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The Microbe Factor and Its Role in Our Climate Future

When new reports about global warming come out, they typically include a picture of the land and sky, with arrows marking the movement of carbon dioxide around the planet. Some arrows rise up from cities and farmland, while other arrows plunge down to forests and oceans. This sort of diagram doe... Read More

DNA testing debated as condo board tries to find source of dog droppings

DNA testing is used in many critical tasks: convicting criminals, clearing innocent suspects, establishing paternity, identifying genetic diseases during pregnancy.

And now this: identifying whose dog left droppings on the condominium's carpet.

According to a story by Jill Rosen of the Bal... Read More

Peering Over the Fortress That Is the Mighty Cell

When J. Craig Venter announced at a news conference the other day that he and his co-workers had created the first “synthetic cell,” he displayed the savvy graciousness of an actor accepting an Academy Award.

Dr. Venter, the renowned genome wrassler and president of the J. Craig Venter Insti... Read More

Virus Ravages Cassava Plants in Africa

Lynet Nalugo dug a cassava tuber out of her field and sliced it open.

Inside its tan skin, the white flesh was riddled with necrotic brown lumps, as obviously diseased as any tuberculosis lung or cancerous breast.

“Even the pigs refuse this,” she said.

The plant was what she called a “... Read More

Modified Measles Virus Shows Potential for Treating Childhood Brain Tumors

The use of modified measles virus may represent a new treatment for a childhood brain tumor known as medulloblastoma, according to a new study appearing in Neuro-Oncology.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor of childhood, accounting for about 20 percent ... Read More

eBay – The other source of lab equipment

While almost all of you are probably familiar with the power of eBay to bring you everything from concert tickets to electronics to your very own Batmobile, you may not have realized that the world’s largest garage sale also has quite a collection of laboratory equipment. I’ve been turning to th... Read More

H1N1 Pandemic Flu Hits Pregnant Women Hard

Pregnant women who get the H1N1 pandemic strain of flu are at high risk of experiencing serious complications for themselves and their unborn child, a new study finds.

According to the report, there has not been much data about the effect of the novel H1N1 flu on pregnant women and their fetu... Read More

Discovery May Lead to Safer Drinking Water, Cheaper Medicine

A discovery that may pave the way to helping reduce health hazards such as E. coli in water could also make chemicals and drugs such as insulin cheaper to produce and their production more environmentally friendly.

By creating a three-dimensional model, Queen's University biochemistry profess... Read More

Genome of bacteria responsible for tuberculosis of olive tree sequenced

Researchers at the Public University of Navarra, the Polytechnic University of Madrid (CBGP), the University of Malaga, the University of Wisconsin and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research have managed to sequence the genome of the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis in the olive t... Read More

Electrons In, Biofuel Out

Is “microbial electrosynthesis” the future of biofuel? Corn fermentation is one oft-used way to make biofuel, but making ethanol this way is often criticized as inefficient, and since it requires corn (or some other crop), it requires farm land and other farming resources that might otherwise b... Read More

TWiV 84 letters

TWiV 84 letters



Matthew writes:


Hi Twiv,


Firstly, love the podcast, I listen to it on my way to work. Don't change a thing!


I recently wrote to you asking about the possible link between a high-arginine diet and herpes simplex outbreaks in... Read More

TWiV 84: Gators go viral

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On episode #84 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Rich spoke with Dave Bloom and Grant McFadden about their work on herpesviruses and poxviruses in this episode recorded before an aud... Read More

MIT Team Extends Use of Virus Template to Assemble Li-ion Anode Materials; Biologically Activated Noble Metal Alloys

An MIT team including Drs. Gerbrand Ceder and Angela Belcher has synthesized gold (Au) and silver (Ag) alloy nanowires as anode materials for Li-ion batteries using multiple clones of the M13 bacteriophage virus. A paper on their work was published 27 May in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

This... Read More

Split-Virus Vaccine Better of Two H1N1 Shots

Of the two vaccines used in the U.K. to protect against pandemic H1N1 influenza, the adjuvanted split-virus vaccine offered better protection for children than the non-adjuvanted whole-virus vaccine, but caused more side effects, a phase II study showed.

After two doses, there were higher ser... Read More

Tooth brushing habits linked to a healthy heart

Forgetting to brush your teeth not only leads to stinky breath, there's a good chance it might also lead to heart disease.

That's the finding of a new study that looked at how toothbrushing practices affect the heart. It found that people who don't brush their teeth too often are more at risk... Read More

BacterioFiles Episode 13

In this show, I report on four exciting stories: bacteria made to clean up pesticides, new findings from microbial fossils, fighting bacteria with bacteria, and cells with synthetic genomes.


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... Read More

Whooping cough still with us, still dangerous

Two days after her second son, Dylan, was born in 2005, Mariah Bianchi let out yet another deep-chested cough, this time in the hospital, where she was recovering from the delivery.

She had been coughing for two weeks; she had coughed so badly that her contractions started early.

A pediatr... Read More

Gold nanorods deliver antiviral punch

Future pandemics of seasonal flu, H1N1 and other drug-resistant viruses may be thwarted by a potent, immune-boosting payload that is effectively delivered to cells by gold nanorods, report scientists at the University at Buffalo and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Via Fu... Read More

Glowing Bacteria Light Up Ocean

This photo shows a petri dish swabbed with a culture of bioluminescent marine bacteria. The bacteria give off light using a process known as quorum sensing that is controlled by four small RNA molecules within each of them.

When only one bacterium is present it has the ability to produce li... Read More

Vaccination key to preventing childhood pneumonia in sub-Saharan Africa

Researchers at the University of Warwick, and the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Kilifi, Kenya, have found that respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) appears to be the predominant virus detected among infants and children hospitalized in Kenya with severe pneumonia, according to a study in the Ma... Read More
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