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BacterioFiles 273 - Bottle-Biting Bacteria

This episode: Newly discovered bacteria can break down especially long-lived type of plastic!

(6.4 MB, 7 minutes)

Show notes: 

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Endangered frog recovers thanks to resistance to deadly fungus

For decades a deadly fungus has been slaughtering amphibians around the world, driving many to the brink of extinction or even beyond.

But now one frog’s recovery shows that, with a little luck and habitat preservation, some amphibians may be able to evolve resistance to the fungus.

In lab... Read More

Professor, graduate student unravel mystery of bacteria's antibiotic resistance

A popular antibiotic called rifampicin, used to treat tuberculosis, leprosy, and Legionnaire’s disease, is becoming less effective as the bacteria that cause the diseases develop more resistance.

One of the mechanisms leading to rifampicin’s resistance is the action of the enzyme Rifampicin m... Read More

Migraines linked to mouth bacteria, study says

The bad news for people who suffer from migraines is that the debilitating headaches may be caused by some of your favorite foods.

Everyone who gets migraines can identify the symptoms: increased sensitivity to light and noise, blurred vision and dull throbbing in the head.

A new study by ... Read More

Dr House goes digital as IBM’s Watson diagnoses rare diseases

Medics charged with diagnosing the kind of extremely rare diseases that Hugh Laurie’s consultant routinely spots in TV drama House have found that artificial intelligence can do a similar job – but in seconds rather than days or weeks.

From December, doctors at the University Hospital of Marb... Read More

Seeking understanding of the bacterial sec system

How do bacterial proteins destined for export move from inside to outside the cell? As mBiosphere readers may know, there are a number of secretion systems that bacteria use to move materials from inside the cell to outside the cell. Some of these systems, such as the Sec secretion system, are c... Read More

Moms-to-be go the extra mile to avoid Zika

In Miami, where the Zika virus continues to be transmitted by mosquitoes, pregnant women are taking all sorts of measures to deal with the potential threat. Some barricade themselves inside, others leave town and a few, like Borr, take other precautions.

When she took the photo in September, ... Read More

TWiV 409: A Nef is enough

Jeremy joins the TWiVeroids to tell the amazing story of how the function of the HIV-1 protein called Nef was discovered and found to promote infection by excluding the host protein SERINC from virus particles.

Hosts:  Read More

A promising step toward controlling Zika virus and dengue fever

Five UCLA researchers were part of an international team that has used X-rays to reveal the structure of a molecule that is toxic to disease-carrying mosquitoes. The findings move the scientific world one step closer to genetically engineering a toxin that would be lethal to species that carry d... Read More

Scientists Identify Potential Antivirals Against Chikungunya

Chikungunya virus has caused two recent massive outbreaks sickening millions of people. Now a team of researchers has shown that several existing compounds have potent activity against the critical CHIKV protease enzyme. The research is published October 10 in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemothera... Read More

MRSA uses decoys to evade a last-resort antibiotic

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for thousands of deaths around the world each year. However, because the bacteria are resistant to many different antibiotics, treatment options are limited, and often ineffective.

But until now scientists didn't know how MRSA ... Read More

New, carbon-nanotube tool for ultra-sensitive virus detection and identification

A new tool that uses a forest-like array of vertically-aligned carbon nanotubes that can be finely tuned to selectively trap viruses by their size can increase the detection threshold for viruses and speed the process of identifying newly-emerging viruses.

"Early detection is important becau... Read More

World's first dengue fever vaccine launched in the Philippines

Dengue fever infects 390 million people each year, and kills as many as 25,000, according to the World Health Organization.

The disease could soon see these numbers decline as the Philippines start administering the world's first dengue vaccine to high-risk children.

The historic drug took... Read More

S. mutants mutation increases fluoride resistance

Microbes are excellent at adapting to stressful situations, which is part of the reason antibiotic resistance is a problem today. Constant exposure to antimicrobials such as triclosan have selected for resistant strains, rendering the compound ineffective. This is why the FDA recently banned t... Read More

Antimicrobial resistance gene found in marine pathogen

A team of Chinese investigators has discovered a gene for resistance to β-lactamase antibiotics, in the pathogenic marine bacterium, Vibrio parahaemolyticus. The β-lactamase gene, blaVEB-2, has never before been found in V. parahaemolyticus, and in fact, has been found almost exclusively in non-... Read More

Grand Challenge: Mapping the Human Immune System

A team of scientists has created a genetic map of all possible receptors the human immune system might generate—also known as the immunome.

The project involved a mind-boggling data set.

“If we were on a treasure hunt, where the cure to many illnesses is the buried treasure, then we’ve jus... Read More

Zika: Number of Australian cases rises to 76 as north Queensland prepares for mosquito breeding season

The number of cases of Zika virus detected in Australia is now up to 76, with seven cases diagnosed this year in Far North Queensland.

The latest figures from the Federal Health Department show travellers arriving from countries such as Fiji, Tonga and Mexico have brought the virus to Austral... Read More

Organism mix on a hand print

Mix of organism seen on a handprint/finger on TSA after incubation at 37 degrees for 24 hrs then held at refrigerated temperatures for 1 month. Read More

Zika likely to spread in Asia Pacific: WHO

The Zika virus is set to spread through Asia, the World Health Organization warned Monday, with hundreds of cases reported in Singapore and two Thai babies diagnosed with Zika-linked microcephaly.

The mosquito-borne virus has been detected in 70 countries worldwide including at least 19 count... Read More

MWV 107 - The Necrobiome: Microbial Life After Death

What happens to us after we die?  A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers and multitudes of microbes.  Microbes from the environment, the corpse, as well as the insects and scavengers are blended together and work to recycle tissues back to t... Read More

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