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TWiM 30 Letters

Megan writes:

I am a Clinical Microbiologist, and have really been enjoying the insights and discussion on TWIM and TWIV (and am hoping to get to TWIP soon). I have really found the information being... Read More

New influenza A virus found in bats

Influenza A virus reservoirs in animals have provided novel genetic elements leading to the emergence of global pandemics in humans. Most influenza A viruses circulate in waterfowl, but those that infect mammalian hosts are thought to pose the greatest risk for zoonotic spread to humans and the ... Read More

TWiV 169: Epidemiology causes conclusions



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

Zombie Bacteria - Lag Phase In Salmonella

Bacteria can multiply rapidly, potentially doubling every 20 minutes in ideal conditions but this exponential growth phase is preceded by a period known as lag phase, where no increase in cell number is seen. Lag phase was first described in the 19th Century, and was assumed to be needed by bact... Read More

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

Microbiology: Learning about who we are

Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.

Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More

The Race To Create The Best Antiviral Drugs

If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for ill... 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

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

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

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

Trillions of Fat-Eating Bacteria Invade Town

Water is set to use a new biological weapon to flush away Whitby residents’ festive fat.

Over the Christmas period trillions of fat-busting bugs have been deployed in the sewers of Whitby to feast on fat, oils and grease.

Over time these substances build up on the inside of sewer pipes, re... 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

Sick People Smell Bad: Why dogs sniff dogs, humans sniff humans, and dogs sometimes sniff humans

A man can live many lives. Paul Ehrlich has. Once, he was a butterfly biologist. Another time, he wrote the book called The Population Bomb, a book that triggered global conversations about the fate of humanity. Still another, he described the relationship between plants and the animals that eat... 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

TWiV 172: Two can be as bad as one



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler


Vincent ... 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

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

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

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