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TWiM 83 Letters

Matt writes:


Hello TWiM team,

It was great seeing some of you at ASM last week in Boston either in passing between sessions or at the live TWiV episode. I have a few questions about the ASM meeting:
What was something that you all took away from ASM th... 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

Using Wordcloud-Reponses to Discover How Students Perceive Concepts in the Classroom

In this blog, I share some "first word that comes to mind" responses of my freshman biology class to the words "germ," "bacteria," "cell," and "DNA." The way that we perceive an idea or concept definitely impacts our relationship with it. Thus, finding out what students think, coming into our ... Read More

Immune upgrade gives 'HIV shielding'

Doctors have used gene therapy to upgrade the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to help shield them from the virus's onslaught. It raises the prospect of patients no longer needing to take daily medication to control their infection. The patients' white blood cells were taken out of the body... 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

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

Micropredators dictate occurrence of deadly amphibian disease (press release)

An international team of researchers has made important progress in understanding the distribution of the deadly amphibian chytrid pathogen. In some regions, the deadly impact of the pathogen appears to be hampered by small predators, naturally occurring in freshwater bodies. These micropredator... Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... 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

Antibiotics Have Turned Our Bodies From Gardens Into Battlefields

We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis, and it doesn’t involve Siberian tigers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine says that many species of germs are disappearing from our bodies—and that’s a problem. In his new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of ... Read More

Sweet Sweet Straw

The calorie free sweetener erythritol is widely used in Asia; it is also gaining popularity in Europe and America. At the Vienna University of Technology, a new cheap method has been developed to produce erythritol from straw with the help of mould fungi.

Erythritol has many great advantages:... Read More

HIV Epidemic in IDUs is at the Verge of Explosion in Pakistan

In Pakistan IDUs is the highest HIV infected risk group, mainly because of frequent sharing of contaminated needles, paid blood donations and unprotected commercial sex. These IDUs are serving as bridge to transfer the HIV to general population transmitting the virus to their wives and children.... Read More

Cells in Living Things Fight Noise with Noise

For cellphone whisperers, families that live near highways, airports or trains, music-loving commuters, and even individual cells, noise is an inescapable fact of life. In everyday human experience, the nuisance is often manageable. Soundproof barriers and noise-canceling headphones help scrub t... Read More

Sinovac Files Clinical Trial Application with CFDA for its Proprietary Vaccine against Avian Influenza A(H7N9) Virus

BEIJING, Jan. 29, 2014 /PRNewswire/ -- Sinovac Biotech Ltd. SVA +1.79% , a leading provider of biopharmaceutical products in China, announced today that it has submitted a Clinical Trial Application(CTA) with the China Food and Drug Administration (CFDA) to commence human clinical trials for it... Read More

Japan tests in Chile bacteria-based method to revive depleted copper mines

A Japanese government-backed firm has begun testing a new technology to extract copper by using sulphuric acid mixed with multiple species of bacteria at a mine in Northern Chile.

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., known as JOGMEC, will conduct a two-year large-scale experiment to exam... Read More

Giant virus revived from deep freeze in Siberian tundra

A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.

The latest find, described online Monday ... 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

Mixing natural antimicrobials to stop veg spoilage

Combining essential oils is better than single treatments when looking to stop the growth of some spoilage bacteria on vegetables, according to research.

Click on 'source' to read more. Read More

Gut microbiota and the evolution of species

Science Magazine has recently published a study carried out by Dr. Robert Brucker and Dr. Seth R. Bordenstein from Vanderbilt University in Nashville (USA) that seems to provide clues reinforcing the “hologenome theory of evolution”. This research suggests that the gut microbiome may have a fund... Read More

Fouchier vs the Dutch government on influenza H5N1 research

Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More

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