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TWiV 255: Longhorns go viral



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

TB or not TB: that is the question.

Tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious public health problem: 8.7 million cases in 2001 and over 1.4 million deaths per year. In 2006, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has been confirmed in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. The emergence ... Read More

Decades-old question: Is antibacterial soap safe?

It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet.

But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient fo... Read More

A single amino acid change switches avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to human receptors

Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the viru... Read More

Why Do Bacteria Thrive in Space?

For reasons that still aren't well understood, bacteria proliferate in microgravity. Creating a potential recipe for disaster for humans stationed in space for long periods, bacteria's love of low-g also raises an intriguing question: Why are they so comfortable there?

Click on source for ful... Read More

Poison-breathing bacteria

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in Calif... Read More

TWiV 258: Hedging our bats



Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove Read More

New chip lets scientists listen in on bacteria

Researchers at Columbia University are turning that optics-based imaging approach on its head, instead developing a chip based on integrated circuit technology that lets them not only electrochemically image bacteria, but listen in on them as well.

Click on 'source' to read more. 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

Bacteria in Baby's Belly May Influence Growth, Study Says

Infants' early growth is influenced by the types of bacteria in their digestive system, a new study says.

A variety of bacteria quickly populate the sterile digestive tract of a newborn. Norwegian researchers identified connections between specific types of bacteria and infant growth rates.
... 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

Bacteria 'could be a cause of preterm births'

New research from the US has found a link between preterm births where the water sac around the baby breaks prematurely, and bacteria near where the walls of the sac are thinner.

The researchers, including Amy P. Murtha, associate professor of obstetrics and gynecology at Duke University Scho... Read More

Breastfeeding increases prevalence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in infants

Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota d... Read More

10 Supermarket Health Dangers - MSN Healthy Living

This Week in Microbiology co-host Michael Schmidt is featured on msn.com's Healthy Living in a slideshow about potential health issues at the supermarket:

Placing fresh produce on the checkout belt invites germs to have a field day. Packages of poultry, ground meat, fresh fish and even filet... Read More

Bespoke microbiome therapy to manage plant diseases

In this paper we describe the perspective of following the achievements in medicine, where gut microbiome transplants are proving to be a powerful method to overcome several gastrointestinal disorders and many other physiological problems, to possible solve diseases in plants. There is strong si... Read More

TWiV 244: Back in the CVVR



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

Staphylococcus aureus

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

Secrets of the Giant, Ancient, Frozen, Killer Virus

It all started with a tiny chunk of dirt. The sample of 30,000-year-old permafrost, a frozen layer of soil from the Siberian tundra, weighed just a fraction of an ounce. But, as TIME reported on Tuesday, that scrap was carrying within it a surprise worthy of a pulp comic book: a gargantuan virus... Read More

Green Alga Found to Prey on Bacteria, Bolstering Endosymbiotic Theory

A green alga with throat- and stomach-like structures can swallow and digest bacteria when deprived of light, further bolstering Lynn Margulis’s widely accepted idea that the origin of the plant-powering chloroplast was a fortuitous bout of indigestion.

Termed “Endosymbiotic Theory“, the idea... Read More

This Spinning Disk Can Detect Salmonella In 30 Minutes

Analytical Chemistry Researchers have created a spinning disk that can quickly tell--within 30 minutes--if food samples contain Salmonella. The most widely-used method to test for the pathogen involves growing out samples on petri dishes and can take days so this has potential to be much quicker... Read More

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