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TWiV 294: Smallpox and anthrax and flu, oh my!

The TWiV team reviews the discovery of old vials of smallpox virus at NIH, anthrax and influenza mishaps at CDC, the baby who was not cured of HIV, Cambridge Working Group, and sacking of NSABB members.


Hosts:  Read More

TWiP 75: Parasite wonders with Bobbi Pritt

Bobbi Pritt joins Vincent and Dickson to talk about directing a clinical parasitology laboratory and her weekly case reports at Creepy Dreadful Wonderful Parasites.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and  Read More

First local case of tropical disease chikungunya debuts in the U.S.

The day we knew would come is finally here. The first locally acquired case of the tropical disease chikungunya was reported in the U.S. today.

The mosquito-borne viral disease first debuted in the Western Hemisphere last year and has since sprawled across the Caribbean, with cases in Puerto ... Read More

The unseen power of microbes - Ozgur Sahin, Ph.D (video)

This talk was given at a local TEDx event, produced independently of the TED Conferences. How can we possibly harness evaporation and say, run the engine of a car, lift heavy weights, and generate electricity? While investigating the mysterious wrinkles seen in the protective coats of bacterial ... Read More

Poor Oversight Catches Up with High-Security Infectious Agent and Disease Labs

The Centers for Disease Control plans to take measures to better protect lab workers and the rest of us from dangerous biological samples.

Twenty-one dead lab chickens piled up this spring at a government facility before its researchers could pinpoint why. The team had requested and received ... Read More

Choosing cheese: Research identifies microbial communities in cheese

After studying 137 varieties of cheese collected in 10 different countries, researchers have been able to identify three general types of microbial communities that live on cheese, opening the door to using each as a 'model' community for the study of whether and how various microbes and fungi c... Read More

GW Researcher Unlocks Next Step in Creating HIV-1 Immunotherapy Using Fossil Virus

The road to finding a cure for HIV-1 is not without obstacles. However, thanks to cutting-edge research by Douglas Nixon, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, performed at the George Washington University (GW), Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Rochester, and UC San Francisco, the sc... Read More

When the Microbe Hits the Metal

Some heavy metals share a long history with microbes. Many of the metabolic processes that sustain life are believed to have originated from spontaneous reactions involving metals present in the early Earth. Our microbial ancestors figured out quickly how to use those metal catalysts to generate... Read More

Oregon geologist says Curiosity's images show Earth-like soils on Mars

Soil deep in a crater dating to some 3.7 billion years ago contains evidence that Mars was once much warmer and wetter, says University of Oregon geologist Gregory Retallack, based on images and data captured by the rover Curiosity.

NASA rovers have shown Martian landscapes littered with loos... Read More

Molecular Computer Detects Ebola and Marburg Viruses

Material from deadly pathogens triggers alerts directly, and could speed detection. Early detection is key to slowing outbreaks of Ebola, such as the one currently spreading across west Africa that is estimated to have infected almost 1000 people, according to the latest World Health Organizatio... Read More

TWiP 75 letters


David writes (re lice and iron):


All I remember that I know is that one time I let my cat endure a heavy flea infestation for an unconscionably long time. I redeemed myself, if at all, by the knowledge that I slept with her a lot, and so endured a share myself (b... Read More

ULTRASMALL BACTERIA FROM ANTARCTIC LAKE RAISE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LIMITS OF LIFE

Imagine you were forced to live in perpetually subzero temperatures, with no oxygen, no light, and way more salt than your system could handle. How would you manage? One way might be to get extremely small. At least, that seems to be what’s happening in a frozen Antarctic lake that’s cut off fro... Read More

Urease: an anti-microbial target in bacteria and fungi

Urea is a small molecule formed as proteins are broken down. It’s excreted in urine, but isn’t particularly toxic at low levels so it’s found in cells throughout the body. The molecular structure of urea is below, and as it contains nitrogen (N) several pathogens have adapted to use it as a nitr... Read More

Report on Viruses Looks Beyond Disease

Recently, the American Academy of Microbiology released a new report, Viruses Throughout Life & Time: Friends, Foes, Change Agents that delves into the origin of viruses, the overlooked biological and microbial ecological role of viruses, and how these live forms have contributed to evolution. T... Read More

Researchers Find New Way to Kick Out HIV From Infected Cells

The technique addresses the problem of hidden reservoirs of HIV in the body, and could herald a new way of battling the viral infection.

Once HIV invades the body, it doesn’t want to leave. Every strategy that scientists have developed or are developing so far to fight the virus – from powerf... Read More

U.K. Supermarket To Run On Electricity Made From Its Own Rotting Food

The joys of anaerobic digestion

One U.K. grocery store plans to power itself using biogas harvested from its own unsold, rotting produce. Yum.

A Sainsbury's store in Cannock in central England is getting access to anaerobic digesters. The store plans to use electricity solely from the dige... Read More

Land of the bacteria-eaters

For hospital workers an outbreak of harmful bacteria in the wards is a nightmare, but what gives bacteria nightmares?

Perhaps the prospect of being eaten alive by a kind of viral parasite called a bacteriophage (bacteria eater): unlike antibiotics, which some bacteria have evolved a resistanc... Read More

BacterioFiles 175 - Bacteria Build Better Biofilms

This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1/ Read More

The virus detective who discovered Ebola in 1976

Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.

In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Instit... Read More

HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis: Success of the Millennium shown in most comprehensive study to date

Accelerated progress against the global burden of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) has been made since 2000 when governments worldwide adopted Millennium Development Goal 6 to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. New estimates from a major new analysis show that worldwide, the number of people l... Read More
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