


Read More

Scientists Study What to Do If You Drop a Cookie on the Floor

Once again, you've dropped your snack. You bend down, snatch it up, and gently blow off any dust—and, you hope, deadly germs. You're about to put it in your mouth because, after all, you've got the "five-second rule" on your side: Food that's been dropped is safe to consume if it's been on the f... Read More

Microbes are going to save the world | Bonnie Bassler (video)

Should we only consider bacteria as harmful to our bodies?

Bonnie Bassler is a molecular biologist who has made a stunning discovery: bacteria 'talk' to each other using chemical signals that enable them to act as a unit, mount attacks and coordinate defence. This phenomenon of bacterial com... Read More

TWiP 68 letters


Tim writes:


I listened to the latest TWIP this morning. Dickson mentioned the herbicide atrazine but thought it was a fungicide. It is actually a herbicide in the photosynthesis inhibitor class. Another bit of trivia about ag chemicals is that old chemicals like ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 148 - Engineered Escherichia Enzyme Enhances Environmentalism

This episode: Engineered bacteria could help capture CO2 and convert it into a solid form for storage!


(7.3 MB, 8 minutes)


E. coli engineered to produce the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which converts carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and then to calcium carbonate,... Read More

Boy infected with rare brain-eating amoeba in Florida

Another child has been infected with a rare, brain-eating parasite, less than a month after Kali Hardig ended up in an Arkansas hospital, fighting for her life.

The new patient is 12-year-old Zachary Reyna, his family told CNN affiliate WBBH. A spokesperson for the Hendry-Glades Health Depart... Read More

Fossil viruses preserved in hot spring bacteria

Fossilized microbes have provided scientists many clues about origins of life. By comparison, little attention is given to viruses in the fossil record. Although technically non-living, there is no question these tiny packets of protein-sheathed DNA have shaped the evolution of most life on eart... Read More

Scientists find coronavirus inhibitor blocking MERS and SARS

A team of European scientists say they have discovered a compound that can prevent the spreading of coronaviruses, responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks that have killed about 1,000 people worldwide.

A team of scientists led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden,... Read More

TWiV 251: Don't kiss the camel



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 149 - Psychrobacter Survives Siberian Schisms

This episode: Cold-loving bacteria can repair surprising amounts of DNA damage even sub-zero temperatures!


(9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)


Bacteria isolated from the Siberian arctic permafrost are exposed to a lot of radiation over thousands of years, but somehow they are able to repair... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 106 - Ricardo Santos

Aunque el género Mycobacterium es asociado a infecciones tales como la lepra y la tuberculosis, hay un gran número de especies que son por lo general no patogénicos o patógenos oportunistas. En el episodio de hoy tenemos al Dr. Ricardo Santos del Instituto Superior Técnico de Lisboa, Portugal... Read More

Guinea Worm Said to Infect Few in 2013

Only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in the world in 2013, a 73 percent drop from the 542 cases found one year earlier, the Carter Center announced Thursday.

Along with polio, Guinea worm is one of two diseases hovering on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,000 cases annua... Read More

Rare bacteria outbreak linked to Chicago hospital

CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The largest outbreak ever of a rare but potentially deadly bacteria has been tied to equipment in a Chicago-area hospital, health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 44 cases of infection by the bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteri... Read More

Celebrity portraits grown out stars' own bacteria

Well-known faces including Stephen Fry and Carol Vorderman are helping make art out of science by taking part in an experiment to grow portraits using their own bacteria.

The celebrities teamed up with American microbiologist and photographer Zachary Copfer to make the images by contributing ... Read More

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