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"The Great Plate Count Anomaly" that is no more

For over a century, microbiologists have been using growth media solidified with agar to culture microbes from environmental samples. Individual cells are easily separated on the solid surface, allowing each cell to grow and divide and form a colony of thousands of clones. We can change the nutr... Read More

Yeast Cells in sputum

Sputum specimen from sick of fibrosis cystic can hold many microbes and yeast. This specimen sent to our laboratory Mycobacteriology of Polyclinic University of Messina for mycobacteria research, shows yeast cells with Ziehl-Neelsen stain. Read More

Ebola Infections Fewer Than Predicted by Disease Models

A few months ago the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention predicted that up to 1.4 million people in Liberia and Sierra Leone could become infected with Ebola by mid-January. In a recent address to the Senate, CDC director Tom Frieden said that worst-case scenario would not pan out.
... Read More

Is the Blood of Ebola Survivors an Effective Treatment?

When the World Health Organization recently named blood transfusions from Ebola survivors as its priority experimental therapy for the disease ravaging west Africa there was only one major problem: no data indicating that such transfusions work. Blood plasma from survivors contains antibodies th... Read More

Seeking answers from a mysterious parasite

Newly tenured biologist Jeroen Saeij wants to know what makes Toxoplasma gondii so unpredictable.

Toxoplasma gondii is a common parasite often spread by cats. Most people who are infected in Europe or North America show no symptoms at all, and only a few suffer from encephalitis or ocular tox... Read More

Pantry Pests Harbor Plastic-Chomping Bacteria

Polyethylene is one of the most popular and, unfortunately, persistent types of plastics. Bags, bottles, and packaging made from the polymer accumulate in landfills and oceans across the globe. Scientists lament that microbes can’t chew up the plastic to render it harmless. However, a new study ... Read More

‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat

A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.

These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and ... Read More

BacterioFiles 195 - CRISPR/Cas Cuts Cancer Causers

This episode: Bacterial antivirus system could treat chronic herpes virus infections!


(10.9 MB, 11.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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Pirate viruses caught in their own trap?

In order to infect a host cell and proliferate, some viruses, such as the hepatitis C virus, infiltrate the ribosomes, the molecular machines that assemble the proteins present in each of our cells. Viral proteins are thus produced to the detriment of cellular proteins. A group of scientists in ... Read More

New molecules to burst malaria's bubble

Scientists have released details of a raft of new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties which could open the way to new drugs to fight the disease.

A new paper in PNAS is the third published recently by a group at the Australian National University (ANU). The group has collaborated w... Read More

UEA research could revolutionise genomic sequencing of drug-resistant bacteria

New nanopore DNA sequencing technology on a device the size of a USB stick could be used to diagnose infection - according to new research from the University of East Anglia and Public Health England.

Researchers tested the new technology with a complex problem – determining the cause of anti... Read More

How to beat malaria

The World Health Organization says it is confident that deaths from malaria could be stopped entirely.

Spread by the bites of infected mosquitoes, the illness is both preventable and treatable.

Global efforts over the last decade have already halved the number of people dying from malaria ... Read More

Viral genomes in 700 year old caribou scat

Recovering viral genomes from ancient specimens can provide information about viral evolution, but not many old nucleic acids have been identified. A study of 700 year old caribou feces reveals that viruses can be protected for long periods of time – under the right conditions. Read More

Genomes of malaria-carrying mosquitoes sequenced

Nora Besansky, O’Hara Professor of Biological Sciences at the University of Notre Dame and a member of the University’s Eck Institute for Global Health, has led an international team of scientists in sequencing the genomes of 16 Anopheles mosquito species from around the world.

Anopheles mosq... Read More

Supercomputer Modelling of a Complete Human Viral Pathogen: Poliovirus (Polio virus)

Follow the reconstruction and simulation of poliovirus using the BlueGene/Q supercomputer at the Victorian Life Sciences Computation Initiative. The poliovirus model is being used as a basis for understanding antiviral drugs, virus infection and helps us to learn how to model related viruses suc... Read More

Bacteria’s Game of ‘Telephone’ Foils Microbiologists’ Eavesdropping

While human families are easily illustrated as a tree, bacterial families look more like a heap of branches. Scientists are trying to trace the connections between those branches in an effort to learn more about the bacteria that harm us, and those that do not.

UConn’s Peter Gogarten and Joer... Read More

Wolbachia, DNA Methylation, and Cytoplasmic Incompatibility

Wolbachia pipientis is a worldwide bacterial parasite of arthropods that infects germline cells and manipulates host reproduction to increase the ratio of infected females, the transmitting sex of the bacteria. The most common reproductive manipulation, cytoplasmic incompatibility (CI), is expre... Read More

Terminal Proteins: Endless Possibilities

Although it is far from unanimous, the great majority of phages studied so far package their genomes for intercellular space travel as linear chromosomes. Why linear rather than circular? Packaging convenience, for one thing. Many phages, including all of the tailed phages, package their chromos... Read More

Worse Than The Bite

City dwellers across the U.S. might agree on one common enemy: bedbugs. But hey, not to worry, right? "Bedbugs are not known to spread diseases, but bites can be very itchy and irritating." Or so says the New York City Department of Health. But that assertion may not be true. Because a new study... Read More

100 Years of Bubonic Plague

People may think of the plague as a disease from centuries past, but more than 1,000 people in the United States have become infected with plague in the last 100 years, according to a new study.

The researchers examined cases of plague in the United States from 1900 to 2012. During that time ... Read More
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