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Tool to edit DNA revolutionizing research in Boston area

It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.

The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More

Giant virus revived from deep freeze in Siberian tundra

A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.

The latest find, described online Monday ... Read More

Getting a Knit Bacteriophage From a Former Student!

A former student dropped by my lab this morning, and brought me a gift: a knit bacteriophage! Many times, as educators, we hear what we haven't done well, or could do better. Sometimes, like today, we get a priceless "thank you" from a former student. Read More

How One Experimental Drug May Be Defeating Ebola and Saving People

Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More

TWiM 79 Letters

Matthew writes:


Dear Doctors,


After listening to the second portion of TWiM 78, talking about the presence of gram-negative nosocomials around Brooklyn, I noticed a several people wearing scrubs while at lunch near a hospital in Houston, TX. Then a thought occ... Read More

Fungus in yogurt outbreak poses threat to consumers

The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research. "When people think about food-borne pathogens, normally they list bacteria, viruses, and maybe parasites. Fungal pathogen... Read More

Ebola virus 'has killed a third of world's gorillas and chimpanzees'

The Ebola virus currently poses the greatest threat to the survival of great apes, conservationists have warned, after killing an estimated third of the world's gorillas and chimpanzees since the 1990s.

The unprecedented current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed some 8,641 people, acco... Read More

Researchers find link between microbiome, type 1 diabetes

In the largest longitudinal study of the microbiome to date, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group have identified a connection between changes in gut microbiota and the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The st... Read More

Acid Fast Stain#2

Acid Fast stain done on a mix of Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis. The stain was done on a culture of M. smegmatis that was incubated on a TSA slant with 1ml TSB added at 37 degree's C for 4 days, S. aureus was incubated in TSB at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs. Several loops of eac... Read More

Are Microbes Winning the Antibiotic Arms Race?

Eighty-six years after the discovery of penicillin, docs are running out of antibiotics to treat serious infections like Clostridium difficile and gonorrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, the discovery of new "wonder drugs" has slowed, and microbi... Read More

TWiP 85: Channeling tryps

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel explain how trypanolytic factor forms membrane channels to lyse trypanosomes, and present a new case study.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

A Possible Treatment for Peanut Allergies

More than 15 million people in the United States live with food allergies that impact every meal they eat. For some, accidentally ingesting a snack that their body deems taboo can ignite a violent biological response. Every three minutes someone is rushed to the emergency room due to a food alle... Read More

Streptococcus pyogenes on blood agar

Streak plate of Streptococcus pyogenes (incubated @ 37 degrees C for 48 hrs) showing beta hemolysis, complete lysis of red blood cells, around the isolated colonies. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

Positive clinical results indicate vaccine candidate is highly efficacious against bacterial diarrhea

New results from a safety and immunogenicity study, which included a challenge phase to test efficacy, indicate that a live attenuated enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine candidate, given in combination with a novel adjuvant, provided significant protection against disease. This repr... Read More

TWiM 89 Letters

Peter writes:


Dear Michele,


Prof. Szybalski might have been referring to a truck with a wood gas generator


Apparently they are still in use north of the b... Read More

Probiotics not for colic? A response

This week a study published in the British Medical Journal, and reported in the Daily Mail, has reported that a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 is not effective in helping to reduce symptoms of colic in babies.

However here we examine the nature of the study, and i... Read More

TWiV 318: Last year in virology

The TWiV gang reviews ten fascinating, compelling, and riveting virology stories from 2014.


Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier, ... Read More

Sweet Sweet Straw

The calorie free sweetener erythritol is widely used in Asia; it is also gaining popularity in Europe and America. At the Vienna University of Technology, a new cheap method has been developed to produce erythritol from straw with the help of mould fungi.

Erythritol has many great advantages:... Read More

A possible alternative to antibiotics

Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections without antibiotics, which would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Ever since the development of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have remained t... Read More

Mycotoxin protects against nematodes

Researchers at ETH Zurich have isolated a protein from a fungus of the spruce which combats nematodes. The scientists hope that toxins of this kind will become the basis for the vaccination of livestock or domestic animals against zooparasitic nematodes.

Most terrestrial plants enter into bio... Read More
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