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
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
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
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 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
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
I saw this video during the course of listening to TWiP. Is there any parasitic truth behind this phenomenon?
Amaz... Read More
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
An unusual regulatory mechanism that controls the swimmer/non-swimmer option in genetically identical Salmonella also impacts the bacteria's ability to cause infection.
University of Washington scientists reported the discovery this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... Read More
When my laboratory discovered the cell receptor for poliovirus in 1989, many new research directions were suddenly revealed – such as creating a mouse model for poliomyelitis. One application we did not think of was to use the receptor to screen samples of drinking water for the presence of viru... Read More
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
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
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
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
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
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
Ultraviolet rays help prevent the spread of chickenpox, meaning people in milder climates are more at risk of catching the disease, according to new research. The discovery could lead to new ways of preventing chickenpox and its more severe relative, shingles.
A researcher at St George’s, Uni... Read More