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TB bacteria mask their identity to intrude into deeper regions of lungs

TB-causing bacteria appear to mask their identity to avoid recognition by infection-killing cells in the upper airways. The bacteria call up more permissive white blood cells in the deeper regions of the lungs and hitch a ride inside them to get into the host’s body.

These findings are report... Read More

New studies detail how HIV affects immune system, claim drug exists to block virus

In a last-ditch effort to rid the body of HIV, droves of white bloods cells self-destruct in an explosive mass suicide that drives the progression toward AIDS, a pair of new studies has found.

These fiery deaths attract more unsuspecting cells to come over and help, initiating a domino effect... Read More

Mating is the kiss of death for certain female worms

The presence of male sperm and seminal fluid causes female worms to shrivel and die after giving birth, Princeton University researchers reported this week in the journal Science. The demise of the female appears to benefit the male worm by removing her from the mating pool for other males.

... Read More

Antimicrobial Properties

The emergence of antimicrobial resistance, coupled with the availability of fewer antifungal agents with fungicidal actions, prompted this present study to characterize Candida species in our environment and determine the effectiveness of virgin coconut oil as an antifungal agent on these specie... Read More

TWiP 64 letters

Richard writes:


Good morning, day, evening (depending on your time of day). Esteemed professors!


Firstly my weather report, for Weston super Mare, uk.


It is currently 3 centigrade (feels like 2C), dew point 4C, humidity 78%, there has been 1m... Read More

TWiP 64: Three new ways to prevent malaria

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and D... Read More

Mutant Mosquito Virus May Serve as Vaccine for Deadly Disease

Eastern equine encephalitis virus, which kills about half of the people it infects, uses a newly identified mechanism to “hijack” cells of its hosts in order to suppress an immune response.

“Anytime you understand how a virus causes a disease, you can find ways to interrupt that process,” say... Read More

BCG vaccine more effective than previously thought

The BCG vaccine has been found to be more effective against the most common form of tuberculosis than previously thought, according to a new study in Clinical Infectious Diseases.

Bacillus Calmette Guérin (BCG) vaccine is included in the childhood vaccination programme of many countries, and ... Read More

HPV Home Tests Could Identify Cancer Risk

HPV self-testing is as effective as tests done by doctors, according to a Lund University study. Simple HPV home tests could therefore complement existing screening programmes, and identify more women at risk for cervical cancer.

Sweden has a system of regular gynaecological smear tests, whic... Read More

Dictyostelium amoeba eating bacteria (video)

Actin is shown in red. From Clarke, M., and Maddera, L. (2006). Phagocyte meets prey: Uptake, internalization, and killing of bacteria by Dictyostelium amoebae. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 85:1001-1010; reproduced with permission from Elsevier. Honorable mention 2013 Bioscapes Competition. Dr. Margaret ... Read More

Reports hit Agriculture Dept. for ‘serious weaknesses’ in food inspection measures

Recent salmonella outbreaks that sickened at least 523 people and sent dozens to the hospital underscore “serious weaknesses” in the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s oversight of poultry plants, according to a study released Thursday by the Pew Charitable Trusts, which also criticized the govern... Read More

MERS-CoV genome found in dromedary camels

Middle Eastern respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV), first identified in the fall of 2012 in a Saudi Arabian patient, has since infected over 160 individuals, causing 71 deaths. Identifying the source of infection is important for efforts to prevent further infections. Recently two studie... Read More

Viral gifts

If you are looking for the perfect present for that infectious person in your life, there are many microbe-themed possibilities. Here are some suggestions, from t-shirts, to watercolors, glass sculptures, and paper to wrap it in. Read More

TWiM #70: A paroxysmal cough

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio SchaechterMichael Schmidt and Read More

TWiM 70 Letters

Jim writes:


Just heard TWIM 67 -- excellent of course -- and recalled, like Elio, being in basic training in the 60's when meningitis cases occurred on the base and we had to sleep with all the barracks windows open. I think we were double-bunked but can't recall if w... Read More

Oil- and metal-munching microbes dominate deep sandstone formations

Halomonas are a hardy breed of bacteria. They can withstand heat, high salinity, low oxygen, utter darkness and pressures that would kill most other organisms. These traits enable these microbes to eke out a living in deep sandstone formations that also happen to be useful for hydrocarbon extrac... Read More

Paramecium, showing contractile vacuole and ciliary motion (video)

Olympus BioScapes 2013 10th place Winner, Mr. Ralph Grimm. Paramecium, showing contractile vacuole and ciliary motion.

Click "source" to view. Read More

Banana Fungus, Insect Outbreak Threaten Global Supply

Banana lovers better satiate their appetites now. The world's supply of the fruit is under attack.

According to Scientific American, strains of a particular soil fungus -- Fusarium oxysporum f. sp. cubense, or Foc -- have struck a key variety of banana grown for export in Mozambique and Jorda... Read More

Fungus could control mosquitoes, research suggests

Researchers at Swansea University say a fungus could be the key to controlling mosquitoes.

Fungus Metarhizium anisopliae lives in soil and kills a whole range of insects and researchers say it also affects mosquito larvae if added to the water where the insect breeds.

The insects carry dis... Read More

Burglary-ring-like mechanism found in lethal Nipah virus

A team of scientists from Washington State University has discovered how one of the planet’s most deadly known viruses employs burglary-ring-like teamwork to infiltrate the human cell.

Nipah virus is so menacing that the nation’s top infectious disease experts served as consultants in the fil... Read More

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