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Frozen Poop Pills Fight Life-Threatening Infections

Fecal transplants can be life-saving for people with stubborn bacterial infections, but they're not for the faint of heart. So doctors have come up with a way to make them more palatable – the frozen poop pill.

People infected with Clostridium difficile suffer debilitating diarrhea, but the b... Read More

The incubation period of a viral infection

The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g.... Read More

Dear Colleague Letter on the Ebola Virus

Dear Colleague,

In light of the recent emergence of the lethal Ebola virus in the US, the National Science Foundation (NSF) is accepting proposals to conduct non-medical, non-clinical care research that can be used immediately to better understand how to model and understand the spread of Ebo... Read More

Gut Microbes and Jet Lag, Shift-Work Weight Gain

Disruptions in the human circadian clock can throw off microbes in the gut, potentially boosting the risk of obesity, a new study suggests.

The results may help explain why shift workers and people who get jet lag by traveling frequently often pack on extra pounds.

"These surprising findin... Read More

Manure Fertilizer Increases Antibiotic Resistance

Treating dairy cows and other farm animals with antibiotics and then laying their manure in soil can cause the bacteria in the dirt to grow resistant to the drugs. But a study now suggests that the manure itself could be contributing to resistance, even when it comes from cows that are free of a... Read More

HIV pandemic's origins located

The HIV pandemic with us today is almost certain to have begun its global spread from Kinshasa, the capital of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), according to a new study.

An international team, led by Oxford University and University of Leuven scientists, has reconstructed the genet... Read More

Super-bacteria are growing in space ... and we're the ones breeding them

Manned space missions bring with them a plethora of challenges to keep astronauts alive and healthy, especially on long-duration space missions. Astronauts need to breathe, eat, drink, excrete their food and drink, and be kept free of infections to stay healthy enough to do their job. The key to... Read More

Afraid of EV-D68? Another Deadly Virus Is Actually Killing Kids in U.S.

IIt’s all over the headlines: Enterovirus D-68 (EV-D68) is making kids sick in what appear to be unprecedented numbers. It might be causing paralysis — or maybe not. It may have infected some adults.

But EV-D68 is nothing compared to the viral killer that really concerns Dr. Paul Checchia of ... Read More

Ebola virus enters the United States

Given the extent of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, transport of an infected individual to the US was bound to happen. The case is an adult who had contact with an Ebola virus-infected woman in Liberia, then traveled to Dallas. He had no symptoms before arriving in the US and therefore ... Read More

A recent study of biofilm formation in an archaeon revealed a fascinating form of social motility

A study of biofilm formation in the model haloarchaeal species Haloferax volcanii has led to the observation of a fascinating example of coordinated social motility (and of cellular differentiation and gene transfer). Haloferax volcanii was first isolated from Dead Sea sediment in 1975, but was ... Read More

Patterned progression of bacterial populations in the premature infant gut

(Interesting study from PNAS)

It is increasingly apparent that bacteria in the gut are important determinants of health and disease in humans. However, we know remarkably little about how this organ transitions from a sterile/near-sterile state at birth to one that soon harbors a highly dive... Read More

Ebola’s evolutionary roots more ancient than previously thought, study finds

A new study is helping to rewrite Ebola’s family history.

The research shows that filoviruses — a family to which Ebola and its similarly lethal relative, Marburg, belong — are at least 16-23 million years old.

Filoviruses likely existed in the Miocene Epoch, and at that time, the evolutio... Read More

TWiV 307: Ebola aetiology

Tara Smith joins the TWiEBOVsters to discuss the Ebola virus outbreak in west Africa, spread of the disease to and within the US, transmission of the virus, and much more.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Gut Bacteria Still Get Fed When Hosts Are Too Sick to Eat

For bacteria, the mammalian gut is like Shangri-La. It’s warm and consistently so, sheltered from the environment, and regularly flooded with a nutritious soup. But what happens when this all-you-can-eat buffet stops serving? What happens to microbes if their host stops eating?

When animals f... Read More

A novel roadmap through bacterial genomes leads the way to new drug discovery

For millennia, bacteria and other microbes have engaged in intense battles of chemical warfare, attempting to edge each other out of comfortable ecological niches. Doctors fight pathogens with an arsenal of weapons—antibiotics—co-opted from these microbial wars, but their efforts are frustrated... Read More

Bio-art: The Marriage of Art and Microorganisms

A short interview with artist Selin Balci on her use of microbes as an artistic medium. Here's a quote from the piece on SkyLife.com...

"Bio-art has not yet been defined in a way that is accepted by artists. Some artists, for example, make DNA models and call that BioArt. To me, BioArt has to... Read More

Liquid DNA behind virus attacks

Viruses can convert their DNA from solid to fluid form, which explains how viruses manage to eject DNA into the cells of their victims. This has been shown in two new studies carried out by Lund University in Sweden.

Both research studies are about the same discovery made for two different vi... Read More

Where Does Ebola Hide?

The people of Guinea have been locked in a life-and-death struggle with Ebola virus since last December. Nearly 60 percent of Guineans infected with the virus since then have died. To cope with the unprecedented disease, the government went so far as to ban soup made from bats.

Why bats? Bec... Read More

Primitive microbes stole bacterial genes on a surprising scale

A University of Otago researcher is part of an international team that has discovered that horizontal gene transfer (HGT) played a surprisingly large role in the evolution of primitive microbes known as archaea.

HGT, which involves acquiring genetic material from another unrelated organism in... Read More

Antibiotics may help Salmonella spread in infected animals, scientists learn

Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves. Now, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine believe they may know why.

When the scientists gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacte... Read More
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