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Frank Fenner, MD, 1914-2010

Australian virologist Frank Fenner, MD was born in Ballarat, Victoria in 1914. He earned a Doctor of Medicine in 1942 at the University of Adelaide, and from 1940 – 1946 he worked on the malaria parasite in Egypt and Papua New Guinea as an officer in the Australian Army Medical Corps. He subsequ... Read More

Wine-Trashing Microbe Identified

Scientists have unmasked a culprit responsible for contaminating untold bottles of wine with the musty, corky odor generally known as taint.

More than 20 years after the isolation of MDMP, a compound that can turn even the finest wine into plonk, the identity of a microbe that churns out the ... Read More

Paleovirology Expanded: Non-Retroviral Virus Fragments Found in Animal Genomes

Understanding the evolution of life-threatening viruses like influenza, Ebola and dengue fever, could help us to minimize their impact. New research points the way to a fossil record of viruses that have insinuated themselves into the genomes of insects and other animals, providing clues about t... Read More

Farewell Frank Fenner, eradicator of smallpox

It's a cliché, I know - but a generation of scientists is passing whose like we truly may never see again. Frank Fenner has died in Australia, at the respectable age of 95, days after meeting his first great-grandchild.

And what a passing. Fenner comes from the era when so much was undiscover... Read More

TWiV 108: Barking up the right Tre

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On episode #108 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, Rich, and Saul review the evolution of HIV-1 specific recombinases, and down-regulation of a host microRNA by a viral noncoding R... Read More

TWiV 108 Letters

Zephyr writes:

Hello everyone, dear doctors Racaniello, Despommier, Alan Dove and Rich Condit,

I've been a devoted listener since April 2009. Like many others listeners then I quickly caught up with all previous episodes (I'll never forget that memorable one devoted ... Read More

Tracking HIV genetic mutations helps convict two men in criminal cases

Viruses possess an ability to mutate into strains that can render vaccines useless and become deadlier than their predecessor. But for a team of Texan scientists, this biological danger became a forensic asset that helped prosecutors convict two men accused of infecting close to a dozen women wi... Read More

Gastroenteritis may be over in a few days, but the consequences can linger for years

If you’re unlucky enough to experience a case of gastroenteritis, you might endure several days of diarrhea and then think your woes are over.

Not so fast.

According to a study published online Friday in the British Medical Journal, a bout of acute gastroenteritis can increase one’s risk o... Read More

Life Found in the Deepest, Unexplored Layer of the Earth’s Crust submit to reddit . .

At this point, after finding microorganisms that don’t mind extreme temperatures, pressure, aridity and other hardships, we shouldn’t be surprised that bacteria’s dominion over the Earth extends to just about anywhere we look. A new expedition to the Earth’s crust has reached unprecedented depth... Read More

New water filter kills disease-causing bacteria in just seconds

An inexpensive new filtering technology can kill up to 98 percent of disease-causing bacteria in water in just seconds without clogging.

American Chemical Society's (ACS) award-winning podcast series, "Global Challenges/Chemistry Solutions", latest episode focused on development and successfu... Read More

Trained bacteria convert bio-wastes into plastic

Researcher Jean-Paul Meijnen has 'trained' bacteria to convert all the main sugars in vegetable, fruit and garden waste efficiently into high-quality environmentally friendly products such as bioplastics. He will be defending his doctoral thesis on this topic, which was carried out in the contex... Read More

Advances made in developing hepatitis C vaccine

Scientists are zeroing in on a promising vaccine to treat hepatitis C, an international symposium was told Friday in Montreal.

Three preliminary clinical trials in England are showing that a so-called therapeutic vaccine can boost the immune response in those infected with the hepatitis C vir... Read More

Protein Discovery Helps Explain the Body’s Failure to Kill HIV

Researchers at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago have discovered a protein produced by HIV that keeps infected cells from signaling the immune system that they are harboring the virus and should be killed. These data, which suggest a new target for HIV drugs, were published online Octobe... Read More

TWiP 19: Enterobius vermicularis, the pinworm

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Vincent and Dickson move on to nematodes with a discussion of the pinworm Enterobius vermicularis.

Download  Read More

TWiP 19 Letters

Brian writes:

Hi, Vincent and Dick,

Love your podcast, and did not drink from the streams in Switzerland, because of the cows at all altitudes, even though your Giardia-cast only came up upon my return. Read More

As Cheesemaking Blooms, So Can Listeria

Listeria can pose special challenges for artisan cheesemakers. Many make their cheese right on the farm, where the bad bacteria are right outside the cheese room door. And small producers often lack the safety training and resources available at bigger companies.

For example, Sharon McCool g... Read More

Busy Microbial World Discovered in Deepest Ocean Crust Ever Explored

The first study to ever explore biological activity in the deepest layer of ocean crust has found bacteria with a remarkable range of capabilities, including eating hydrocarbons and natural gas, and "fixing" or storing carbon.

The research, just published in the journal PLoS One, showed that ... Read More

E coli infection linked to kidney, heart problems

People who contract gastroenteritis by drinking E-coli infested water are at a greater risk of developing high blood pressure, kidney problems and heart disease in later life, says a study.

The findings underline the importance of ensuring safe food and water supply and the need for regular m... Read More

In Fending Off Diseases, Plants and Animals Are Much the Same, Research Shows

Contrary to long-held beliefs, plants and animals have developed remarkably similar mechanisms for detecting microbial invasions. This holds promise for the future treatment of infectious diseases in humans.

It may have been 1 billion years since plants and animals branched apart on the evolu... Read More

USA Science and Engineering Festival - Part 1 (MWV42)


On October 23 2010, MicrobeWorld attended the first annual USA Science and Engineering Festival on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. In part 1 of this two-part video, Read More

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