Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More
Research led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists has identified a possible new approach to defeating bacterial infections by targeting an innate immune system component in a bid to invigorate the immune response.
In this study, researchers demonstrated that the primary functio... Read More
It will be months until scientists know if the few survivors of Bucks County’s largest bat population are still alive and reproducing.
When Pennsylvania Game Commission wildlife biologist Greg Turner last checked on Upper Bucks’ bats in the spring of 2011, he found near devastation.
The Du... Read More
A major collaboration between US research centers has highlighted three factors that could ultimately determine whether an outbreak of influenza becomes a serious epidemic that threatens national health. The research suggests that the numbers in current response plans could be out by a factor of... Read More
Tiny 'bone-devouring worms', known to both eat and inhabit dead whale skeletons and other bones on the sea floor, have a unique ability to release bone-melting acid, scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego have recently discovered.
Like all worm... Read More
A new study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online shows how seasonal changes in outpatient antibiotic use – retail sales of antibiotics typically get a boost during the winter – can significantly alter seasonal patterns of drug resistance. The findings suggest that hospi... Read More
The parasitic roundworms, also known as soil-transmitted helminths are a huge problem, impairing children physically, nutritionally and cognitively worldwide.
The parasites, transmitted to people through contaminated soil include the giant intestinal roundworm (Ascaris lumbricoides), the whip... Read More
In evolutionary processes, it is the simple, economical solutions that prevail over the complex and laborious ones. A team of researchers led by Walter Rossmanith from the MedUni Vienna has now investigated the key enzyme, “ribonuclease P”, which is found in every living organism. The surprising... Read More
A University of Illinois study shows that dietary fiber promotes a shift in the gut toward different types of beneficial bacteria. And the microbes that live in the gut, scientists now believe, can support a healthy gastrointestinal tract as well as affect our susceptibility to conditions as var... Read More
A new test for 12 different types of bacteria that cause bloodstream infections has been approved by the FDA.
The test is much faster than current laboratory techniques, and can pickup on signs of bacterial growth within hours of the infection starting. Current tests require waiting as long a... Read More
Hello Vincent and Team TWIV,
I love Virology, and it is with much chagrin that I admit I have only recently started listening to TWIV. However I have tried to mend the error of my ways by: 1) proselytizing the benefits (keeping up-to-date with and... Read More
A new advance in microscopy offers fast, detailed, 3D views of cells’ internal structures without the use of fluorescence or contrast agents.
In a paper published in the journal PLoS ONE, researchers at the University of Illinois who developed the technique report they were able to use it to... Read More
About 500 years ago a group of Incas marched hundreds of miles through the treacherous Andes Mountains to the top of a distant volcano, where they buried three children alive as part of a religious ceremony. In 1999, an expedition led by explorer Johan Reinhard unearthed the mummies atop Argenti... Read More
A new study reports that the superabundance of microbial life lining our GI tracts has co-evolved with us. These bacteria, which are essential for a healthy immune system, are ultimately our evolutionary partners, and may be affected negatively by increasingly hyper-hygienic environments.
Cli... Read More
A Taliban commander in Pakistan’s tribal belt has banned a vaccination campaign against child polio in protest over frequent United States drone attacks there.
Hafiz Gul Bahadur said that the U.S.-funded vaccinations for tens of thousands of children would be outlawed until drone attacks sto... Read More
At first glance, the inaugural 1812 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine and Surgery, and the Collateral Branches of Science seems reassuringly familiar: a review of angina pectoris, articles on infant diarrhea and burns. The apparent similarity to today's Journal, however, obscures a fu... Read More
I recently returned from the ASM yearly general meeting in San Francisco. It happens to be 60 years, no less, since I attended my first such event, that one in Chicago. In those days, many members attended a giant banquet as part of the event, I well remember. As a poor graduate student, I could... Read More
There is much in the way of microbial activity that is taking place in one of the world’s most poisonous dumps, which turns out to be cleaning up the place.
Take the 150-foot-high garbage dump in Colombia, South America. Soon it may have life as a public park thanks to work from researchers ... Read More
When you've collapsed in a hotel bed at the end of a day of vacationing, the last thing you want to worry about is whether a previous guest left germs behind. But germs are invisible to the naked eye, so how do hotel housekeepers — who have an average of 30 minutes to clean a room — make sure th... Read More