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The Walking Dead offers teachable moment about antivirals vs antibacterials

If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More

Molecular Link Between Gut Microbes, Intestinal Health

It's well established that humans maintain a symbiotic relationship with the trillions of beneficial microbes that colonize their bodies. These organisms, collectively called the microbiota, help digest food, maintain the immune system, fend off pathogens, and more. There exists a long and growi... Read More

Researchers explore natural solution to rid household plumbing of dangerous pathogens

Microbes are everywhere – thousands of species are in your mouth, and thousands are in a glass of tap water. The ones in your mouth are mostly harmless – as long as you brush and floss so they don't form a biofilm that allows gum disease a path into the blood stream.

Microbes in the tap water... Read More

Radiation Ahead? Eat a Black Mushroom!

Suppose that one day you have the misfortune to receive a strong dose of radiation in preparation for a medical procedure, say a bone marrow transplant. To your surprise, the physician prescribes that you eat a hefty serving of dark-colored mushrooms about an hour beforehand. Lest you think this... Read More

How societal, economic factors play into rise of drug-resistant bacteria (PBS NewsHour video)

Has the age of antibiotics come to an end? New strains of bacteria are on the rise, landing normally healthy people in the hospital with life-threatening, drug-resistant infections. Ray Suarez talks to David Hoffman, the journalist who led the investigation for Frontline's "Hunting the Nightmare... Read More

Biochemists find incomplete protein digestion is a useful thing for some bacteria

Usually indigestion is a bad thing, but experiments by researcher Peter Chien and graduate student Robert Vass at the University of Massachusetts Amherst recently showed that for the bacteria Caulobacter crescentus, partial degradation of a DNA replication protein is required to keep it alive.
... Read More

Bacteria 'eat rare earths'

AS tensions escalate over a global shortage of rare earths, scientists have found new competitors for the precious minerals - bacteria.

German biologists have found that bacteria in a volcanic Italian “mudpot” use rare earths to produce energy, and could not survive without them.

It is tho... Read More

Smells Like … An Armpit Infection?

One man's irrepressible body odor was the result of a bacterial infection of his armpit hair, according to a new report of the case.

The 40-year-old man told his doctors he'd had armpit odor and "dirty" armpit hair for the last four years.

There was a "creamy yellow" substance on the man's... Read More

HIV vaccine clue found in structure of key infection protein

Two new studies reveal how US scientists managed to uncover the detailed structure of a protein that plays a key role in HIV infection. The findings offer the kind of in-depth understanding that has been missing in the development of successful vaccines against the AIDS virus.

Using protein e... Read More

TWiV 257: Caveat mTOR

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Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson Despommier Read More

Missing Nitrogen May Be Vanishing in the Tubes of Giant Bacteria

Off the coast of Mexico’s Baja Peninsula lies a dark, still, deep place. It is called the Soledad Basin, and in it lies a garden of bacteria so large you can see them with your own eyes.

A 250-m high ridge on the edge of the Soledad basin traps water inside. No strong currents disturb its dep... Read More

Human decomposition: study maps internal bacteria

We may not be so different from zombies when we die, after all. A new study analyzing bacterial communities involved in the decomposition of corpses illustrates how a cadaver becomes a living, thriving ecosystem for microorganisms.

The study, published recently in PLOS ONE, reveals that the t... Read More

New flu virus found in Peruvian bats

A brand new flu virus has been found in Peruvian bats, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus, called A/bat/Peru/10, belongs to a family of flu virusesknown as influenza A, which mainly infect birds, but can also infect other ani... Read More

Scientists 3-D Print Tiny Cages That Imprison Bacteria

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have figured out how to make structures – like houses or cages – that are small enough to corral bacterial cells. The enclosures can be built in any shape and are 3-D printed using a modified laser, the team reported Oct. 7 in Proceedings of the Na... Read More

Immune System May Affect Germs on Your Skin

Your immune system influences the types of microorganisms that live on your skin and affect your risk for disease, according to a new study. A person's skin contains millions of beneficial and potentially disease-causing microbes. Previous research has shown that these microbes influence the imm... Read More

Bacterial communities shift during human decomposition, Sam Houston U & Baylor researchers reveal

New research conducted by researchers at Sam Houston State University and Baylor College of Medicine revealed that bacterial communities around a corpse could change overtime as human decomposition progresses. The study has appeared on October 30th in the open-access journal PLOS ONE, titled “Th... Read More

Germ-hunting antibodies suppress HIV-like virus in monkeys; may hold key to new treatment

Doctors may one day be able to control a patient’s HIV infection in a new way: injecting swarms of germ-fighting antibodies, two new studies suggest. In monkeys, that strategy sharply reduced blood levels of a cousin of HIV. The results also gave tantalizing hints that someday the tactic might h... Read More

Arthronema Gygaxiana: The Bacterial Dungeon Master

Dungeons & Dragons co-creator Gary Gygax touched the lives of the people who loved his games. So when the legendary Dungeon Master died in March 2008, players around the world showed their thanks with heartfelt tributes –including naming a species of bacteria after him.

Arthronema gygaxiana i... Read More

John Holland, 83

Virologist John Holland passed away on 11 October 2013. I asked former members of his laboratory for their thoughts on his career and what he meant to them. Read More

Scientists Capture Most Detailed Picture Yet of Key AIDS Protein

Collaborating scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and Weill Cornell Medical College have determined the first atomic-level structure of the tripartite HIV envelope protein—long considered one of the most difficult targets in structural biology and of great value for medical scien... Read More

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