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The virus detective who discovered Ebola in 1976

Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.

In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Instit... Read More

ULTRASMALL BACTERIA FROM ANTARCTIC LAKE RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIMITS OF LIFE

Imagine you were forced to live in perpetually subzero temperatures, with no oxygen, no light, and way more salt than your system could handle. How would you manage? One way might be to get extremely small. At least, that seems to be what’s happening in a frozen Antarctic lake that’s cut off fro... Read More

The unseen power of microbes - Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D (video)

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How can we possibly harness evaporation and say, run the engine of a car, lift heavy weights, and generate electricity? While investigating the mysterious wrinkles seen in the protective coats of bacterial ... Read More

The U.S. Neglects Its Best Science Students

The U.S. education policy world—the entire country, for that matter—is on a quest to increase the ranks of future innovators in science and technology. Yet the programs that get funded in K–12 education do not support students who are already good at and in love with science. These students have... Read More

Scientists find way to trap, kill malaria parasite

Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers report. As it invades a red blood cell, the malaria parasite takes part of the host cell's membrane to build a protective compartment. The parasite then starts a series of major renovations that tran... Read More

Meet the electric life forms that live on pure energy

Unlike any other life on Earth, these extraordinary bacteria use energy in its purest form – they eat and breathe electrons – and they are everywhere

STICK an electrode in the ground, pump electrons down it, and they will come: living cells that eat electricity. We have known bacteria to surv... Read More

‘Tis the Season to be Sweating

This is the time of the year of increased physical activity when we pay special attention to certain parts of the body, including the armpit. As is usually the case, our microbiota is involved because the odor associated with sweating is produced by microbial activity. The main culprits are skin... Read More

Modified Ziehl Neelsen Stained Cyclospora cayetanensis

HI, I am Dinesh Bhandari.
I am a thesis year student of Msc. medical microbiology from Tri-Chandra campus Nepal. Currently I am doing my research in Cryptosporidium parvum and Cyclospora cayetanensis infection among School children of kathmandu at Public health research laboratory, the Institu... Read More

Likely origin of lung fungus invading Pacific Northwest found by study

Cryptococcus gattii, a virulent fungus that has invaded the Pacific Northwest, is highly adaptive and warrants global "public health vigilance," according to a study by an international team of researchers. C. gattii, which likely originated in Brazil, is responsible for dozens of deaths in rece... Read More

Ötzi's non-human DNA: Opportunistic pathogen discovered in Iceman tissue biopsy


EURAC and University of Vienna discover an opportunistic pathogen in an Iceman tissue biopsy

Ötzi’s human genome was decoded from a hip bone sample taken from the 5,300 year old mummy. However the tiny sample weighing no more than 0.1 g provides so much more information. A team of scientist... Read More

Protein's "hands" enable bacteria to establish infection, research finds

When it comes to infecting humans and animals, bacteria need a helping hand.

Kansas State University biochemists have found the helping hand: groups of tiny protein loops on the surface of cells. These loops are similar to the fingers of a hand, and by observing seven individual loops on the ... Read More

Evolutionary origins of plant/bacteria symbiosis

The symbiosis between some plant species and nitrogen-fixing nodule bacteria is one of the most relevant cooperative relationships in the world. It shapes our global vegetation and, not least, the global nitrogen and carbon cycle. The foundations for this process were probably laid in just one e... Read More

Vibrio cholerae serotype O1 biotype ogawa isolated on TCBS agar in Sukraraj Tropical and Infectious Hospital , Kathmandu , Nepal .

Vibrio cholerae was isolated in the capital city Kathmandu , where as it causes cholerae endemic in certain remote parts in the country every year . Vibrio cholerae O1 ogawa serotype was isolated and identified after growth in TCBS agar and subcultured on HIA plate and performed oxidase test (+... Read More

The Leader of the Smallpox Eradication Effort Speaks About the Virus’ Rediscovery

Those of us who write about infectious diseases faced a conundrum last week, when the news broke that 60-year-old vials containing viable smallpox virus had been found on the National Institutes of Health campus. A responsible reporter always wants to talk to the experts in any subject. But when... Read More

Sizing up bacteria

A new theoretical framework outlined by a Harvard scientist could help solve the mystery of how bacterial cells coordinate processes that are critical to cellular division, such as DNA replication, and how bacteria know when to divide.

For decades, scientists have believed that cellular divis... Read More

We Are Our Bacteria

We may think of ourselves as just human, but we’re really a mass of microorganisms housed in a human shell. Every person alive is host to about 100 trillion bacterial cells. They outnumber human cells 10 to one and account for 99.9 percent of the unique genes in the body.

Katrina Ray, a senio... Read More

The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

Read about Angelina Fanny Hesse, an unsung heroine of microbiology who helped make the isolation of bacteria possible in this Popular Science blog post by Christina Agapakis:

"In the earliest days of microbiology, scientists were stumped about how to isolate bacteria. That is, until the fami... Read More

BacterioFiles 174 - Synthetic Cells Sense and Send Signals

This episode: Bacteria with engineered circuits can detect and keep a record of stuff in their environment, like in the gut!


(14.6 MB, 15.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Visiting biosafety level-4 laboratories

Experiments with the most dangerous human viruses, such as Ebola virus and Lassa virus, are carried out in biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories. Since visiting the Northeast Infectious Diseases Laboratory BSL-4 and releasing the documentary video Threading the NEIDL, I was given the opportunit... Read More

We Are Our Bacteria

Like ecosystems the world over, the human microbiome is losing its diversity, to the potential detriment of the health of those it inhabits.

Dr. Martin J. Blaser, a specialist in infectious diseases at the New York University School of Medicine and the director of the Human Microbiome Program... Read More
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