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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

NASA To Study If Space Travel Makes Twins Biologically Different

The world’s only twin astronauts will take center stage in an upcoming NASA experiment that will analyze whether or not identical siblings remain the same biologically if one travels to outer space while the other remains on Earth.

According to the US space agency, astronaut Scott Kelly will ... Read More

Avoid Getting Sick: Top 8 Germiest Public Places Exposed

Worried about you or your kids picking up the flu virus or other common illnesses at school, in restrooms or at the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on the surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places and give you expert tips to avoid g... Read More

Researchers Discover Possible New Target To Attack Flu Virus

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

Better an... Read More

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 162 - Desert Dwellers Densify Dunes

This episode: Spraying cyanobacteria could turn deserts into useful land!


(9.3 MB, 10.13 minutes)


Show notes: 
Ne... Read More

Retroviruses R us

About eight percent of human DNA is viral – remnants of ancestral infections with retroviruses. These endogenous retroviral sequences do not produce infectious viruses, and most are considered to be junk DNA. But some of them provide important functions. The protein called syncytin, which is ess... Read More

A Non-Coding RNA Promotes Bacterial Persistence and Decreases Virulence by Regulating a Regulator in Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal and an opportunistic pathogen that causes a large range of community and hospital-acquired infections. The bacteria produce an array of virulence factors, the expression of which is regulated by a set of regulators including proteins and RNAs. In recent years... Read More

Pet cats infect two people with TB

Two people in England have developed tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat, Public Health England has announced.

The two human cases are linked to nine cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cats in Berkshire and Hampshire last year.

Both people were responding to treatment, PH... Read More

Comeback of an abandoned antibiotic

Trimethoprim is more effective against streptococci than expected. Scarlet fever and infections of the skin and throat are often caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes. In less-developed countries, inexpensive and well-tolerated antibiotics for therapy are often not available. Scien... Read More

Tiny Lens Attachment Turns Smartphones Into Microscopes

We’ve seen mobile phone lens attachments and hacks that help you to take macro photos with your smartphone, but never before have we seen one that helps capture micro images.

It attaches to any smartphone or tablet via an adhesive backing and — using the slides provided in combination with a ... Read More

Brighter future for bacteria detection

Ever wonder why fruits and vegetables sometimes hit the shelves contaminated by pathogenic bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella? According to Tim Lu, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering at MIT, it boils down to the inefficient bacteria-detect... Read More

4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life on Earth Forever

This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions o... Read More

Mycobacteriophages: Windows into Tuberculosis

Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Mycobacteriophages display a remarkable genetic diversity. About 30 distinct types (called clusters, or singletons if they have no relatives) that share little or no nu... Read More

Engineered Bacteria Produce Biofuel Alternative for High-Energy Rocket Fuel

Researchers at the Georgia Institute of Technology and the Joint BioEnergy Institute have engineered a bacterium to synthesize pinene, a hydrocarbon produced by trees that could potentially replace high-energy fuels, such as JP-10, in missiles and other aerospace applications. With improvements ... Read More

Understanding how an E coli clone has spread so far so quickly

Scientists have for the first time come closer to understanding how a clone of E coli, described as the most important of its kind to cause human infections, has spread across the world in a very short time. E coli clone ST131 is one of the leading causes of urinary tract and blood stream infec... Read More

Blood agar/Hemolysis

Three organisms inoculated onto blood agar, straight line inoculation, to demonstrate hemolysis. From top to bottom:
Streptococcus pyogenes: beta, complete lysis of red blood cells, clear area around colony growth.
Streptococcus bovis: alpha, incomplete lysis of red blood cells, green area ... Read More

Fungus May Block Alzheimer's Protein

Some natural types of fungus appear to inhibit the build-up of tau—a protein linked to Alzheimer’s disease and other neurodegenerative diseases.

“Tau is a protein that is produced by the body,” says T. Chris Gamblin, associate professor of molecular biosciences at the University of Kansas. “I... Read More

New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables

Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... Read More

Scientists build man-made 'living-materials' inside bacterial cells

Our bones are remarkable feats of engineering; strong and yet light, shot through with holes and yet able to bear incredible loads. This super-strong natural material is built as cells incorporate hard minerals like calcium into living tissue. Now, scientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Te... Read More

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