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Why bacteria ditch nose to go cause trouble

Scientists have identified triggers that turn Streptococcus pneumoniae from harmless colonizer to virulent pathogen.

The bacteria harmlessly colonize the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the mid... Read More

GM rice delivers antibodies against deadly rotavirus

Researchers have added an antibody to fight rotavirus into the rice genome. A strain of rice genetically engineered to protect against diarrhoeal disease could offer a cost-effective way to protect children in developing countries, according a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investiga... Read More

New Middle Eastern Virus Linked to Camels

Anytime a novel virus infects human populations, scientists focus on tracing its origins. And this time their search led to the humped dromedary.

After a Saudi Arabian national died unexpectedly last September, scientists have been tracking the emergence of a new virus, never before seen in p... Read More

How to Achieve a Well-Balanced Gut: 'Peacekeeper' in the Gut Identified

Creating an environment that nurtures the trillions of beneficial microbes in our gut and, at the same time, protects us against invasion by food-borne pathogens is a challenge. A study published on August 8 in PLOS Pathogens reveals the role of a key player in this balancing act.

SIGIRR is a... Read More

Joseph Leidy

JOSEPH LEIDY – 1823-1891

Joseph Leidy (1823-1891), naturalist, comparative anatomist, paleontologist, and microscopist, was dubbed by his biographer as “the last man who knew everything.” Leidy also made substantial contributions to the field of protozoology and is considered America’s first... Read More

HELPER CELLS APTLY NAMED IN BATTLE WITH INVADING PATHOGENS

By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.

Central to the immune response is the activity inside structures know... Read More

TWiP 58 letters

Trudy writes:


Dear Vincent and Dickson,


Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More

TWiP 58: People, parasites, and plowshares



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Guest: Cali Despommier

... Read More

Bacterial pair puts the fix on undersea nitrogen

Two species of bacteria living on the ocean floor have teamed up in a unique symbiotic relationship to form a critical link in the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, reports a research team that includes two University of California, Davis, microbiologists.

The scientists, led by researchers affiliated ... Read More

What Makes Good Bacteria Go Bad? It's Not Them, It's You

Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.

Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly cert... Read More

Virologists plan influenza H7N9 gain of function experiments

A group of virologists lead by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier have sent a letter to Nature and Science outlining the experiments they propose to carry out with influenza H7N9 virus. Avian influenza H7N9 virus has caused over 130 human infections in China with 43 fatalities. The source of the... Read More

TWiM #61: The irony of probiotics



Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio Schaechter and  Read More

TWiM 61 Letters

Nate writes:


Hi my name is Nate. I am a senior in high school aspiring to become a microbiologist. I heard about this podcast through a class I took on biotechnology and have been listening for about 2 months. I really enjoy it and the other two shows... Read More

Financial Advice from Germs

For many, the totality of economics can be somewhat unnerving, especially when it comes to personal financial security. We live in a capitalist world driven by free markets and personal investments. Making the right choices with money could mean incredible success, while a mistake could cost som... Read More

Bat killing WNS fungus confirmed in Arkansas

A fungus that leads to a deadly disease that has killed almost seven million bats in the US is continuing its spread westwards, results have shown.

Officials said the disease had been confirmed in Arkansas after samples tested positive for the fungus known to cause white-nose syndrome (WNS).
... Read More

Gene protects beer crop from nasty fungus

Finding the gene that gives barley resistance to leaf rust could benefit people who rely on the crop for food and beer.

Researchers have discovered that the gene Rph20 provides resistance to leaf rust in some barley variety adult plants.

“Leaf rust is a fungal disease that could destroy al... Read More

Genetic Code Shows Bird Flu In China Spread Between People

When a new strain of bird flu cropped up in China last winter, the billion-dollar question was whether the deadly virus could transmit between people.

Now, Chinese scientists offer the first clear evidence that the bird flu is indeed contagious, although only slightly.

A father, who became... Read More

Best Way to Kill Lab Animals Sought

Researchers are gathering this week to debate the most humane methods of dispatching lab animals, which are primarily rodents. Killing research animals is one of the most unpleasant tasks in science, and it is imperative to do it as humanely as possible. But researchers who study animal welfare... Read More

The grim trail of bacteria left by flies in hot weather is revealed

The current hot spell of weather has seen increased activities by flies whether in the kitchen or across picnic food and barbecues.

It may make grim reading but every fly leaves a calling card in the form of bacterial deposits.

These deposits come not only from their legs, but also from th... Read More

From harmless colonizers to virulent pathogens: UB microbiologists identify what triggers disease

The bacteria Streptococcus pneumoniae harmlessly colonizes the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the middle ears, lungs or bloodstream. Now, in research published in July in mBio, University at Buff... Read More

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