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Small microbes almost killed all life on Earth, study suggests

Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study.

These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost... Read More

TWiM 68 Letters

Dr. Robert Kelley writes:


Dear Twim Docs,


I just finished listening to the latest episode it Twim on the microbiote's effects on obesity. There was discussion about the use of donor feces in the treatment of human disease. I thought this might be of interest.<... Read More

Ice Nucleation Bacteria, Twitter, and Me!

In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More

BacterioFiles 171 - Segments Select Specific Strains

This episode: Ahmed Gomaa and I discuss how to keep some microbes and get rid of others using bacteria's own immune system!


(15.1 MB, 16.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

TWiV 259: Windows into the soul of a cell



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit


Guest: Read More

Interview of Dr. Zakaria Ahmed (The Shining star of Bangladesh)

I am International Outreach Coordinator of We The Microbiologist, a group to outreach the excellence and passion for Microbiology. I communicated Dr. Zakira Ahmad, for a formal interaction to discuss his excellence. I am glad beyond expectation that I had been called to his home with a warm welc... Read More

In Search of the Perfect Gut Microbiome with a Tribe of Tanzanian Hunter-Gatherers

It might sound strange to say that humans have forgotten what human-food is, but many scientists believe this is the case. For thousands of years, the environment in which humans lived evolved at a glacial pace—our nutrition and culture changed slowly, and our bodies adapted to it at a matching ... Read More

Ebola’s ‘Fist’: U.Va. Unlocks How Deadly Virus Smashes Into Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered how the deadly Ebola virus punches its way into the cytoplasm of cells. The finding identifies an important target for blocking the infection process of this incurable disease that many fear may be used for bioterror.
... Read More

TWiV 277: My podcast Vinny



Hosts: Glenn Rall, Ann Skalka, and  Read More

How Bacteria in Placenta Could Help Shape Human Health

The placenta is full of microbes, a new study finds, raising questions about how that ecosystem and mothers' oral health influence the risk of pre-term birth.

Even before a baby is born a microbial ecosystem takes up residence in the placenta, creating a microbiome that may help shape the new... Read More

Staphylococcus aureus

Scanning electromicrograph of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

Frontline Investigates the Rise of Deadly, Drug-Resistant Bacteria that Modern Antibiotics Can’t Stop - Press Release

FRONTLINE Presents
Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 10 p.m. on PBS

Addie Rerecich was a happy 11-year-old girl who loved sports and talked a mile a minute. But when a mysterious pain in her hip landed her in the hospital in 2011, she began a downward spiral into ... Read More

Light zaps viruses: How photosensitization can stop viruses from infecting cells

A UCLA-led team of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses.

The UCLA AIDS Institute study, published in th... Read More

TWiV 254: Ninety-nine macaques on the wall



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

TWiV 276: Ramblers go viral



 Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Sus... Read More

New test system identifies 193 different yeasts and bacteria known to cause illness (FDA Press Release)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More

What Is Vibrio Vulnificus? Flesh-Eating Salt Water Bacteria Infects 31 In Florida

Florida health officials are encouraging the state’s residents not to be alarmed following another death from the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. The rare bacteria that thrives in saltwater has killed 10 people in Florida this year, while 31 people in all have been infected with the ... Read More

Conidiophores in Neurospora crassa

This is an 3D image of conidiophores of the filamentous fungus Neurospora crassa. Conidiophores are hyphae which differentiate to produce asexual structures named spores or conidia. The image taken using a confocal microscope shows conidiophores stained with a fluorophore which stains components... Read More

BacterioFiles 166 - Metamorphosis Microbes Mapped

This episode: Discovering how butterflies' bacteria change from caterpillar to adult!


(7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

'Paleo Ale' Brewed From Yeast Found On A 40-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil

A Virginia brewer soon plans to serve a beer made from yeast found hanging out on a 40-million-year-old whale fossil, the blog Symbiartic reports. Depending on your disposition, I imagine you're reacting in one of two ways right now, "Yecchh!" or "Cool!" The beer will be called Bone Dusters Pale... Read More

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