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A protein platform for priming

The enzymes that make copies of the DNA or RNA genomes of viruses – nucleic acid polymerases – can be placed into two broad categories depending on whether or not they require a primer, a short piece of DNA or RNA, to get going. The structure of the primer-independent RNA polymerase of hepatitis... Read More

Common Parasite Could Manipulate Our Behavior

Look what the cat dragged in! The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a common protozoan transmitted by cats, can effect mammalian brain cells in strange ways. In rodents, the parasite has been shown to inhibit fear and actually attract them to the smell of cat urine. Humans can be infected through c... Read More

Harmless bacteria may be helpful against meningococcal outbreaks

Nasal drops of harmless bacteria can inhibit a related bug that sometimes causes meningococcal disease, according to new findings published online in Clinical Infectious Diseases. The study--conducted among college students, a group at higher risk for this often serious illness--suggests a new a... Read More

Why some HPV infections go away and others become cancer

For people infected with the human papilloma virus (HPV), the likelihood of clearing the infection and avoiding HPV-related cancer may depend less on the body's disease-fighting arsenal than has been generally assumed. Read More

Cytomegalovirus hijacks human enzyme for replication

Researchers at Princeton have discovered that cytomegalovirus manipulates a process called fatty acid elongation, which makes the very-long-chain fatty acids necessary for virus replication. Published in the journal Cell Reports on March 3, the research team identified a specific human enzyme--e... Read More

STOP SUPERBUGS BY TURNING UP THE HEAT

U. MINNESOTA (US) — One effective way to fight the spread of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, known as “superbugs,” may be to treat municipal wastewater solids at higher temperatures. Heating the solid waste to 130 degrees Fahrenheit (55 degrees Celsius) was particularly effective in eliminating ... Read More

Smut, but the Safe For Work Kind, unless you work with plants....

So I told ccondayan I would post something lewd to MicrobeWorld (who probably thought I was joking). And what could be more lewd than genuine smut? Of course, since this is MicrobeWorld, I'm posting about the group of fungal plant pathogens referred to as smut. When I worked in a plant pathol... Read More

Comparing the genomes of the leprosy bacteria

Leprosy is a chronic infection of the skin, peripheral nerves, eyes and mucosa of the upper respiratory tract, affecting over a quarter million people worldwide. Its symptoms can be gruesome and devastating, as the bacteria reduce sensitivity in the body, resulting in skin lesions, nerve damage ... Read More

Skin microbiome may hold answers to protect threatened gold frogs from lethal fungus

A team of scientists including Virginia Tech researchers is one step closer to understanding how bacteria on a frog's skin affects its likelihood of contracting disease. Read More

Cattle-killer: Two parasites are better than one

When calves are infected by two parasite species at the same time, one parasite renders the other far less deadly, according to a new study published in the current journal of Science Advances Read More

Chlorine use in sewage treatment could promote antibiotic resistance

Chlorine, a disinfectant commonly used in most wastewater treatment plants, may be failing to completely eliminate pharmaceuticals from wastes. As a result, trace levels of these substances get discharged from the plants to the nation's waterways. And now, scientists are reporting preliminary st... Read More

BacterioFiles 207 - Microbe Messages Mire Malaria Movement

This episode: Gut microbes may induce an immune response that protects against malaria!


(10.2 MB, 11.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/... Read More

TWiV 329: Pox in the balance

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

Click "source" to watch this fantastic video conversation.

Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our phy... Read More

Covering up a naked virus

Viruses can be broadly classified according to whether or not the particle is enveloped – surrounded by a membrane taken from the host cell – or naked. Some naked viruses apparently are more modest than we believed. Read More

Case Western Reserve global health expert urges action to eradicate yaws, tropical disease

Half a century ago, a concentrated global effort nearly wiped a disfiguring tropical disease from the face of the earth. Now, says Case Western Reserve's James W. Kazura, MD, it's time to complete the work. Read More

'Attract and kill:' Trapping malaria mosquito mums before they lay eggs

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes - a discovery which could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa's Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that... Read More

IS LIFE WITH A DOG LIKE TAKING PROBIOTICS?

A new study will explore whether living with a dog encourages the growth of positive microorganisms in the human gut—enough to improve physical and mental health in older adults. Read More

Emerging diseases likely to be more harmful in similar species

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species Read More

Germany court orders measles sceptic to pay 100,000 euros

Just in case anyone had lingering doubts about the cause of measles, the German courts have ruled in favor of the evidence indicating that measles is caused by a virus (wasn't aware that was up for debate nowadays...). This ruling also includes that a man who stated he would give 100,000 euros ... Read More
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