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TWiM #139: Frackibacter and sticky fingers

The TWiM team discusses microbial DNA found on ATM machines in New York City, and how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, alters microbial ecosystems deep in the Earth.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter, and Michele Swanson.


{audio}This Week in Mi... Read More

Diversity and Activity of Communities Inhabiting Plastic Debris in the North Pacific Gyre

Marine plastic debris is a growing concern that has captured the general public’s attention. While the negative impacts of plastic debris on oceanic macrobiota, including mammals and birds, are well documented, little is known about its influence on smaller marine residents, including microbes t... Read More

Adenosine deaminase may help the immune system fight HIV on its own

New research findings published in the February 2016 issue of the Journal of Leukocyte Biology, suggest that a new therapeutic strategy for HIV may already be available by repurposing an existing prescription drug. The drug, an enzyme called adenosine deaminase, or ADA, ultimately may be able to... Read More

Meta-analysis of urine pre-analytic practice reveals need for rigorous studies

Evidence-based medicine is the approach used by doctors to make rational clinical decisions based on rigorous, well-controlled studies. By minimizing hunches, gut feelings, and anecdotal evidence, physicians and patients can follow recommendations that are most likely to have a positive outcome.... Read More

TWiV 414: Zika in the guys with Diamond

Michael Diamond visits the TWiV studio to talk about chikungunya virus and his laboratory's work on a mouse model of Zika virus, including the recent finding of testicular damage caused by viral replication.


Hosts:  Read More

How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

Your viruses could reveal your travel history, and more

The genomes of two distinct strains of the virus that causes the common lip cold sore, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), have been identified within an individual person -- an achievement that could be useful to forensic scientists for tracing a person's history. The research also opens the d... 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

Research shows potential for emergence of new Ebola virus that causes disease in humans

New research at the University of Kent has highlighted the potential for the emergence of a new form of Ebolavirus.

A team from the University's School of Biosciences examined the differences between Ebolaviruses that cause severe disease in humans and the Reston virus that does not. Read More

Azithromycin During Delivery: Weighing Benefits and Costs

Washington, DC – January 13, 2016 - Some infants of lactating mothers given the antibiotic and antimalarial, azithromycin, during delivery may be protected from disease, or harmed by the drug. These findings are the results of the most comprehensive evaluation of the transfer of azithromycin int... Read More

Walter Reed Army Institute of Research begins phase 2 clinical trial of Ebola vaccine

SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) today announced the initiation of a Phase 2 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immunogenicity of a prime-boost Ebola vaccine regimen in both healthy and HIV-infected study volunteers. Read More

Stilton Cheese, Alexis de Toqueville, and turning ASM into the Tesla of Scientific Societies

“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More

Two birds with one stone: E. faecium cotransfers drug resistance determinants by homologous recombination

The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecium is a member of the ESKAPE pathogens for which drug resistance has been a growing problem. How E. faecium becomes drug resistant has been a long-standing question, and is the focus of a new study now available in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemothera... Read More

Flu vaccine unlikely to trigger reaction in children with egg allergy and asthm

The children's flu vaccine is unlikely to trigger an allergic reaction in those with egg allergy, finds a study in The BMJ today. The vaccine is also appropriate for young people with well-controlled asthma or recurrent wheeze, the findings show. Read More

A virus-like particle vaccine against RSV is safe and effective in mice

Pneumonia remains a serious worldwide problem, especially among the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Over 900,000 children die each year due to the disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b bein... 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

Penn study reveals how fish control microbes through their gills

Oriol Sunyer, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, has described fish as "an open gut swimming." Their mucosal surfaces -- their skin, digestive tract and gills -- are in constant contact with water, including any pathogens that that water may contain. Read More

How Vibrio cholerae is attracted by bile revealed

A group of researchers from Osaka University, Hosei University, and Nagoya University have revealed the molecular mechanism that Vibrio cholerae, the etiological agent of cholera, is attracted by bile. This group has also successfully detected the ligand binding to the bacteria chemoreceptor in ... Read More

Zika epidemic highlights need for priority vaccine research for pregnant women

The recent outbreak of Zika virus disease and its link to fetal development highlights the need for pregnant women and those of reproductive age to be a priority group for developing and evaluating new vaccines and vaccine guidelines for Zika and other emerging infectious diseases, say the autho... Read More

The dual role of GALNT3 during influenza infection

Feeling under the weather? Are you congested, maybe having a hard time breathing, especially at night? Don’t worry – this is your body’s natural response to an infection. Mucus production is generally regarded as antimicrobial – it traps particles like virions before they can infect nearby host ... Read More
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