At the Eliava Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia, patients are treated for all kinds of bacterial infections with viruses called phages. In most places in the world antibiotics are given for these infections.
One patient says he regularly uses phages to treat a recurring eye infection.
"I've tr... Read More
This is the greatest TWiM ever. (#58)
I've always been interested in evolutionary complexity and for the last seven years or so I've been unable to think of evolution in terms of traditional survival of the fittest on an individual level--at firs... Read More
This episode: Virus acts as vector to cure deadly genetic disorder!
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Colorectal cancer patients have fewer beneficial gut bacteria and more harmful microbes than those without the disease, researchers from the New York University School of Medicine report in Friday’s edition of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
While previous research had suggested... Read More
Researchers have discovered the largest virus ever, and they've given it a terrifying name: Pandoravirus.
A typical virus is a tiny sack of genetic material that injects itself into a much larger cell and uses it to make more viruses. The Pandoravirus is enormous by comparison—large enough to... Read More
Good morning, everyone! Are you ready for that first cup of coffee? Apparently a strain of bacteria is, too. Researchers have engineered E. Coli bacteria that are "addicted" to caffeine. Why? That's a very good question. The latest creation is not a new idea. Researchers have been engineering or... Read More
Researchers have found evolved pertussis, as whooping cough is scientifically known, in Finland, France, Italy, Japan and the U.S. As we previously reported, the evolved bacteria don't seem to be more dangerous than their predecessors. Nevertheless, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Preve... Read More
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. What effect does this process have on the microorganisms that naturally exist in the water in this process?
... Read More
What types of microbes do mothers transmit to their newborns and how universal is maternal microbial transmission throughout animals, including from your mother?
The sterile womb paradigm is an enduring premise in biology that human infants are born sterile. Recent studies suggest that infant... Read More
Scanning electron micrograph of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus and a dead human neutrophil. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More
This episode: Pathogen's CRISPR-Cas system (for defense against viruses) can be modified to change gene expression in mammals!
The latter half of the 19th century was a critical period in the development of Western, or what is now complimentarily called modern, medicine. The famed chemist Louis Pasteur and the physician Robert Koch established on a firm intellectual foundation the notion that the cause of infectious dis... Read More
This episode: Slime mold cells carry bacteria with them, some for food and some for chemical warfare!
This confocal micrograph, taken as part of a synthetic biology project, shows Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil. Distinct lineages of bacteria expressing different fluorescent proteins were initially mixed randomly on a petri dish. As the bac... Read More
"Like rolling back a rock and seeing the ecosystem change," says the lead author of a study in mBio this week. It's a classical experiment in grade school ecology, except that the ecosystem is the microbiome of the human penis. And the "rock" is the foreskin, removed in adulthood for the sake of... Read More
This episode: Bacteria that swarm in the soil cooperate or compete based on one particular protein structure!
(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)