A study on the potential of SARS-virus-like bat coronaviruses to cause human disease has reawakened the debate on the risks and benefits of engineering viruses. Let’s go over the science and then see if any of the criticisms have merit. Read More
Washington, DC – October 30, 2015 – Biofilms—mats of bacteria similar to the plaque that grows on teeth—frequently coat the surfaces of catheters, and of various medical implants and prostheses, where they can threaten lives or lead to failure of the implants. Antibiotics are impotent against b... Read More
Investigators estimate that during 2012, there were more than 3.1 million emergency department visits for infectious diseases among elderly US adults. Read More
For the first time in more than a year, Guinea passed a week without a new lab-confirmed Ebola case, but the news out of West Africa last week was tempered by a flare-up of activity in Sierra Leone, the World Health Organization (WHO) reported today in its latest update. Read More
Genetic mutations called "escape variants" in the deadly Ebola virus appear to block the ability of antibody-based treatments to ward off infection, according to a team of U.S. Army scientists and collaborators. Their findings, published online this week in the journal Cell Reports, have implica... Read More
Washington DC - August 28, 2015 - Oysters not only transmit human norovirus; they also serve as a major reservoir for these pathogens, according to research published August 28 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "More than 80 percent of... Read More
While sexual contact is not the most efficient means of hepatitis C (HCV) transmission, there have been several reports of outbreaks of sexually transmitted HCV in HIV-positive men who have sex with men (MSM). HCV infections are more likely to become persistent and to lead to progressive liver d... Read More
Washington, DC – November 20, 2015 - A team of Belgian researchers has shown that the yeasts used to ferment cocoa during chocolate production can modify the aroma of the resulting chocolate. “This makes it possible to create a whole range of boutique chocolates to match everyone’s favorite flav... Read More
The doctors TWiP solve the case of the Woman with White Worms, and explore the role of a secreted growth factor from a carcinogenic parasite in wound healing and angiogenesis.
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Boston, MA -- A new study led by researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health finds that mobile phone records can be used to predict the geographical spread and timing of dengue epidemics. More people around the world are becoming vulnerable to this deadly virus as climate change exp... Read More
If you have always wanted to know what coral reefs and the human oral cavity have in common, listen as guests David Pride and Forest Rohwer talk about their work on the microbiomes and viromes of these two environments, and you'll also understand why mucus is cool.
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Tardigrades are small animals (~1.5 mm in length) renowned for their ability to survive in many extreme environments. From wikipedia "...they can withstand temperatures from just above absolute zero to well above the boiling point of water (100 °C), pressures about six times greater than those ... Read More
Scientists uncover a port of liver entry for malaria parasites in a report published in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. If these results hold up in humans, drugs that target this entry protein might help prevent the spread of disease. Read More
Mysterious fungus killing snakes in NY, at least 8 other states | wivb.com - http://wivb.com/2015/08/10/mysterious-fungus-killing-snakes-in-ny-at-least-8... Read More
The TWiMers get together at ASM Microbe 2016 in Boston to speak with David and Vanessa to talk about their work on regulation of bacterial virulence in the gut by bacterial adrenergic sensors, and the physiological mechanisms that make us ill and that help us recover.
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Shortly after a baby’s birth, bacteria aren’t the only invaders to colonize the gut. Viruses move in, too, according to new research. Read More
On Oct. 3 Barbara Iglewski, past president of the American Society for Microbiology, will be inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame, which praised her "landmark discovery" that "has had an enormous impact nationally and globally." Iglewski spent about 40 years — most at the University o... Read More
A eukaryote without a mitochondrion, and using a phage enzyme to eliminate intracellular bacteria are two topics discussed by the TWiMers on this episode.
Image (right): An entry in the ASM Agar Art Contest which bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the TWiM hosts.
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In cells with latent HIV infection, the virus is dormant, and such cells are therefore not attacked by the immune system or by standard antiretroviral therapy. To eradicate the virus from the human body and truly cure a patient, reservoirs of latently infected cells need to be activated and elim... Read More
This episode: Engineering bacteria to convert cellulose directly into useful biofuels and chemicals can be tricky!
(13.9 MB, 15.2 minutes)