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The protective milk shot – How mother’s milk protects piglets from parasite infections

Coccidiosis is a serious disease in new-born piglets. Caused by the parasite Cystoisospora suis, it exclusively infects pigs and often causes severe diarrhoea in suckling piglets. Parasitologists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have developed a new strategy for protecting the piglets: They infected sows... Read More

Gonorrhea Infections Start From Exposure To Seminal Fluid

Researchers have come a step closer to understanding how gonorrhea infections are transmitted. When Neisseria gonorrhoeae, the bacteria responsible for gonorrhea, are exposed to seminal plasma, the liquid part of semen containing secretions from the male genital tract, they can more easily move ... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More

Cancer-Causing HPV Virus Directly Damages DNA

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can damage chromosomes and genes directly, researchers report in a new study. HPV is a virus that can cause anal, cervical, head and neck cancers, and according to experts, it produces two viral proteins (E6 and E7) that are involved in the development of those diseas... Read More

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-ol... Read More

Salmonella grown on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar

The following picture shows the isolated black colonies of Salmonella on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar. S-S Agar is used as a selective and differential medium for the isolation of Salmonella and some Shigella species. The inclusion of bile salts is to inhibit gram-positive organisms. Ferric ci... Read More

Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA)

Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA)
•Important Ingredients: Phenol red, mannitol (sugar), 7.5% NaCl
•Differential: between pathogenic S. aureus and S. epidermidis
•Selective: NaCl inhibits non-halophilic organisms. Organism that can grow are halophilic.
•Mannitol Fermentors: fermentation of acid cau... Read More

Yersinia pestis bacteria

Scanning electron micrograph of Yersinia pestis, which causes bubonic plague, on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID) Read More

Resurrecting ancient microbes to understand evolution

When you hear the word “resurrection”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Religious miracles? Zombie viruses? The end of the world?

Whatever your mental association, I’m willing to bet it’s not “an emerging scientific discipline." Well, it just so happens a growing community of microb... Read More

Pig-killing PEDv virus moves into Canada

Canada has discovered its first two cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has already killed more than 1 million pigs in the United States, government and industry officials said on Thursday.

The Ontario government is investigating a hog farm in the province's Middlesex C... Read More

Metabolomics and microbes - Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis

Entry for ASM global video challenge - short description of metabolomics work on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Read More

Evidence-based antibiotic usage

New recommendation encourages physicians to prescribe _antibacterials_ instead of antibiotics for bacterial infections. This recommendation is based on compelling evidence that the word "antibiotic" confuses almost everyone, including some doctors. The confusion leads to strong patient demands... Read More

TWiP 77: Mixed messages

Vincent and Dickson discuss the exchange of messenger RNAs between a parasitic plant and its hosts.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

2,300 tubes containing SARS virus samples missing in France

A major French biomedical research body, the Pasteur Institute, have launched an investigation into the disappearance of some 2,300 test tubes containing samples of the SARS virus. The loss was discovered during an inventory.

The Pasteur Institute filed a so-called 'complaint against X' on Mo... Read More

TWiM 74 Letters

Katja writes:


Thank you for the great podcast! You've explained our story very well and it was funny to listen to it. I didn't know that "Speak friend and enter" is from lord of the rings! I just wanted to explain the name CYCLOPS because this was a question mark in t... Read More

How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

Why Do Bacteria Thrive in Space?

For reasons that still aren't well understood, bacteria proliferate in microgravity. Creating a potential recipe for disaster for humans stationed in space for long periods, bacteria's love of low-g also raises an intriguing question: Why are they so comfortable there?

Click on source for ful... Read More

The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

A Bacterial Bioluminescent Valentine's Day

In this short post, I celebrate Valentine's Day with words of light---using bioluminescent bacteria! Read More

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