Although our body's defense mechanisms are usually capable of detecting and destroying many types of pathogens, some viruses are able to evade the immune system and make us sick. In particular, "retroviruses," such as human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), are notorious for eluding host immune defe... Read More
The fields of microbial symbiosis and speciation have achieved astonishing advances during the past two decades, yet symbiosis and speciation are not commonly discussed together and can seem to be odd partners in their capacity to operate synergistically in nature. Indeed, microbial symbiosis is... Read More
There may be a new wave of computer technology on the way thanks to scientists at the University of Leeds and Japan’s University of Agriculture and Technology: Growing your own computer.
Magnet-making bacteria may be used to create the next generation of hard drives, making them much smaller ... Read More
The third annual installment of my virology course at Columbia University, Biology W3310, has begun, and all the lectures will be available online. Read More
Radio Mycelium proposes the construction of a series of experimental situations examining a new networked imaginary, the single organism of the fungal mycelium, in relation to pathogenic, electromagnetic communications. Participants will learn how to construct simple measurement devices, and cul... Read More
Beer discovered two years ago onboard a shipwreck from the mid-1800s could possibly be recreated using living bacteria discovered in the brew, Finnish researchers announced last Thursday.
According to Terhi Kinnunen of Reuters, Annika Wilhelmson from VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland s... Read More
Two new studies demonstrate how viruses, such as the one responsible for polio, use good bacteria in the human (or mouse) gut to evade detection by the immune system.
In one study, Sharon Kuss and her colleagues from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, show that the poliovir... Read More
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Malaria Research Institute demonstrated for the first time that the Anopheles mosquito's innate immune system could be genetically engineered to block the transmission of the malaria-causing parasite to humans. In addition, they showed that the genetic modificati... Read More
One of the most economically devastating diseases in the world for those who raise cows, sheep, pigs, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals is foot and mouth Disease (FMD). This incredibly contagious and fast-spreading disease causes fever, blisters on the feet and mouth (hence the name), ... Read More
India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More
The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More
Thanks again for all the effort and care you invest into your podcasts. I'm writing today to suggest a pick of the week: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Suzuki, one of Canada's scientist/rock-stars, hosts... Read More
A study to be published in the online journal mBio® on November 29 shows that adding antibiotics to swine feed causes microorganisms in the guts of these animals to start sharing genes that could spread antibiotic resistance.
Livestock farms use antibiotic drugs regularly, and not just for cu... Read More
Some lessons and notes from the ASM meeting from Jonathan Eisen on "The Tree of Life" Read More
In the hunt for drugs that target diseases in the developing world, ‘open innovation’ is creating a buzz. Pharmaceutical companies are making entire libraries of chemical compounds publicly available, allowing researchers to rifle through them for promising drug candidates.
The latest push fo... Read More
By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.
Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More
Herbicide-resistant superweeds threaten to overgrow U.S. fields, so agriculture companies have genetically engineered a new generation of plants to withstand heavy doses of multiple, extra-toxic weed-killing chemicals.
It’s a more intensive version of the same approach that made the resistant... Read More
Vincent and Dickson continue their discussion of trematodes, or flukes, which have a snail as a reservoir host.
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