The bacterium Photorhabdus luminescens is a constant companion of some roundworms. These worms assault insect larvae, thereby infecting them with the bacteria; the pathogens then attack the cells of their victims with a deadly cocktail of various toxins. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute of... Read More
Norovirus is the most common cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States. Each year, it causes about 21 million illnesses and contributes to about 70,000 hospitalizations and 800 deaths. Norovirus is also the most common cause of foodborne-disease outbreaks in the United States. Research... Read More
When a phage invades a host’s premises, it delivers only its genome and perhaps a few specialized proteins needed immediately upon arrival. Its plan is simply to supervise production. The host is relied on to provide not only the raw materials and energy, but also the production equipment needed... Read More
Here is a transcript of TWiM episode #46, "Spore!". Thanks to Frank Shinneman for transcription.
The transcript is also available as a pdf file - click here to download.
National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have developed a model of infection in rhesus macaques that will help scientists around the world better understand how an emerging coronavirus, first identified in September 2012, affects people. The virus has so far infected at least 17 people in... Read More
Women suffering from recurring urinary tract infections may carry a particularly hearty strain of E. coli bacteria that flourishes in both the gut and the bladder, and can migrate back and forth despite repeated treatments, a small new study finds.
Doctors believe that urinary tract infection... Read More
Bacteria that glide together… make art together? This contender in the Art of Science competition run by Princeton University in New Jersey, entitled The history of gliding, depicts the squiggly gliding paths of the bacteria Myxococcus xanthus.
M. xanthus are social bacteria that move in coor... Read More
A new bird flu virus that has killed 13 people in China is still evolving, making it hard for scientists to predict how dangerous it might become.
Influenza experts say the H7N9 strain is probably still swapping genes with other strains, seeking to select ones that might make it fitter.
If... Read More
Particular combinations of bacteria in the human digestive system can identify patients who have or are likely to develop Type 2 diabetes, scientists reported Wednesday in the online edition of the journal Nature.
But the precise combinations of microbes that influence development of the dise... Read More
Certain types of anti-depressants have been linked to an increase in the risk of Clostridium difficile infection (CDI) finds a study in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Medicine. Awareness of this link should improve identification and early treatment of CDI.
Certain types of anti-dep... Read More
Plant and animal cells have two genomes—in the nucleus and the mitochondria. A new study describes how a clash between the two makes fruit flies sick. Diseases from a mutation in one genome are complicated enough, but some illnesses arise from errant interactions between the DNA in the nucleus a... Read More
Researchers at NIAID have devised a method for delivering tumor cell-killing enzymes in a way that protects the enzyme until it can do its work inside the cell. In their study in mBio this week, researchers assembled microscopic protein packages that can deliver an enzyme called PEIII to the ins... Read More
I had a conversation with some colleagues last week about “personalized medicine,” which has been transformed now into the term “precision medicine.” The conversation revolved around what to do about the perceived effects of antibiotic treatment on the microbiota of individuals. How does one tre... Read More
A study at the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine has identified a chicken-killing virus as a promising treatment for prostate cancer in humans.
Researchers have discovered that a genetically engineered Newcastle disease virus, which harms chickens but not humans, kills... Read More
SOMETIMES, to achieve broad cultural immortality, it’s less what you made your name in — and much more what you put your name on.
That is why, in the wider world beyond the lab, Robert Bunsen’s name burns so bright. And if anyone understands the conditions for how our culture behaves (and mut... Read More
In 2001, Kashefi and collaborators published an article in Applied and Environmental Microbiology reporting the surprising finding that several iron-reducing microbes can use gold as an electron acceptor for their respiration. These microbial alchemists included both mesophilic and thermophilic ... Read More
n this series on superbugs—meaning bacteria that are becoming increasingly resistant to antibiotics—we’ve looked at germs on a national level. But you probably already know that bugs don’t respect borders: Drug resistance is definitely a global problem. And there are two particularly troubling e... Read More
I can tell you the exact date that I began to think of myself in the first-person plural — as a superorganism, that is, rather than a plain old individual human being. It happened on March 7. That’s when I opened my e-mail to find a huge, processor-choking file of charts and raw data from a labo... Read More
One of the most critical biological advances in the past decade was the discovery that the introduction of four simple genetic factors can turn a fully mature adult cell back into an embryonic-like state, a process called reprogramming.
Cllick "source" to read more and view video. Read More