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Engineering the Human Microbiome Shows Promise for Treating Disease

In the not too distant future each of us will be able to colonize our gut with genetically modified “smart” bacteria that detect and stamp out disease at the earliest possible moment. This scenario may sound like the premise for a sci-fi flick, but it is a very real possibility. Microbiome engin... Read More

MWV94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Maria Julia Marinissen, Read More

Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

Click "source" to watch this fantastic video conversation.

Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our phy... Read More

Dawn of the Cyborg Bacteria (video)

In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More

Fungi on Tea

A group of fungi growing on the surface of stagnant black tea left open to the environment. I've found this leads to beautiful morphologies when I try it. Read More

TWiP 85 letters

 


Jan writes:


Dear Sirs


This is fun, and although I'm sure someone will gripe about Dicksons enthusiastic response to the crayfish, it made my life easier. I think it's Paragonimus kellicoti. As for eating raw crayfish; how drunk... Read More

Fact or Faction?: Vaccines Are Dangerous

Overwhelming medical evidence proves that negative side effects are rare and minor

Click "source" to read more. Read More

'Attract and kill:' Trapping malaria mosquito mums before they lay eggs

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes - a discovery which could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa's Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that... Read More

The Coming Crisis in Antibiotics

An interesting TED talk about antibiotic resistant bacteria.

Antibiotic drugs save lives. But we simply use them too much — and often for non-lifesaving purposes, like treating the flu and even raising cheaper chickens. The result, says researcher Ramanan Laxminarayan, is that the drugs will... Read More

Emerging diseases likely to be more harmful in similar species

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species Read More

BacterioFiles 206 - Mollusc Maneuvers Microbe Machines to Macerate Maples

This episode: When digesting wood, shipworms outsource their microbial symbionts from gut to gills!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper<... Read More

Microbial soil cleanup at Fukushima

Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. The publication of the X-ray structure of a beta-lactamase enzyme from one such microbe, the halophile ... Read More

Modified E. coli spin fibres as tough as spider silk

Spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar, but efforts to spin our own have so far failed to match the real thing. Now a German research group has come up with artificial fibres that equal its toughness, which could lead to safer airbags.

His team spliced spider genes into E.... Read More

Preparing for Ebola, but Stopping Lassa Fever

In mid-November, a W.H.O team which aimed to prepare a number of African countries for a potential Ebola outbreak ended up identifying an outbreak of the virus which causes Lassa Fever in Benin. Preventative measures designed to stem the outbreak of Ebola were used to effectively contain the v... Read More

All About that Base (Meghan Trainor Parody)

The Zechiedrich Lab throws down the 411 on DNA base pairs. Read More

How Quickly Would Measles Spread if Too Few People Were Vaccinated?

What would actually happen if only 80 percent of school-age children were vaccinated against the measles? It’s a scary thought that a new simulation from the University of Pittsburgh aims to visualize.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

TWiV 327: Does a gorilla shift in the woods?

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

These are the smallest bacteria ever identified

The ultra-small bacteria were discovered in groundwater. The sample was taken from Rifle, Colorado. The cells take on the appearance of tightly-coiled spirals. The bacterial cells are thought to be the smallest that a cell can be and still hold sufficient material to sustain life.

The cells h... Read More

Common Parasite Could Manipulate Our Behavior

Look what the cat dragged in! The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a common protozoan transmitted by cats, can effect mammalian brain cells in strange ways. In rodents, the parasite has been shown to inhibit fear and actually attract them to the smell of cat urine. Humans can be infected through c... Read More

Link identified between virus recognition, destruction in bacterial immune system

An immune system that helps bacteria combat viruses is yielding unlikely results such as the ability to edit genome sequences and potentially correct mutations that cause human disease.

University of Georgia researchers Michael and Rebecca Terns were among the first to begin to study the bact... Read More
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