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Study Shows How Staph Toxin Disarms the Immune System

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered a new mechanism by which the deadly Staphylococcus aureus bacteria attack and kill off immune cells. Their findings, published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, explain a critical survival tactic of a pathogen that causes more ski... Read More

Leading virologists join together to tackle viruses, leukemia and neurologic disorders (press release)

The Global Virus Network (GVN) announced today the launch of a Task Force on HTLV, Human T-Lymphotropic Virus (HTLV), the world's first known human retrovirus and only known leukemia-causing virus. Experts from 11 countries*, led by Dr. Robert Gallo, GVN co-founder and scientific director and di... Read More

Emergence of bacterial vortex explained

Bacteria in a drop of water spontaneously form a bi-directional vortex, with bacteria near the center of the drop swimming in the opposite direction of bacteria swimming near the edge. New computer simulations, confirmed by a novel experiment, explain how that vortex comes to be.

Click "sourc... Read More

Two new weapons in the battle against bacteria

Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen ... Read More

TWiM 71 Letters

Zachary writes:


How long does it take to become a microbiologist?


Tim writes:


I'd never heard of magnetotactic bacteria before and thought perhaps you guys might find this interesting. Not sure if you've mentioned these on TWIM before,... Read More

Love in the lab: Close collaborators

Romance often sparks between colleagues, and scientists are no different. Nature profiles four super-couples who have combined love and the lab.

When physicists Claudia Felser and Stuart Parkin were introduced at a conference on applied magnetics, they felt an immediate attraction. But then, ... Read More

Human antibodies that neutralize respiratory droplet transmissible H5N1 influenza viruses

There have been several outbreaks of highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza viruses affecting humans over the past decade, the causes of which have been limited to direct human contact with infected birds. Recent publications suggest that a very small number of coding mutations in the viral HA g... Read More

Research offers new insight in quest for single vaccine against multiple influenza strains

A study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists highlights a new approach for developing a universal influenza vaccine that could protect against multiple flu strains, including deadly pandemic strains. The research appears today in the advance online edition of the scientific jo... Read More

Salmonella Infection Mitigates Asthma

Researchers from Germany have identified the mechanism by which Salmonella infections can reduce the incidence of asthma in mice. The research, which appears ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity, opens up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments.

Incidence of alle... Read More

India has been free of polio for three years

Three years ago today, on 13 January 2011, the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in India. This achievement represents a remarkable turnaround for a country where control of the disease had for years been extremely difficult. As recently as 2009 there were 741 confirmed cases of polio caus... Read More

BacterioFiles 171 - Segments Select Specific Strains

This episode: Ahmed Gomaa and I discuss how to keep some microbes and get rid of others using bacteria's own immune system!


(15.1 MB, 16.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Researchers Find Rising Incidence of Patients Admitted With Infections Resistant To Common Antibiotics

The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers. The study is published online in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

... Read More

TB bacteria mask their identity to intrude into deeper regions of lungs

TB-causing bacteria appear to mask their identity to avoid recognition by infection-killing cells in the upper airways. The bacteria call up more permissive white blood cells in the deeper regions of the lungs and hitch a ride inside them to get into the host’s body.

These findings are report... Read More

As MERS virus reaches U.S., public health system springs into action

The man arrived at the hospital with a fever and a bad cough. Relatives accompanied him through the doors, beneath the red neon sign reading "Emergency."

It looked like pneumonia, but when doctors at Community Hospital learned that the patient was a healthcare worker in Saudi Arabia, they beg... Read More

TB or not TB: that is the question.

Tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious public health problem: 8.7 million cases in 2001 and over 1.4 million deaths per year. In 2006, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has been confirmed in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. The emergence ... Read More

Should variola virus, the agent of smallpox, be destroyed?

Later this month (May 2014) the World Health Assembly will decide whether to destroy the remaining stocks of variola virus – the agent of smallpox – or to allow continued research on the virus at WHO-approved laboratories. We are interested in your opinion on this issue. Please follow the link t... Read More

Bacteria in space!

Where humans travel, bacteria will follow. If people are in space for any amount of time, bacteria are sure to thrive there so it’s good to know that there are already researchers looking at how the environment within spaceships affects bacterial populations. Work done on planktonic colonies of ... Read More

Human African trypanosomiasis

A false-coloured scanning electron microscope image of an African trypanosome, the parasite which causes sleeping sickness. Read More

Algae able to switch quantum coherence on and off

A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis.

The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thoug... Read More

Poison-breathing bacteria

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in Calif... Read More

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