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Ebola Virus explained

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TWiM 68 Letters

Dr. Robert Kelley writes:


Dear Twim Docs,


I just finished listening to the latest episode it Twim on the microbiote's effects on obesity. There was discussion about the use of donor feces in the treatment of human disease. I thought this might be of interest.<... Read More

A Simple Tree Branch Can Become a Backyard Water Filter

For people in too many developing countries, clean water is often a luxury. Chlorine treatments are too expensive for small villages, boiling requires a hefty investment in fuel, and UV radiation demands regular high-tech maintenance. But now, scientists say that a simple, inexpensive water filt... Read More

Your Ethnicity Determines the Species of Bacteria that Live in Your Mouth

In recent years, scientists have found out all sorts of remarkable things about a group of creatures that are entirely invisible to the naked eye: the trillions of bacteria that colonize every surface of our bodies.

These organisms—collectively known as the microbiome—deeply affect our health... Read More

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Secrets of the Giant, Ancient, Frozen, Killer Virus

It all started with a tiny chunk of dirt. The sample of 30,000-year-old permafrost, a frozen layer of soil from the Siberian tundra, weighed just a fraction of an ounce. But, as TIME reported on Tuesday, that scrap was carrying within it a surprise worthy of a pulp comic book: a gargantuan virus... Read More

TWiP 64 letters

Richard writes:


Good morning, day, evening (depending on your time of day). Esteemed professors!


Firstly my weather report, for Weston super Mare, uk.


It is currently 3 centigrade (feels like 2C), dew point 4C, humidity 78%, there has been 1m... Read More

Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 108 - Grace Robiou

Nuevas guías de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (USEPA) para las aguas recreacionales:  éste es el tópico que discutiremos hoy con Grace Robiou, quien ha trabajado durante los últimos años buscando nuevos indicadores de riesgo que protejan mejor a los bañistas.


Aunque en el mu... Read More

First Look at How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections

The bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus) is a common source of infections that occur after surgeries involving prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. The grape-shaped microorganism adheres to medical equipment, and if it gets inside the body, it can cause a serious and even life-t... Read More

Starch Agar

Starch agar contains high molecular weight starch molecules (soluable starch). When Iodine is added it reacts with starch to produces a dark brown/purple color. A zone of clearing forms around organisms that produce the exoenzyme amylase after addition of iodine. This plate was incubated for ... Read More

E-coli on TSI

E-coli on TSI Read More

UA Study on Flu Evolution May Change Textbooks, History Books

A new study published in the journal Nature provides the most comprehensive analysis to date of the evolutionary relationships of influenza virus across different host species over time. In addition to dissecting how the virus evolves at different rates in different host species, the study chall... Read More

Novel Virus Discovered in Half the World's Population

SDSU virologists and biologists have identified a highly abundant, never-before-described virus that could play a major role in obesity, diabetes.

Odds are, there’s a virus living inside your gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. A new study led by researchers at San Diego S... Read More

Ice Nucleation Bacteria, Twitter, and Me!

In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More

TWiM 81 Letters

Ravi writes:


TWiM & TWiV team,
Keep up the excellent work! I am an electronics engineer who has never studied biological sciences, but now in my 50's, I find your podcasts fascinating. I listen to episodes while working out - a good combination of mental &... Read More

Concrete-Dissolving Bacteria Are Destroying Our Nation's Sewers

Underground in places nobody likes to look, bacteria are doing terrible things to our sewage pipes. The concrete pipes that carry our waste are literally dissolving away, forcing engineers into a messy, expensive battle against tiny microbes.

"The veins of our cities are in serious trouble, a... Read More

New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs to Cure us

It seems that nearly every day, scientists connect another medical condition to atypical gut bacteria populations. Researchers have claimed that gut bacteria play a role not just in digestive health but even in basic brain function and mental health. Certain bacteria are so clearly good for us t... Read More

TWiV 277: My podcast Vinny

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Glenn Rall, Ann Skalka, and  Read More

TWiV 258: Hedging our bats

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove Read More

Fungus Governs Soil’s Carbon Content

Most of the planet’s carbon is neither in the forests nor the atmosphere. It is in the soil under your feet. US scientists think that they have identified the mechanism that keeps most of this awesome treasury of carbon locked away in the soil – or surrenders much more of it back to the atmosphe... Read More

TWiV 305: Rhymes with shinola

Vincent, Alan, and Kathy continue their coverage of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, with a discussion of case fatality ratio, reproductive index, a conspiracy theory, and spread of the virus to the United States.


Hosts:  Read More

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