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TWiM 3 Letters

Hubert writes:

Hello Professor,

I'm a Belgian student in veterinary medicine (I hope my English isn't too bad), and I'm very interested in microbiology. I have a few questions about the last episode of TWiM (and quite a lot about episodes of TWiV, but I'm still i... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 34 - Social Slime’s Sorus Storage

3This episode: Slime molds farm their own bacterial food!

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500 million Chinese infected with tuberculosis

The number of infectious tuberculosis patients in China has exceeded 5 million and that of Chinese infected with the tuberculosis bacteria has topped 500 million, accounting for 45 percent of the country's total population, according to the results of the "Fifth National Tuberculosis Epidemiolog... Read More

Regulating the infective phase of Legionella bacterial lifecycle

New research by UCD researchers led by Conway Fellow, Brendan Loftus gives an insight into the infective cycle of the bacteria responsible for Legionnaires disease and Pontiac fever. In collaboration with scientists at the MRC Human Genetics Unit in Edinburgh, the team analysed all the genes exp... Read More

Cruise Ship Norovirus Outbreak Highlights How Infections Spread

Investigation suggests preventive steps passengers and crew can take. Norovirus is the leading cause of acute gastroenteritis in the United States and is estimated to cause nearly 21 million cases annually. It is highly transmissible through person-to-person contact and contaminated food, water... Read More

The Unsolved Anthrax Murder Mystery

The US public health system has serious vulnerabilities, and one major problem is identifying and responding to public health crimes. The investigation into the 2001 anthrax attacks is a case in point. The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) recently published its report on the scientific methodo... Read More

The Killer Within: A Novel Bacterial Suicide Mechanism

The zeta toxins are a family of proteins that are normally present within various pathogenic bacteria and can mysteriously trigger suicide when the cells undergo stress. A team led by Anton Meinhart at the Max Planck Institute for Medical Research in Heidelberg has now found the mechanism underl... Read More

New online resource on Bacille Calmette-Guerin vaccine

In this week's PLoS Medicine, and to coincide with World TB Day, Madhukar Pai from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and colleagues introduce the BCG World Atlas, an open access, user friendly website for TB clinicians to discern global BCG vaccination policies and practices and improve the ... Read More

Scientists Grow Personalized Collections of Intestinal Microbes

Each of us carries a unique collection of trillions of friendly microbes in our intestines that helps break down food our bodies otherwise couldn't digest.

This relationship between humans and their microbes is generally a healthy one, but changes to the mix of microbes in the digestive tract... Read More

One Health and the Lessons Learned from the 1999 West Nile Virus Outbreak (MWV46)

In episode 46 of MicrobeWorld Video, filmed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Washington, D.C., Dr. Stan Maloy talks with Read More

Myra McClure on XMRV

Myra McClure, Professor in the Division of Infection and Immunity, University College of London, U.K., has focused on retroviruses for much of her research career. I discussed the potential role of the retrovirus XMRV in prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome with Dr. McClure during ICAAC ... Read More

Stress Affects the Balance of Bacteria in the Gut and Immune Response

Stress can change the balance of bacteria that naturally live in the gut, according to research published this month in the journal Brain, Behavior, and Immunity.

"These bacteria affect immune function, and may help explain why stress dysregulates the immune response," said lead researcher Mi... Read More

Newly discovered virus implicated in deadly Chinese outbreaks

Five years ago, large numbers of farmers in central China began falling victim to an mysterious disease marked by high fever, gastrointestinal disorder and an appalling mortality rate — as high as 30 percent in initial reports. Investigators from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Preven... Read More

Streptococcus Enzyme Could Compete With Toothbrushes, Dental Floss

Investigators from Japan show in vitro that the bacterium Streptococcus salivarius, a non-biofilm forming, and otherwise harmless inhabitant of the human mouth, actually inhibits the formation of dental biofilms, otherwise known as plaque. Two enzymes this bacteria produces are responsible for t... Read More

Volcanic origin of proteins?

The reanalysis of a 1958 experiment suggests that volcanic eruptions may have spawned the amino acids that contributed to the rise of life on earth. Scientific debates don't get much hotter than the one surrounding the origin of organic molecules at the dawn of life on Earth. New findings, based... Read More

Spacebound bacteria inspire earthbound remedies

Recent research aboard the Space Shuttle is giving scientists a better understanding of how infectious disease occurs in space and could someday improve astronaut health and provide novel treatments for people on Earth. The research involves an opportunistic pathogen known as Pseudomonas aerugin... Read More

Amazing survival of microorganisms (video)

Hear the story of Surveyor 3, the probe sent to the moon 2 years before the moon landing and returned to Earth complete with an extremely enduring life form. Brilliant video from BBC Horizon show 'We Are the Aliens'. Read More

Malaria mosquitoes reveal pathogen defense strategies

In analyzing malaria mosquitoes in sub-Saharan Africa, a Cornell-led team of researchers finds evidence of two very different evolutionary paths in the immune systems of neighboring mosquito groups. Genes in animal immune systems may evolve in one of two main ways in the constant fight against p... Read More

Compound from Chinese Medicine Blocks Biofilm Formation on Medical Implant Materials

A compound that is an active ingredient in plants commonly used in Chinese medicine prevents biofilm formation on polystyrene and polycarbonate surfaces by Staphylococcus aureus. The research suggests that this compound, 1,2,3,4,6-Penta-O-galloyl-beta-D-glucopyranose (PGG) is highly promising fo... Read More

The Enemy Within: A New Pattern of Antibiotic Resistance (preview; Scientific American access needed for full article)

In early summer 2008 Timothy Walsh of Cardiff University in Wales got an e-mail from Christian Giske, an acquaintance who is a physician on the faculty of Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. Giske had been treating a 59-year-old man hospitalized that past January in Örebro, a small city about 100 mil... Read More
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