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Genetic Defect May Confer Resistance to Certain Viral Infections

A National Institutes of Health (NIH) study reports that a rare genetic disease, while depleting patients of infection-fighting antibodies, may actually protect them from certain severe or recurrent viral infections. Researchers found that HIV and influenza viruses replicate in the cells of peop... Read More

By Chance and Necessity: The Role of the Cytoskeleton in the Genesis of Eukaryotes

One of the most exciting and enduring obscurities of biology lies in the early stages of the evolution of “our” eukaryotic cells (Figure 1). The endosymbiotic theory accounts well for the present existence of the mitochondrial and chloroplast organelles of eukaryotes. Although there is evidence ... Read More

Bacterial Mat

Yellowstone caldera, Wyoming. Golden brown thermophilic cyano-bacteria seen in the waters surrounding one of the hydrothermal vents. Read More

Alcaligenes faecalis

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

Gut Reactions to Beneficial Bacteria

Q. When you eat yogurt or take a probiotic supplement, why aren’t the probiotic bacteria killed by stomach acids?

A. The point of consuming a probiotic supplement in a food like yogurt, a powder or a capsule is to introduce beneficial bacteria in the gut, said Dr. Christine Frissora, a gastro... Read More

TWiV 280: Post viral



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

TWiP 70 letters


Robin writes:


Cysticercosis.


While it is true that Taenia saginata tends to be benign as helminthic infestations go in humans, the same cannot be said for Taenia solium.


In both cases, ingestion of (encysted) larvae leads to enteric infestation wi... Read More

TWiP 70: Invasion of the swamp eels



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and 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

The sorceress’s apprentice

ANYONE who walks in the woods will be familiar with witches’ brooms (pictured). Many trees sport these bushy tumours, which have a variety of causes. An important one is a group of bacteria called phytoplasma that are, in turn, carried from plant to plant by sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppe... Read More

TWiM 76 Letters

Geoffrey writes:


Doctors:

I just got around to listening to episode 12 “Photothermal Nanoblades and Genome Engineering”. Your comment that it would need to be scaled up before it was practical for some of you to use intrigued me. I did a quick Google sear... 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

What Happens to Bacteria in Space?

In the otherwise barren space 220 miles above Earth's surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 17,000 miles per hour. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans—and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always f... 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

Soap Compound Could Make It Easier For Staph Bacteria To Colonize In Your Nose

A common ingredient in antibacterial soap can be found in some people's noses, and the presence of this ingredient could be promoting the colonization of Staph bacteria, according to a small new study in the journal mBio.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found triclosan in the nasa... Read More

Evolutionary Battle Explains Why Fruit Spoils

There’s a hidden war going on for your fruit. The apple snatchers and orange thieves aren’t what you might think, though. Humans and other fruit-loving species are locked in an ongoing evolutionary battle against the microbes that also want to feast. Now, researchers believe they have found out ... Read More

Guinea's first Ebola survivors return to family, stigma remains

GUECKEDOU, Guinea, April 8 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - H iccups, say doctors in this remote corner of Guinea, are the final tell-tale sign of infection by the Ebola virus that has killed more than 100 people since an outbreak began this year.

Then come profuse bleeding, circulatory shock a... Read More

Stockpiles of Roche Tamiflu drug are waste of money, review finds

Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche's flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt.

In a review of trial data on Tamiflu, and on GlaxoSmithKline's flu drug Relenza,... Read More

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