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Microbes in Space

Microbes collected from Northern California and throughout the nation will soon blast into orbit for research and a microgravity growth competition on the International Space Station (ISS). This citizen science project, known as Project MERCCURI, is led by UC Davis microbiologists, who are inves... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More

Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses

An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection. Researchers at the University of Michigan report their fi... Read More

Breastfeeding increases prevalence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in infants

Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota d... Read More

Antibiotics In Manure Implicated In Human Pathogenic Bacteria In Soil

Researchers have have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics changes the composition of bacteria in the soil.

The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure. The rese... Read More

Bacteria Turn Plants and Insects into Zombies

Many parasites commandeer the bodies of their hosts in order to spread. Examples of this include horsehair worms that reach water by forcing their cricket hosts to drown themselves, and liver flukes that drive infected ants to climb blades of grass, where cows can eat the insects, and so the flu... Read More

The Strange Connection Between Germs and Sherlock Holmes

Sherlock Holmes was as much a scientist as a detective. Maybe that’s because his creator, Arthur Conan Doyle, was influenced by a detective of science: Robert Koch, a German doctor who helped prove the existence of germs. In his new book, The Remedy, Thomas Goetz traces connections between the t... Read More

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

About half of ... Read More

1 in 25 patients gets infection in hospital

When antibiotics first started being used in the 1940's they were considered a "miracle drug". It seemed that bacterial infections would no longer be a problem for the world. However, recently, one gene is making it seem as though the end of antibiotics is at hand. This gene is New Delhi metallo... Read More

TWiP 70: Invasion of the swamp eels



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

Resurrecting ancient microbes to understand evolution

When you hear the word “resurrection”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Religious miracles? Zombie viruses? The end of the world?

Whatever your mental association, I’m willing to bet it’s not “an emerging scientific discipline." Well, it just so happens a growing community of microb... Read More

Otago research sheds new light on key bacterial immune system

New insights into a surprisingly flexible immune system present in bacteria for combating viruses and other foreign DNA invaders have been revealed by researchers from the University of Otago and the Netherlands.

A team led by Dr Peter Fineran of the Department of Microbiology and Immunology ... Read More

HIV gets the zinc finger

Because all animal viruses initiate infection by binding to a receptor on the cell surface, this step has long been considered a prime target for antiviral therapy. Unfortunately, drugs that block virus attachment to cells have never shown much promise. Another approach, which is to ablate the r... Read More

TWiV 277: My podcast Vinny



Hosts: Glenn Rall, Ann Skalka, and  Read More

Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any a... Read More

Amoeba Takes Bites of Human Cells to Kill Them

Amoebae — a group of amorphous, single-celled organisms that live in the human body — can kill human cells by biting off chunks of intestinal cells until they die, a new study finds. This is the first time scientists have seen this method of cell killing, and the new findings could one day help ... Read More

Bacterial 'FM radio' developed

Programming living cells offers the prospect of harnessing sophisticated biological machinery for transformative applications in energy, agriculture, water remediation and medicine. Inspired by engineering, researchers in the emerging field of synthetic biology have designed a tool box of small ... 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

New childhood TB cases double earlier estimates

esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... Read More

New yeast species travelled the globe with a little help from the beetles

Researchers from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have identified a new globe-trotting yeast species that lives on tree-associated beetles. This new species demonstrates the importance of preserving biodiversity, as yeasts like this may hel... Read More

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