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Popular probiotics have few cons, experts say

Every year, half of all Americans take some kind of pill as insurance against their diets.

But recently, researchers have noticed a surprising trend: Use of some of the most popular supplements is waning, possibly because of recent reports questioning their benefits and raising awareness abou... Read More

Fauci: Robust Research Efforts Needed to Address Ongoing, Global Challenge of Antimicrobial Resistance

Given the evolutionary ability of microbes to rapidly adapt, the threat of antimicrobial resistance likely will never be eliminated. Today, many factors compound the problem, including the inappropriate use of antibiotics and a dwindling supply of new medicines, leading to a global crisis of ant... Read More

Scientists build man-made 'living-materials' inside bacterial cells

Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Te... Read More

Five new Listeria species found; may improve tests

Cornell researchers have discovered five new species of a group of bacteria called Listeria – including one named for Cornell – that provide new insights that could lead to better ways to detect soil bacteria in food. To date, of the 10 previously known species of Listeria, only two are pathogen... Read More

Twenty-six lectures in virology

In the spring of each year I teach a virology course to undergraduates and masters students at Columbia University. I produce video recordings of all my lectures not only for students in the course, but for anyone else who is interested in learning about viruses.

You can find my virology lect... Read More

1 in 25 patients gets infection in hospital

When antibiotics first started being used in the 1940's they were considered a "miracle drug". It seemed that bacterial infections would no longer be a problem for the world. However, recently, one gene is making it seem as though the end of antibiotics is at hand. This gene is New Delhi metallo... Read More

Resurrecting ancient microbes to understand evolution

When you hear the word “resurrection”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Religious miracles? Zombie viruses? The end of the world?

Whatever your mental association, I’m willing to bet it’s not “an emerging scientific discipline." Well, it just so happens a growing community of microb... Read More

TWiM #75: Pellicles on pickle jars

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio SchaechterMichael Schmidt and Read More

TWiM 75 Letters

 


Timothy writes:


Hello TWiMsters! I recently discovered the trifecta that is the TWi series, and now I can’t get enough of your discussions of all things micro. For graduate students like myself, keeping up with the scientific literature can all too easi... Read More

One in 25 patients battling hospital-acquired infections: CDC

On any given day, one in 25 hospitalized patients - 4 percent - is battling an infection picked up in a hospital or other healthcare facility, according to a new survey by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

That translates to more than 600,000 hospital patients each year. R... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #2

Close up view of the edges of an unknown bacteria swabbed form the bottom of a shoe, possible Bacillus, on TSA exhibiting spreading and rhizoid growth. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface towards the center of the colony and a matte surface towards the edges. Note: transmit... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #1

On the first day of Micro class instructors have students do an environmental swab. This sample was subcultured from a student who did the bottom of their shoe. The organism, possible Bacillus sp., was tough to scrap off the agar so subculture was done by taking a small chunk of agar containi... Read More

Airborne Environmental Isolate #3

An unknown airborne environmental isolate on Mueller-Hinton agar exhibiting a single circular colony. White hyphal growth on the outer edges of the mold colony, where spores have not yet developed, surrounding the red/pink grainy spore formation in the center of the colony. This sample grew at ... Read More

Airborne Environmental Isolate #2

An unknown airborne environmental isolate on Mueller-Hinton agar exhibiting a single circular colony. White hyphal growth on the outer edges of the mold colony, where spores have not yet developed, surrounding the green and yellow grainy spore formation in the center of the colony with exudate ... Read More

Airborne Environmental Isolate

Media is poured in bulk in our lab for classroom use. Although contamination is low we do see airborne contamination especially durning the rainy season. This is an unknown airborne environmental isolate on Mueller-Hinton agar exhibiting a single circular colony. White hyphal growth can be see... Read More

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

About half of ... Read More

Researchers Find Rising Incidence of Patients Admitted With Infections Resistant To Common Antibiotics

The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers. The study is published online in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

... Read More

Breastfeeding increases prevalence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in infants

Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota d... Read More

Small peptides as potential antibiotics

Small peptides attack bacteria in many different ways and may well become a new generation of antibiotics. Biologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have been researching how such peptides kill bacterial cells. "It is quite possible that, in ten years time, all of the currently marketed an... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More

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