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TWiP 40: Doctor, there's a worm in my eye!

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson discuss l... Read More

TWiM 35: Ohne hauch

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 87 - Fermenter Fixes Folate Faults

This episode: Probiotics could help prevent folate deficiency!



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Clostridium difficile

A colour-enhanced scanning electron micrograph image showing a cluster of Clostridium difficile on a surface. Clostridium difficile is a species of Gram-positive bacteria that causes severe diarrhea and other intestinal disease when competing bacteria in the gut flora have been wiped out by anti... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 89 - Counting Cloud Communities

This episode: Sampling storm cloud microbial communities with hailstones!



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TWiV 178 Letters

Josh writes:


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

Engineered Gut Bacteria Reverse Type 1 Diabetes in Experimental Mice

Scientists have managed to reverse type 1 diabetes (T1D) in experimental mice by giving the animals an oral course of harmless gut bacteria that had been engineered to secrete the whole proinsulin autoantigen (PINS) and the immunomodulatory human cytokine IL-10 (hIL10). An international team led... Read More

Is it Ebolavirus or Ebola virus?

When I drafted my article for TakePart (Don’t Panic – Ebola Isn’t Heading For You), I used the term ‘ebolavirus’ throughout, but the editors changed every instance to ‘Ebola virus’. Understanding which term is correct is far more complicated than you might imagine. Read More

TWiV 182 Letters

Joe writes:


Vince, here is the text of my post on Peter S site. I was disappointed in the quality of his article as I have much previous experience with his work and see him as the "David Baltimore of Risk Communication". If you could get him on as a guest you would e... Read More

48% of Retail Chicken Contaminated with E. Coli

A recent test of packaged raw chicken products bought at grocery stores across the country found that roughly half of them were contaminated with the bacteria E. coli.

E. coli, which the study said was an indicator of fecal contamination, was found in 48 percent of 120 chicken products bought... Read More

Dip Chip biosensor uses microbes to instantly detect almost any toxic substance

Once upon a time, tasters were employed by the well-to-do, in order to check that their food or drink wasn't poisonous. Today, there are electronic biosensors that can do more or less the same thing. Unfortunately, as was no doubt sometimes the case with the tasters, the biosensors can’t always ... Read More

Explore the Human Microbiome [Interactive]

Learn about the bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms that maintain human health.

The body contains 10 times more bacteria, fungi and other micro-organisms than human cells. Most of these species are harmless—although they can still cause illness if they wind up in the wrong place. In add... Read More

TWiV 179 Letters

Ebrahim writes:


Dear Dr. Racaniello


I was watching the conference in Dublin and I wanted to thank you for sharing my e-mail with the people in the panel, since I saw how nice it was for me to reach the specialists with that ease through TWIV.<... Read More

A viral mashup in snakes

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

Kawaoka paper published on aerosol transmission of H5 influenza virus in ferrets

One of two papers on avian influenza H5N1 virus that caused such a furor in the past six months was published today in the journal Nature. I have read it, and I can assure you that the results do not enable the construction of a deadly biological weapon. Instead, they illuminate important requir... Read More

Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.

“I would like to lose the language of warfa... Read More

Kids Have Little Protection from New Flu Virus

Children younger than 10 likely will be the most susceptible if a variant of the influenza A (H3N2) virus -- dubbed A (H3N2)v -- develops the ability to transmit easily among humans, researchers found.

Since August 2011, there have been 12 cases of infection with the variant -- which contains... Read More

The Rise of Genomic Superspreaders

One hundred million years ago the earth’s climate was much warmer than today and vast inland seas stretched across entire continents. The land was dominated by charismatic megafauna that would one day serve as inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World. This period is commonly... Read More

Selection-driven Gene Loss in Bacteria

Bacterial genomes differ dramatically in size: from 140Kb to 13Mb (those numbers might be off now...please let me know if something has broken the record. Yes, I know the lower estimate can change based on semantics, but there are a bunch in that range). Although we have some clues as to how sel... Read More

So how does Respiratory Syncytial Virus infect your lungs?

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is an extremely common infection in humans. Generally in healthy adults there is little or no disease but in infants or the elderly this lung infection can often be fatal and we do not yet have a vaccine. Over at Rule of 6ix, I ask a couple of questions to the first a... Read More
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