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Ancient clay remedy proves its antibacterial powers in the lab

Near Kisameet Bay on the central coast of British Columbia sits a deposit of clay that covers 5 acres and spans a depth up to 42 feet in places. This vast smear formed 10,000 years ago as glacial melt filled a granite basin and fine minerals silted out.

The ancient clay likely holds secrets t... Read More

A Reprieve for Fungus-Battered Frogs

After a six-year effort, researchers on the Spanish island of Majorca have rid several groups of Majorcan midwife toads of the pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis — better known as chytrid fungus, or B.d. It’s the first time the disease, which is devastating amphibians worldwide, has been er... Read More

Microbiology, Cartoons, and Take Home Lessons!

In this blog post, I describe how I had students create their own cartoon depicting microbiological ideas and concepts that most tickled their fancy. I did this on their final exam, and the students came up with really interesting and entertaining ideas. IT's always interesting to see what stu... Read More

Under the weather? A blood test can tell if antibiotics are needed

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers at Duke Health are fine-tuning a test that can determine whether a respiratory illness is caused by infection from a virus or bacteria so that antibiotics can be more precisely prescribed. Read More

Immune system maintains a memory of past infections by priming genes for future encounters

Our ability to fight off recurrent infections, such as colds or flu, may lie in the 'immunological memory' found in a newly discovered class of gene regulatory elements, according to research from the University of Birmingham, supported by the BBSRC and Bloodwise. Read More

ASU scientists discover how blue and green clays kill bacteria

A new discovery by Arizona State University scientists shows exactly how two specific metallic elements in the right kinds of clay can kill troublesome bacteria that infect humans and animals. Read More

MWV 102 - Missing Microbes with Dr. Martin Blaser

Why are obesity, juvenile diabetes and asthma increasing? Is it something in the environment or in our modern lifestyle? Dr. Martin Blaser thinks that it may be due to changes in our microbiome – the ecosystem of tiny microscopic creatures that live in and on us. Learn about his hypothesis th... Read More

Experimental immunotherapy zaps 2 most lethal Ebola virus strains

January 13, 2016--(BRONX, NY)--Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) have engineered the first antibodies that can potently neutralize the two deadliest strains of the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic ... Read More

UK will need to act faster when inevitable next Ebola emerges

Ad hoc, uncoordinated and late. That’s how the UK government’s response to West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has been described in a report published on Monday by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

The report calls for changes to enable the UK to identify threats earlier... Read More

The switch from trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine: Will it lead to polio?

In four months, 155 countries will together switch from using trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine. Will this change lead to more cases of poliomyelitis? Read More

We breathe in more bacteria from our tap water than from our toilets

Microbiologists have wondered whether flushing our toilets might be spreading faecal bacteria into the air around our homes, but thankfully that doesn’t seem to be the case. Only 0.4 per cent of those in the air were traced back to the toilet bowl – far less than the almost 9 per cent that came ... Read More

Infant-friendly flu vaccine developed with key protein

According to the World Health Organization, influenza causes serious illness among millions of people each year, resulting in 250,000 to 500,000 deaths. Those most at risk include infants younger than six months, because they cannot be vaccinated against the disease. Now, researchers at the Univ... Read More

Did Zika’s recent mutations let it explode as a global threat?

Don’t get pregnant, at least for now. That is the chilling warning from governments battling the Zika pandemic, as evidence mounts that the mosquito-borne virus can cause severe birth defects.

As the scale of the impact starts to emerge, scientists are scrambling to learn more about the littl... Read More

Zika virus

The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from?
Read More

JAMA Viewpoint: Emerging Zika pandemic requires more WHO action now

WASHINGTON - The World Health Organization's Director-General should convene "urgently" a meeting of International Health Regulations' Emergency Committee to advise on the emerging Zika pandemic and galvanize global action, say two Georgetown University professors. Read More

New anti-inflammatory agents can control inflammatory responses to fungal infection

The most frequent fungal threat to humans, Candida albicans, is a common cause oral and genital infection. The fungal infections are often worsened by overwhelming inflammatory responses in the body and cause high mortality among risk groups. Umeå University doctoral student Ava Hosseinzadeh has... Read More

TWiEVO 4: Taking the mystery out of the mystery of mysteries

Nitin Phadnis joins Nels and Vincent to explain how he identified a gene that is responsible for male inviability in hybrids from a cross between two species of fruit flies. Read More

TWiM #120: Snakes in trouble

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Elio Schaechter.


Vincent and Elio marvel in the finding that a phage tail-like struc... Read More

Insect growth regulator wears a second hat: Infection fighter

During an animal's embryonic development, a chemical chain reaction known as Hippo directs organs to grow to just the right size and no larger. Now Johns Hopkins researchers working with laboratory flies report that this signaling pathway also plays a role in revving up the insects' immune syste... Read More

Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease

While most West Nile Virus (WNV) infections in humans are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, the virus causes serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness in some people. A study published on January 21st in PLOS Pathogens suggests that an exaggerated and abnormal immune response contributes to th... Read More
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