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Zombie ant fungi manipulate hosts to die on the 'doorstep' of the colony

A parasitic fungus that must kill its ant hosts outside their nest to reproduce and transmit its infection, manipulates its victims to die in the vicinity of the colony, ensuring a constant supply of potential new hosts, according to researchers at Penn State and colleagues at Brazil's Federal U... Read More

Farmers Fight Poisonous Wheat Fungus with Cleaning and Waiting

Dave Wiechert of Nashville, Illinois, does good business most years cleaning seed for farmers in preparation for planting season. But this year, Wiechert is doing big business after harvest: cleaning fungus off wheat so farmers can sell it.

The "head scab" fungus can produce vomitoxin, a chem... Read More

Scientists Finally Catch On to Social Media

In 2011, Emmanuel Nnaemeka Nnadi needed help to sequence some drug-resistant fungal pathogens. A PhD student studying microbiology in Nigeria, he did not have the expertise and equipment he needed. So he turned to ResearchGate, a free social-networking site for academics, and fired off a few e-m... Read More

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
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New discovery: Microbes can create dripstones

According to new research humble, microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. This illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth’s geology - and the same may be happening right now on other planets in space.

According to traditional textbooks dripstones are cr... Read More

In Hunt For New Antibiotics, Scientists Look At Bacteria In Insects' Stomachs

Pampering leafcutter ants with fragrant rose petals and fresh oranges may seem an unlikely way to rescue modern medicine, but scientists at a lab in eastern England think it's well worth trying.

As the world cries out for new antibiotics, researchers at the John Innes Center (JIC) in Norwich ... Read More

Wolbachia Genome Reduction, Phage WO, and Reproductive Parasitism

Abstract:

Wolbachia are maternally transmitted endosymbionts that often alter their arthropod hosts’ biology to favor the success of infected females, and they may also serve as a speciation microbe driving reproductive isolation. Two of these host manipulations include killing males outrigh... Read More

Rethinking The Origin of Species: Discover Magazine Features The Speciation Microbiome Project

From Discover: "Scientists have long known of the important roles played by the microbes on and in our bodies — our microbiomes. These little guys outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, and they help regulate everything from the energy we get out of food to the health of our immune systems. Now, scien... Read More

A Tale of Two Strategies

Bacteria are for the most part gregarious organisms, living predominantly in dense communities consisting of multiple strains. In fact, the majority of infectious bacteria occur as multi-layered structures called biofilms, many of which are composed of multiple types of bacteria. As one can imag... Read More

TWiV 298: MV-NIS de myelo

The TWiV gang answers follow-up questions about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, then discuss treatment of  disseminated multiple myeloma with oncolytic measles virus.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello... Read More

6.5% NaCl Media

Important ingredients: 6.5% salt, dextrose, bromcresol purple
Differential/Selective: used to test for salt tolerance and can be used to identify enterococcal group D streptococci. NaCl is a selective agent and those organisms that can grow in higher salt concentrations also ferment the dextro... Read More

Introducing the Thanatomicrobiome

In a healthy adult human body, most internal organs such as the brain, spleen, liver, and heart are devoid of microorganisms because the immune system keeps them in check. After human host death, however, the immune system falters and microorganisms proliferate throughout the body beginning in ... Read More

Harnessing the Power of Bacteria’s Sophisticated Immune System

Bacteria’s ability to destroy viruses has long puzzled scientists, but researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health say they now have a clear picture of the bacterial immune system and say its unique shape is likely why bacteria can so quickly recognize and destroy their as... Read More

Treating Cancer With Bacteria Shows Real Promise

n a groundbreaking study, researchers say injecting bacteria into a tumor helped shrink it.

Bacteria are generally considered more foe than friend, but that may change, if results from a pioneering study are confirmed.

Reporting in the journal Science Translational Medicine, scientists led... Read More

Early antibiotic exposure leads to lifelong metabolic disturbances in mice

Antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut, home to trillions of diverse microbes, and permanently reprograms the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition to obesity, according to a new study. Moreover, the research shows t... Read More

Ebola Protein Blocks Early Step in Body’s Counterattack on Virus

One of the human body’s first responses to a viral infection is to make and release signaling proteins called interferons, which amplify the immune system response to viruses. Over time, many viruses have evolved to undermine interferon’s immune-boosting signal, and a new study describes a mecha... Read More

Gut Flora Influences HIV Immune Response

Normal microorganisms in the intestines appear to play a pivotal role in how the HIV virus foils a successful attack from the body’s immune system, according to new research from Duke Medicine.

The study, published Aug. 13, 2014, in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, builds on previous work fro... Read More

Scientists boost potential of passive immunization against HIV

Scientists are pursuing injections or intravenous infusions of broadly neutralizing HIV antibodies (bNAbs) as a strategy for preventing HIV infection. This technique, called passive immunization, has been shown to protect monkeys from a monkey form of HIV called simian human immunodeficiency vir... Read More

Mouth Bacteria Can Change Its Diet, Supercomputers Reveal

Bacteria inside your mouth drastically change how they act when you're diseased, according to research using supercomputers at the Texas Advanced Computing Center (TACC). Scientists say these surprising findings might lead to better ways to prevent or even reverse the gum disease periodontitis, ... Read More

Pictures Considered #19. The Basal End of Bacterial Flagella

The end of bacterial flagella that is near the cell is a marvel of mechanical miniaturization — a molecular wheel that turns, just like the axle of a car. The assembly consists of a stator, the part that holds it in place, and a rotor, the part that turns. The rotor is a beautifully complex str... Read More
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