Humans may have started out malaria-free then caught the disease from gorillas, an analysis of ape faeces suggests.
Malaria is one of our most devastating diseases. Apes carry related malaria-causing parasites, so biologists believed humans were already infected when they split from other gre... Read More
A study led by researchers at UC Davis has found how the bacteria Salmonella enterica -- a common cause of food poisoning -- exploits immune response in the human gut to enhance its own reproductive and transmission success. The strategy gives Salmonella a growth advantage over the beneficial b... Read More
Jim Collins, a College of Engineering professor of biomedical engineering and codirector of the Center for BioDynamics at Boston University, delivers the 2008 University Lecture, Biology by Design. He talks about his research at BU, including using noise to enhance sensory function and making an... Read More
Once Pseudomonas aeruginosa colonizes the lungs of a cystic fibrosis patient, it begins transforming itself from a squatter into a fully-invested resident, eventually establishing a chronic airway infection. A study just released by mBio tracked the gene expression patterns of P. aeruginosa dur... Read More
This episode: Discovery of (rather pretty) giant archaea!
Parasites such as Toxoplasma gondii invade host cells, replicate and then must exit to find new host cells to invade. Traveling outside their host cell exposes the parasites to environmental stresses that limit how long they can remain viable while searching for new host cells.
The researcher... Read More
Researchers from the Australia’s University of Ballarat have dispelled an urban myth by showing banknotes do not carry dangerous levels of bacteria.
But they found polymer banknotes, such as those used in Australia, carry the least quantity of contamination.
Australia's notes are manufactu... Read More
Global warming may have one minor but previously unknown benefit, scientists said this month: it may be cutting down cases of bubonic plague in the United States.
About 10 to 20 Americans catch plague each year, and 1 to 3 die of it, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Preventio... Read More
An examination of a portion of the tuberculosis genome that responds to stress has allowed Rice University bioengineers Oleg Igoshin and Abhinav Tiwari to zero in on a network of genes that may "switch" the disease into dormancy.
The bacteria that cause tuberculosis (TB), Mycobacterium tuberc... Read More
The list of ways for life to make a living keeps getting longer. There are the obvious: like turning light into chemical energy like plants do. Or eating plants like many animals do.
Then there are more specialist methods: for example, pairing the hydrogen produced by radioactive decay with s... Read More
There's been a lot of talk recently about NDM-1, a gene that gives many bacteria a weapon against carbapenems, an important class of antibiotics. Because many of these bacteria are already resistant to other classes of antibiotics, NDM-1 renders them immune to almost anything we throw at them. ... Read More
Every choice has its trade-offs, and while the advantages of many choices are easy to discern, other situations require closer analysis. In a paper just released by mBio, scientists have modeled the economic trade-offs involved in putting genes in an operon, and they’ve shed some light on why i... Read More
TWiV listeners have spent their valuable time writing comments about the podcast on iTunes, and it's a shame that most people don't see them. I'm putting them here as a way of thanking them for their time, and for listening. This i... Read More
2nd favorite podcast right after twiv
Even my 14 & 18 year old st... Read More
Three cheers for Dr. Racaniello!!!
by Camp Connell Steve - Feb 28, 2011
Dr. Racaniello has launched his third superb podcast! Having listened to all the This Week in Virology and This Week in Parasitism podcasts, I awaited with anticipation when he announced h... Read More
Basidiobolus haposporus. Adhesive spores forcibly discharged and attached to cover of a petri dish. Lactophenol cotton blue stain Read More
Parasitic worm colonies are known to invade and castrate a tiny California horn snail, spawning thousands of tiny soldiers that take up 25% of the snail's body weight. These tiny warriors could actually revolutionize how we fight infections in humans.
As much as these colonies are bad news fo... Read More
As scientists with the federal government search for the source of the salmonella that made thousands of people sick this summer and trace how it spread, researchers in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences are developing a new and more accurate method of acquiring the bacteria's identit... Read More
A flu shot can do more than just fight against influenza, a new study suggests. It may also fight against heart attacks.
Adults who take the flu vaccine may be less likely to get their first heart attack the next year, researchers say.
The study, published Monday in the Canadian Medical As... Read More
New research on the immune system’s response to plague could improve efforts to vaccinate the public against the world’s oldest form of biological warfare.
Researchers have been working for several years to develop a vaccine for weaponized forms of plague, which is one of the world’s deadlies... Read More