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New Infant Formula Ingredients Boost Babies' Immunity by Feeding Their Gut Bacteria

Adding prebiotic ingredients to infant formula helps colonize the newborn's gut with a stable population of beneficial bacteria, and probiotics enhance immunity in formula-fed infants, two University of Illinois studies report.

"The beneficial bacteria that live in a baby's intestine are all-... Read More

1 in 6 cancers worldwide caused by infections that can be prevented or treated

One in every six cancers worldwide is caused by an infection that is preventable or treatable, according to new estimates published in the journal Lancet Oncology. The research indicates infections are attributable for approximately 2 million new cancer cases every year.

"Infections with cert... Read More

Goat milk holds malaria vaccine

The latest episode of the Animal Science Podcast from the American Society of Animal Science interviews researcher Mark Westhusin at Texas A&M University which recently announced the birth of a genetically modified goat that produces a malaria vaccine in its milk. This goat could help people in ... Read More

The Secret of Weight Loss May Be In 3,000-Year-Old Mummy Poop

Scientists may have found one of the keys to weight loss hiding in the poop of 3,000-year-old mummies. The bacterial DNA found in their guts is very different from our modern intestinal flora.

The reason: chlorinated water and antibiotics.
That's the first hypothesis of Dr. Cecil Lewis. Acco... Read More

Discovering novel viruses in insect vectors using metagenomics

I listen to TWiM and perhaps this story (from mine ha!) will be of interests. A nicely written microbiology blog talking about two papers that use metagenomic sequencing on viruses in insect vectors: mosquitoes (animal viruses) and whitefly (plant viruses)

Not only did we find known human an... Read More

CDC says C. difficile infections at “historic high”

It’s become a sad fact that many people being treated in health-care facilities end up catching a bad -- and potentially deadly -- bug in the very place where they’re supposed to get better.

A report on the increased incidence of clostridium difficile infections in hospitals and other health-... Read More

TWiV 190 Letters

Cara writes:


Hello Vincent and Team TWIV,


I love Virology, and it is with much chagrin that I admit I have only recently started listening to TWIV. However I have tried to mend the error of my ways by: 1) proselytizing the benefits (keeping up-to-date with and... Read More

Bean bugs found to harbor bacteria that keep them safe from an insecticide

Conventional wisdom says that in order for a species of insect to develop resistance to an antibiotic, several generations have to pass, whereby genes from those that have some natural resistance pass them on to their offspring. But sometimes conventional wisdom fails to take into account how so... Read More

Bacteria Talk, Plants Listen: The Discovery of Plant Immune Receptors, an Interview with Dr. Pamela Ronald

Prof. Pamela Ronald, a Professor in Plant Pathology at University of California, Davis and director of Grass Genetics at the Joint Bioenergy Institute, studies genes that control the plant response to stress.

In her presentation for the Frontiers in Life Sciences symposium at Cornell Universi... Read More

TWiV 188 Letters

Judi writes:


To our TWIV leaders!


If you have a mac with Apps, please go to the app store and download cell images.... I think you'll have a great time going through them.


One other thing - I listened to your show on science reform with interest but I ... Read More

Virus Find Helps Mystery Disease Probe in Cambodia

The investigation of a mystery disease that has killed dozens of children in Cambodia is advancing after the discovery in patient samples of a virus that causes hand, foot and mouth disease.

The Institut Pasteur du Cambodge found enterovirus 71 in 15 of 24 patients sampled since mid-June, Phi... Read More

High School Senior Presents Poster At American Society for Microbiology 112th General Meeting (press release)

Kathleen Maguire, a Marlborough High School Senior, is presenting a poster at the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) Conference in San Francisco on June 16-19. In order to attend the conference, Maguire became a special member of the society. She is the first high school student to have a p... Read More

A spike for piercing the cell membrane

Some viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) deliver their DNA into the host cell with an amazing injection machine. The tailed bacteriophages (such as T4, illustrated) store their DNA in a capsid attached to a long tail tube that is surrounded by a sheath. At the bottom of the tube is a b... Read More

Human Microbiome Journal Club: The Pros of Probiotics

We’ve all heard the claims of probiotic yogurts and their benefits for human health, but aside from improving our belly dancing skills, what exactly are probiotic bacteria doing?

An elegant study from the Jeffrey Gordon lab explored the effects of consuming fermented milk products (FMPs) cont... Read More

House Of Natural Fiber's Intelligent Bacteria At The New Museum

As part of The Ungovernables' exhibition, The New Museum hosted The House of Natural Fiber (HONF), a new media art collective out of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yogyakarta is the second largest city on Java, a densely-populated island that hosts an active volcano named Mt. Merapi which erupted in 200... Read More

Moffitt Cancer Center Researchers Discover How Cancer Cells “Hijack” a Mechanism to Grow

Researchers at Moffitt Cancer Center and colleagues at the University of South Florida have discovered a mechanism that explains how some cancer cells “hijack” a biological process to potentially activate cell growth and the survival of cancer gene expression.

Their study appeared in a recen... Read More

Geneticists discover global strategies used by bacteria to adapt to changing environmental conditions

The research findings, published this week in two papers in the journal Science provide new insights into the behavior of bacteria.

International collaborative research by Trinity College Dublin geneticists has established a blueprint as to how bacteria respond to environmental and nutritiona... Read More

Bacteria ‘munching’ on Titanic: scientists

In less than 30 years, there may be nothing left of the Titanic but a heap of “rusticles,” warns researcher Henrietta Mann, who has spent four years researching bacteria gnawing on its sunken hull.

A scientific expedition in 1991 to the disintegrating wreck some 12,400 feet (3,780 meters) to ... Read More

Food borne bacteria sickens 8 in Illinois, 93 nationwide

Food safety officials are investigating whether raw fish in sushi and other foods is responsible for a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people in Illinois.

So far, no deaths have been connected to the strain of the bacteria, which has sent 10 people to the hospital and ... Read More

Fed fiber, killer cells may ward off cancer

Fiber supplements may help the body’s own killer cells fight bacterial infection and reduce inflammation, greatly decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

Prebiotics are fiber supplements that serve as food for the trillions of tiny bacteria living in the gut. When taken, they can stimulate the g... Read More

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