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How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

Study: Salad Ingredient Kills Drug-Resistant TB

One of the world's oldest known disinfectants – and favorite salad dressings – may prove even stronger than previously thought.

An international research team has found that vinegar – or, more specifically, the active ingredient in vinegar – can kill mycobacteria, including a highly drug-resi... Read More

TWiM 80 Letters

Bob writes:


Dear TWIM hosts,


I enjoyed episode 76, "Genetic biopixels and a pathogenic sweet tooth". I really enjoyed hearing about the course that Dr. Schaechter teaches and in particular the work his students did in developing the biosensor. I would like to ... Read More

Multiple protocol breaches behind anthrax exposure at U.S. federal labs

The safety breach at a government lab that may have exposed 84 workers to live anthrax centered on a pivotal lapse in procedure: researchers working with the bacteria waited 24 hours to be sure they had killed the pathogens, half the time required by a new scientific protocol.

The lab designe... Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... Read More

New life form discovered at MSU, named after Bully

Some Mississippi State University students have discovered – and named – a new life form, a previously unknown organism discovered on campus in a mud puddle last September.

The newly classified organism – Ptolemeba bulliensis, a unicellular microscopic protest – was scooped from a courtyard b... Read More

Cubist & Cambridge Science Festival Launch "Germ Challenge" Science Contest

LEXINGTON, Mass. & CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--February 13, 2014--
Cambridge Science Festival and Cubist Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (NASDAQ: CBST) today launched the 2014 "Germ Challenge," a contest designed to engage young people in science by inviting them to create educational and creativ... Read More

New chip lets scientists listen in on bacteria

Researchers at Columbia University are turning that optics-based imaging approach on its head, instead developing a chip based on integrated circuit technology that lets them not only electrochemically image bacteria, but listen in on them as well.

Click on 'source' to read more. Read More

How to give a great lecture

There are many elements that go into making a great lecture, but the most important one is to lose the notes. If you are giving lectures in a course at any level, the worst practice you can engage in is to rely on notes. This behavior is problematic for several reasons. You will not properly kno... Read More

TWiV 289: Vinny and the capsids

Vinny and the capsids answer listener questions about the definition of life, state vaccination laws, the basic science funding problem, viral ecology, inactivation of viruses by pressure, and much more.


Hosts:  Read More

Graphic Warnings: Ebola Posters Keep The Virus On People's Minds

The campaign is called "Kick Back Ebola." But the posters pack a punch.

Sierra Leone has reported over 700 suspected Ebola cases, more than any other country this year. To help stop the outbreak, health workers have put up Ebola awareness signs all over Sierra Leone's seaside capital of Freet... Read More

How U.S. Hospitals Are Planning To Stop The Deadly MERS Virus

In the past month, Middle East Respiratory syndrome has morphed from a little-known disease in the Arabian Peninsula to a major global health concern, with more than 300 cases in Saudi Arabia in April, 54 of them fatal.

Two cases have been reported in the U.S. as well — one in Indiana and one... Read More

Micrococcus luteus

Micrococcus luteus grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-ol... Read More

Alcaligenes faecalis

Streak plate of Alcaligenes faecalis grown on TSA for 48 hr. Read More

The protective milk shot – How mother’s milk protects piglets from parasite infections

Coccidiosis is a serious disease in new-born piglets. Caused by the parasite Cystoisospora suis, it exclusively infects pigs and often causes severe diarrhoea in suckling piglets. Parasitologists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have developed a new strategy for protecting the piglets: They infected sows... Read More

Researchers create better methods to detect E. coli

Kansas State University diagnosticians are helping the cattle industry save millions of dollars each year by developing earlier and accurate detection of E. coli.

Lance Noll, master's student in veterinary biomedical science, Greensburg; T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of di... Read More

TWiV 307: Ebola aetiology

Tara Smith joins the TWiEBOVsters to discuss the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa, spread of the disease to and within the US, transmission of the virus, and much more.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis using transmitted light

Isolated colony of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs at 37 degrees C. Margin is lobate with an irregular-rhizoid form. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

UGA researchers uncover how bacteria helps create clouds

When a clear sunny day turns into clouds, people used it to explain their grave mood without taking into consideration how clouds can affect global warming in the atmosphere. But University of Georgia marine researchers have discovered the process of an anti-greenhouse gas known as DMSP (dimethy... Read More
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