On the issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and animals, the first thing that comes to mind is livestock and other farm-based animals that are regularly fed antibiotics as growth promoters, but they are not the only source of resistance. Participants discuss studies showing that non-farm anim... Read More
Hello TWiV Doctors,
Two short things:
1. You probably already heard the TWiV shout-out you got on NPR's Morning Edition on Friday, March 30th. It's here: Read More
Vincent and Rich discuss... Read More
The health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected. Disruption of the environment often creates new niches for the evolution of infectious diseases, and provides opportunities for the transmission of pathogens to animals or humans. The majority of infectious disea... Read More
Dear TWiM Team
A fascinating article from New Scientist this week.
Standard medical teaching is that the foetus is sterile and that the microbiome only begins to develop post natal.
New research from Spain indicates that the microbiome s... Read More
If you know anything about snakes you might be familiar with snake inclusion body disease, or IBD. This transmissible and fatal disease affects snakes of a variety of species but has been best studied in boas. The name comes from the presence of large masses (inclusions) in the cytoplasm of cell... Read More
A new, nanometer-sized biosensor can detect a single deadly bacterium in tainted ground beef. How? Researchers attached nanoparticles, each packed with thousands of dye molecules, to an antibody that recognizes the microbe E. coli O157:H7. When the nanoball-antibody combo comes into contact with... Read More
The Obama administration has announced a new policy to handle the risks posed by legitimate biological research that could, in the wrong hands, threaten the public.
The move comes in response to a huge debate over recent experiments on bird flu virus that got funding from the National Institu... Read More
Computer-designed proteins are under construction to fight the flu. Researchers are demonstrating that proteins found in nature, but that do not normally bind the flu, can be engineered to act as broad-spectrum antiviral agents against a variety of flu virus strains, including H1N1 pandemic infl... Read More
After a decade of research, ContraFect Corporation, a small biotech company based in Yonkers, N.Y., is preparing to test bacteriophages—viruses that infect and destroy bacteria—in people as a potential alternative to overused antibiotics for treating and preventing bacterial infections. The firs... Read More
Scientists may have pinpointed a potential way to prevent the flu by identifying a protein that amps up the immune system, according to a new animal study.
The synthetic protein, called EP67, is able to trigger an immune response to the "threat" of the flu virus within a couple of hours in mi... Read More
Squishing a stack of virus sheets generates enough electricity to power a small liquid crystal display. With increased power output, these virus films might one day use the beating of your heart to power a pacemaker, the researchers behind them say.
Piezoelectric materials build up charge whe... Read More
There is no parasite that is universally infective, even generalist parasites that can infect many different host species are usually limited to a particular taxonomic group - such as fish, insects, or mammals. Some parasites may infect a broad spectrum of hosts during one stage of their life-cy... Read More
Ancient DNA of the bacteria causing syphilis, the Treponema pallidum pallidum, can be recovered from the ancient bones of newborns. This is the conclusion reached by a study led by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), which was able to obtain the genetic material from the bacteria in more th... Read More
Scientists studying loss of bone and muscle mass among astronauts find that spaceflight’s effects on microscopic worms may help them live longer.
The researchers discovered that spaceflight suppresses accumulation of toxic proteins that normally accumulate within aging muscle.
In addition,... Read More