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Ebola Virus explained

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A microbiology video game is being made, and needs your help on kickstarter

Bacillus is a video game named after the organism the developer studied in college. It's very different from other video games in that it features an accurate model for evolution. So accurate, every bacteria in the game has it's own genome (represented by A's T's C's and G's of course). But the ... 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Harmful Bacteria Can Be Curbed With Copper

Salmonella enterica is a leading cause of diarrhea illness worldwide, according to Sadhana Ravishankar, an assistant professor in the University of Arizona department of veterinary science and microbiology.

Each year the tiny, rod-shaped species of bacteria with a love for rapid reproduction ... 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

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

Special Session on Human Microbiome Livestreaming Free Online from ASM Annual Meeting

A newly added session at the 2012 General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology will focus on the latest data release by the NIH Human Microbiome Project (HMP).

The HMP has been a five-year endeavor to produce community resources to support the human microbiome field. These activit... Read More

Genetic variation in human gut viruses could be raw material for inner evolution

A growing body of evidence underscores the importance of human gut bacteria in modulating human health, metabolism, and disease. Yet bacteria are only part of the story. Viruses that infect those bacteria also shape who we are. Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, professor of Microbiology at the Perelman ... Read More

RNA virus packaging specificity explained?

In 1969 David Baltimore proposed that poliovirus RNA replication is coupled with packaging, in that only those genomes actively replicating will be selectively encapsidated. From an evolutionary standpoint, it is an ingenious requirement to ensure that only virus genomes capable of replication ... Read More

Thyme's Time as Acne Remedy May Be Coming Soon

The next new acne treatment may be found in the produce section of your food store.

Largely due to its anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial properties, the herb thyme -- which is found with other herbs in the produce section of most food stores -- may well earn itself a place in the skin care... Read More

Group urges speedier approvals for badly needed antibiotics

Infectious-disease doctors have proposed a speedier, easier approval process for drug companies developing antibiotics against untreatable illnesses.

The Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) made the proposal today at a hearing of a subcommittee of the US House of Representatives Com... Read More

NEJM: The Burden of Disease and the Changing Task of Medicine

At first glance, the inaugural 1812 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of Science seems reassuringly familiar: a review of angina pectoris, articles on infant diarrhea and burns. The apparent similarity to today's Journal, however, obscures a fu... Read More

Microbes Capable of Surviving Harsh, Mars-Like Conditions Discovered

Soil samples obtained from South American volcanoes have revealed a smattering of different microbe types that have somehow managed to survive in extreme conditions, the University of Colorado-Boulder (CU-Boulder) announced in a June 8 press release.

According to the university, the scientist... Read More

Synthetic Stool a Prospective Treatment for C. Difficile

A synthetic mixture of intestinal bacteria could one day replace stool transplants as a treatment for Clostridium difficile (C. difficile). C . difficile is a toxin-producing bacteria that can overpopulate the colon when antibiotics eradicate other, naturally protective bacteria living there.

... Read More

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