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TWiV 289: Vinny and the capsids

Vinny and the capsids answer listener questions about the definition of life, state vaccination laws, the basic science funding problem, viral ecology, inactivation of viruses by pressure, and much more.


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Maize Plus Bacteria: One-Two Punch Knocks Copper Out of Stamp Sand

Scientists have known for years that together, bacteria and plants can remediate contaminated sites. Ramakrishna Wusirika, of Michigan Technological University, has determined that how you add bacteria to the mix can make a big difference. Wusirika has also shed light on the biochemical pathways... Read More

First Fecal Transplant Bank Opens

OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., has opened a facility that collects stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals. It then processes those "donations" and readies them for shipment to hospitals, where they are put into the colons of people with the deadly gut infection Cl... Read More

Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick - Science History Rap Battle

Rosalind Franklin vs. Watson & Crick - Science History Rap Battle Read More

New childhood TB cases double earlier estimates

esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... Read More

Baby born with AIDS in Los Angeles may be cured of virus, doctors hope

Doctors are reporting a second instance of a baby born with AIDS going into remission, or possibly cured, by aggressive treatment after birth. The first case, a child from Mississippi who is now 3 1/2, was reported last April. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. ... Read More

Gut Ecosystem Restoration via Fecal Transplantation

Relapsing clostridium difficile infection (CDI) is a disease that patients face after being medicated with antibiotics that damage their microbiota. A recent and effective treatment to eradicate this condition is known as “fecal material transplant” (FMT), where a healthy human will donate a sam... Read More

The Fungus That Killed Darwin’s Frog

In his second expedition to South America, Darwin discovered many new species of animals and plants. The field observations obtained throughout this 5-year expedition provided the intellectual framework for the maturation of his ideas on evolution. It also introduced the world to a tiny (2-3 cm ... Read More

What Are The Odds That an Artificially Enhanced Flu Strain Could Escape a Lab?

A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More

Live/Dead Stain Microscopy

Tannery tanning fluid sample stained with Live/Dead BacLight under UV light. Either 40x or 100x oil immersion. Green bacteria indicate living cells, while Orange bacteria indicate dead cells. Some of the green cells were moving around even after staining! Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.

In this study we attemp... Read More

New vaccine from University of Iowa protects against lethal pneumonia caused by staph bacteria

University of Iowa researchers have developed a new vaccine that protects against lethal pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA.

The research team was led by Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair of microbiology in the UI Carve... Read More

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More

Antimicrobial resistance: a global health issue (Video)

How can antibiotics be better used? How can the development of resistance to antibiotics be avoided? What are the consequences of their ill-considered usage for humans and also for animals? These were some of the topics that the organizers of ICPIC 2013, the International Conference on Preventio... Read More

Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs

Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug an... Read More

Belly-button brie? Bacteria from human bodies create artsy cheese

You'll need a strong stomach to walk into a new exhibit open at the Dublin Science Gallery: On display are cheeses cultured from the body bacteria of celebrities from the realms of science, food and art.

Eleven "cheese portraits" include a farmhouse cheese, a washed rind, a natural rind, a w... Read More

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix grown on TSA for 48 hrs. Serratia marcescens grows red due to prodigiosin and Escherichia coli grows opaque white. Read More

Commonly used pain relievers have added benefit of fighting bacterial infection

Some commonly used drugs that combat aches and pains, fever, and inflammation are also thought to have the ability to kill bacteria. New research reveals that these drugs, better known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, act on bacteria in a way that is fundamentally different from current ... Read More

Avoid Getting Sick: Top 8 Germiest Public Places Exposed

Worried about you or your kids picking up the flu virus or other common illnesses at school, in restrooms or at the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on the surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places and give you expert tips to avoid g... Read More

H1N1 Influenza Virus Particles

Colorized transmission electron micrograph showing H1N1 influenza virus particles. Surface proteins on the virus particles are shown in black. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

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