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TWiM 83 Letters

Matt writes:


Hello TWiM team,

It was great seeing some of you at ASM last week in Boston either in passing between sessions or at the live TWiV episode. I have a few questions about the ASM meeting:
What was something that you all took away from ASM th... Read More

What Gut Bacteria Might Have To Do With Colorectal Cancer Risk

While genetics likely play a role in some instances of colorectal cancer, a new study in mice suggests gut bacteria could also influence development of intestinal tumors. Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that giving antibiotics to mice to disrupt their microbial... Read More

Talking Bacteria

Quorum sensing is one of the most amazing things about bacteria. More and more research is focusing on potential quorum sensing applications in biomedicine and many other fields of life sciences.

This is a video that I made about QS for a competition in my University. No previous science bac... Read More

Arctic bacteria gene swap to detoxify mercury

On the list of substances you really don’t want to mess with, elemental mercury is pretty high up. Inhalation or absorption of the volatile metal can quickly lead to irreversible poisoning. Unfortunately, Hg is also a hallmark of industrial society.....Mercury-resistant bacteria carry a collecti... Read More

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope

The Foldscope is a fully functional microscope that can be laser- or die-cut out of paper for around 50 cents.

This bookmark-sized microscope can be assembled in minutes, includes no mechanical moving parts, packs in a flat configuration, is extremely rugged and can be incinerated after to s... Read More

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... Read More

First Case of New Bird Flu Identified in Human Patient

The latest version is called H6N1, and represents the first time that this strain of bird flu has jumped from birds to people.

Flu researchers are especially wary of birds, from wild avian species like migrating geese to run-of-the-mill chickens at local poultry markets. They harbor a series ... Read More

TWiP 71 letters


Heather writes:


Hi Dr.s R&D,


I thought you might be interested in this news article about aquaculture in Hong Kong. Perhaps it's time for another fish parasite episode? I love the podcast, keep up the great work.


Heather


Bill writes: Read More

Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant NASA Clean Rooms

A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America.

Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there tha... Read More

‘SUPER-CLONE’ E. COLI COULD BE WORSE THAN HOSPITAL SUPERBUG

Virulent, drug-resistant forms of E. coli that have recently spread around the world emerged from a single strain of the bacteria, not many different strains, as has been widely believed.

The strain—which causes millions of urinary, kidney and bloodstream infections a year—could have a far gr... Read More

Scientists Build a Yeast Chromosome From Scratch. Next Up? Designer Genomes

Creating synthetic organisms with specially-tailored genomes is a long way off, but the first synthetic eukaryotic chromosome is a big step forward.

Humans have been using what they know about the biological world to make stuff for centuries—from beer to antibiotics. But, what if you could ma... Read More

Parvo Trial Shows Promising Results In Effort To Combat Puppy Virus

A North Dakota company that discovered an antibody technology while trying to cure flocks of dying geese is using its research for a more warm and fuzzy purpose: saving puppies.

Early tests performed on about 50 puppies in seven U.S. states for Grand Forks-based Avianax have resulted in a 90 ... Read More

IDRI: Using Microbiology to Defeat TB

Dr. Tanya Parish and her TB Disco Team at IDRI use microbiology to develop new drugs for TB and improve the health of the world! 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

Creative "Extra Credit" Projects in Microbiology!

In this blog entry, I explore how students can use their creativity to learn microbiology in innovative and often artistic ways. It makes learning more personal! Read More

Tube morphology

Three organisms inoculated in TSB to look at tube morphology. From left to right:
Staphylococcus aureus: flocculent growth/turbid, growth throughout the tube.
Mycobacterium smegmatis: pellicle, growth at the top of the tube. M. smegmatis tends to stick to the tube and grow up the side.
Ba... Read More

Babies' Weak Immune Systems Let In "Good" Bacteria

As any new parent knows, infants are notoriously susceptible to bacterial infections. A study now suggests that the body engineers this vulnerability deliberately, allowing beneficial microbes to colonize the baby’s gut, skin, mouth and lungs. Learning to manipulate this system could lead to tre... Read More

Bacteria Proposed for Passaic River Superfund Site Cleanup

A decades long fight over cleaning up one of the nation's most contaminated riverbeds has posed a difficult question: how to safely remove enough toxic material from New Jersey's Passaic River to fill two MetLife Stadiums.

The federal government is moving forward with long-stalled efforts to ... Read More

TEDx video: The amazing world of the invisible (in Spanish)

All the microbiology in 13 min and 51 sec. Read More

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus

On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of... Read More

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