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'Sterile' Urine May Be a Myth

Many people have heard that human urine is devoid of germs, but a new study seems to question that idea.

"Doctors have been trained to believe that urine is germ-free," Dr. Linda Brubaker, dean of Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine, said in a university news release. "These ... 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

TWiM 81 Letters

Ravi writes:


TWiM & TWiV team,
Keep up the excellent work! I am an electronics engineer who has never studied biological sciences, but now in my 50's, I find your podcasts fascinating. I listen to episodes while working out - a good combination of mental &... Read More

TWiP 60 letters

Maureen writes:


Our vaccine unit here at NIH did a study of malaria vaccine with some promising results. I know Dickson has been a champion of conquering malaria.


http://www.scie... Read More

New Drugs Use Cell "Garbage Disposal" to Kill Bacteria

A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides—ADEPs—may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics.

Researchers have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemica... Read More

The Energizer Bacterium

Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.

Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More

You'll Want To Wash Your Hands Immediately After Reading This (Infographic)

Germaphobes, maybe you're on to something.

Sickness-causing bacteria and viruses can lurk on surfaces long after they're expelled in an infected person's sneeze or snot. Some can even stay on a surface for months, given the right conditions. While the ability of these microorganisms to actual... Read More

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

About half of ... Read More

TWiM 71 Letters

Zachary writes:


How long does it take to become a microbiologist?


Tim writes:


I'd never heard of magnetotactic bacteria before and thought perhaps you guys might find this interesting. Not sure if you've mentioned these on TWIM before,... Read More

Finally, Clothing Designed to Stop the Spread of Germs on Public Transit

Of all the public transit etiquette violations out there, the sneeze-and-touch at the height of cold and flu season is among the worst. Everyone who rides in a city has seen it: that sickly looking person across the train or bus who sneezes into a free hand then grabs the pole we all share. Rese... Read More

BacterioFiles 172 - Sunlight-Snackers Seize Sparks

This episode: Some photosynthetic bacteria can use electricity for their metabolism to make useful stuff too!


(9.2 MB, 10 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More

30,000 feet up, these bacteria aren't afraid of heights

From ocean floors to office desks, bacteria coat nearly every inch of the Earth. Scientists have recently discovered bacteria are present high above the Earth, as well. Ten kilometers up, to be exact, in a region of our atmosphere known as the upper troposphere. In a place where freezing tempera... Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis

Streak plate of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Amazon Virus Moves Quicker than Dengue

An Amazon virus that causes symptoms similar to those of dengue had part of its action mechanism unraveled by researchers from UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

Click "source" to read more. Read More

Physarum polycephalum

Physarum polycephalum, slime mold, grown in a large perti plate on moist paper towels using oatmeal as the food source. Culture was grown in the dark at room temperature. The paper towel was moistened every day with tap water. After 3 week’s the culture formed sporangia (fruiting bodies). Im... Read More

Bacterial Artistry - Serratia marcesens

Serratia marcesens is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil, water, on plants and in animals and thrives in damp conditions. This organism is well known for its production of the blood red pigment, prodigiosin. Production of prodigiosin can be influenced by several... Read More

I had the bacteria in my gut analysed. And this may be the future of medicine

Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's to autism, depression and cancer.

Click on 'source' to read more. Read More

Antibiotic developed 50 years ago may be the key to fighting ‘superbugs’

Scientists at the University at Buffalo are turning to an old class of antibiotics to fight new superbugs resistant to modern medicine.

A $4.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow UB researchers to develop new dosing regimens for polymyxin antibiotics.

Developed ... Read More

As Plant Virus Jumps to Bees, Does it Cause Colony Collapse?

Another potentially significant answer in the long-running mystery behind colony collapse disorder (CCD) may have just emerged: Researchers have found a virus that typically infects plants has been systemically infecting honeybees in the United States and China.

Click on 'source' to read more... Read More

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