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Cationic small molecules hold great potential for preventing and treating fungal infections

Pathogenic fungi like Candida albicans can cause oral, skin, nail and genital infections. While exposure to pathogenic fungi is generally not life-threatening, it can be deadly to immunocompromised patients with AIDS or cancer. A variety of antifungal medications, such as triazoles and polyenes,... Read More

Caribbean health experts warn of a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus

Caribbean health experts warned last week that they “cannot stop” a rapidly spreading mosquito-borne virus that has infected thousands and is associated with six deaths in the region.

The alert came as the Dominican Republic’s health ministry became the 15th Caribbean nation to confirm cases ... Read More

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

It is, says the World Health Organization, "an extraordinary event." Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The Worl... Read More

Lonely Bacteria Mutate Faster

Bacteria that have no friends don’t get sad; they get weird. When E. coli cells sense fewer other bacteria around them, their DNA starts to mutate at a faster rate. That’s bad news for humans and our antibiotics. But if we can make bacteria feel less alone, we might be able to slow down their de... Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis using transmitted light

Isolated colony of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs at 37 degrees C. Margin is lobate with an irregular-rhizoid form. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

When infection is a good thing: sulfur-eating bacteria enlist viruses to help acquire energy

Life is no cake walk at the ocean floor, where carbon is scarce and light nonexistent. At least near deep ocean vents, mineral-rich water bubbles up from magma beneath the crust, providing both heat and a source of energy. In these alien environments, lithotrophs- bacteria that eat minerals ins... Read More

Streptococcus pyogenes on blood agar

Streak plate of Streptococcus pyogenes (incubated @ 37 degrees C for 48 hrs) showing beta hemolysis, complete lysis of red blood cells, around the isolated colonies. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

BacterioFiles 165 - Bacillus Biofilms Balk Bilks

This episode: Interview with Jordi van Gestel: cheaters in bacterial communities don't always succeed!


(13.1 MB, 14.25 minutes)


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TWiV 283: No Reston for the weary

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 Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove Read More

Should We Destroy Our Last Living Samples of the Virus That Causes Smallpox?

This month the World Health Organization (WHO) will meet to decide whether or not to destroy the last living strains of the variola virus, which causes smallpox. Since the WHO declared the disease eradicated in 1979, the scientific community has debated whether or not to destroy live virus sampl... Read More

Study in 'Science' finds missing piece of biogeochemical puzzle in aquifers

A study published today in Science by researchers from the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory may dramatically shift our understanding of the complex dance of microbes and minerals that takes place in aquifers deep underground. This dance affects groundwater quality, the fat... Read More

Mysterious illness killing off starfish on both US coasts

A mysterious illness is killing starfish, or sea stars, on both U.S. coasts in unprecedented numbers, and marine scientists have no idea what it is or how to help the creatures survive. In a News Focus article published in the journal Science, Erik Stokstad describes the symptoms of the illness ... Read More

New insights into bacterial substitute for sex

Bacteria don't have sex but they can mix their genetic material by pulling in DNA from dead bacterial cells and inserting these into their own genome.

New research led by Imperial College London has found that this process – called recombination – is more complex than was first thought. The f... Read More

Undersea warfare: Viruses hijack deep-sea bacteria at hydrothermal vents

More than a mile beneath the ocean's surface, as dark clouds of mineral-rich water billow from seafloor hot springs called hydrothermal vents, unseen armies of viruses and bacteria wage war.

Like pirates boarding a treasure-laden ship, the viruses infect bacterial cells to get the loot: tiny ... Read More

Unusual mortality pattern of 1918 influenza A virus

The 1918 influenza pandemic was particularly lethal, not only for the very young and the very old (as observed for typical influenza), but unexpectedly also for young adults, 20 to 40 years of age (pictured). It has been suggested that the increased lethality in young adults occurred because the... Read More

TWiM #77: Zombie plants and no pain, no gain

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio SchaechterMichael Schmidt and Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... Read More

The bacteria that chat back and tell you how they are

Do you speak bacteria? The first conversations with microbes are already under way. Manuel Porcar at the University of Valencia in Spain and his colleagues are developing a way for bacteria and humans to talk to each other, by converting light waves into speech. So far the bacteria have told the... Read More

New Virus Related To Smallpox Is Found In Republic Of Georgia

Two herdsmen in the country of Georgia have been infected with a brand-new virus, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The newly identified virus is a second cousin to smallpox. And, like smallpox, it causes painful blisters on the hands and arms‎. Other ... Read More

How Weak Immune Systems Escort a Deadly Fungus Into the Brain

A pervasive fungus, passed along by pigeon droppings, can kill HIV patients by using a Trojan Horse strategy to invade their brains. Pigeon droppings and vulnerable immune systems can be a deadly combination. Fortunately, scientists are starting to figure out how different strains of a yeast tha... Read More
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