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BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons

This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!


(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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Line dancing bacteria on a chip (w/ Video)

By changing the direction of a magnetic field, so-called magneto-tactic bacteria are able to make a full U-turn. They can be taught line dancing in this way, inside the tiny micro channels of a lab on a chip. Magnetically steered objects will be capable of delivering medication, for example. Sci... Read More

The Ancient Art Of Cheese-Making Attracts Scientific Gawkers

From Swiss to cheddar, cheeses depend on the action of microbes for their flavor and aroma. But it's far from clear how these teams of microbes work together to ripen cheese.

To a cheese-maker, that's just the beauty of the art. To a scientist, it sounds like an experiment waiting to happen.
... Read More

This Device Diagnoses Hundreds of Diseases Using a Single Drop of Blood

The digital health revolution is still stuck.

Tech giants are jumping into the fray with fitness offerings like Apple Health and Google Fit, but there’s still not much in the way of, well, actual medicine. The Fitbits and Jawbones of the world measure users’ steps and heart rate, but they don... Read More

Quest for hepatitis B treatment wins Emerging Researcher Award

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Greg Ebert has won the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award 2014 for his work on developing a new therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Chronic hepatitis B is a viral liver disease that affects 230,000 Australia... Read More

For enterics, adaptability could be an Achilles heel

In research published in Nature Chemical Biology, scientists from RIKEN in Japan have discovered a surprisingly simple mechanism through which enterics can adjust to the very different oxygen environments inside the human gut and outside. This research, which was led by Shigeyuki Yokoyama and Wa... Read More

Ebola in DRC: a new strain of the virus

While an Ebola epidemic has been raging in West Africa since March 2014, an outbreak of this haemorrhagic fever occurred in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) in August, leaving fears over the virus' spread to Central Africa. A study by the IRD, the Institut Pasteur, the CNRS, the CIRMF... Read More

Life on a Pig's Skin

How frequently do microbes exchange genes when living on a host? This question has been on my mind lately. Broadly speaking, the discovery of horizontal gene transfer (HGT) revolutionized the way we think about prokaryotic evolution. No more could we think only of inheritance via vertical descen... Read More

Nobel Laureates and Ebola virus quarantine

After the governors of New York and New Jersey decided that health workers who have returned from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa should be subject to a 21-day quarantine, two Nobel laureates entered the fray. Bruce Beutler feels that the quarantine is the right thing to do, while Peter ... Read More

TWiV 310: From bacteriophage to retroviruses with Ann Skalka

Vincent and Glenn meet up with Ann and talk about her long and productive career in virology, from biochemistry to bacteriophage lambda to retroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Read More

This algae farm eats highway pollution

Plant-like microorganisms called algae are pretty interesting little creatures - some species form expansive 'algal blooms' that harm the environment, whereas others can be used to produce biofuel and food sources. Some can even infect humans and mess with their brains.

This diverse organism ... Read More

How Ebola Blindsides the Body's Defenses

Researchers often describe the battle between the Ebola virus and the humans it occasionally infects as a race—one that people win only if their immune systems manage to pull ahead before the virus destroys too many of their internal defenses. What they may not know is that the virus is a cheat.... Read More

Powdery Mildew

Fruiting body (Chasmothecium) of Phyllactinia sp., Erysiphales. Chasmothecium is a specific type of fruiting body amongst Ascomycota (others are Apothecium and Perithecium) with no natural opening. Appendages of Chasmothecium are currently used as distinguishing feature amongst Erysiphales gener... Read More

How One Experimental Drug May Be Defeating Ebola and Saving People

Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More

The origins of multicellular life

The biological world around us is dominated by multicellular plants and animals. All of these intricate forms have evolved from far simpler, single celled ancestors.

What could explain the transition from single cells to cooperative groups, to groups of cells that put the prosperity of the wh... Read More

Bats identified as hosts of Bartonella mayotimonensis

Modern sequencing techniques have shown that bats can carry a bacterial species previously been shown to cause deadly human infections in USA. There are more than 1,100 species of bats on Earth. The numbers of bats are estimated to outnumber every other group of mammals. "Bats are also highly mo... Read More

Ebola Expert Update

Scientific American health and medicine correspondent Dina Fine Maron talks about Ebola with tropical medicine and infectious disease expert Daniel Bausch of Tulane University at the annual meeting of the American Society of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Click "source" to listen to podcast. Read More

Engineered for Tolerance, Bacteria Pump Out Higher Quantity of Renewable Gasoline

An international team of bioengineers has boosted the ability of bacteria to produce isopentenol, a compound with desirable gasoline properties. The finding, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, is a significant step toward developing a bac... Read More

A Snippet: Thioploca

The seafloor off the coast of Chile is carpeted with bacterial mats of gigantic proportions. They cover an area as large as that of the state of Alabama. Their total weight is of the order of 100 million tons, which probably makes this the largest single species microbiome on Earth. The mats con... Read More

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