Doctors have used gene therapy to upgrade the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to help shield them from the virus's onslaught. It raises the prospect of patients no longer needing to take daily medication to control their infection. The patients' white blood cells were taken out of the body... Read More
Communication is vital to any successful relationship. Researchers from the Institute of Food Research and the University of East Anglia have discovered how the beneficial bacteria in our guts communicate with our own cells.
This is a key step in understanding how our bodies maintain a close ... Read More
In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy. The technique, called xenodiagnosis, attem... Read More
After 26 years of workdays spent watching bacteria multiply, Richard Lenski has learned a thing or two.
He's learned that naturalist Charles Darwin was wrong about some things. For one, evolution doesn't always occur in steps so slow and steady that changes can't be observed.
Lenski also lea... Read More
Invasive species aren’t just species—they can also be pathogens. Such is the case with the West Nile virus. A mosquito-borne virus identified in the West Nile subregion in Uganda in 1937—hence the name—West Nile wasn’t much of a concern to people elsewhere until it broke out of Africa in 1999. T... Read More
Scientists have deciphered the 3-D structure of a protein that confers antibiotic resistance from one of the most worrisome disease agents: a strain of bacteria called methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which can cause skin and other infections. The team's findings may be an imp... Read More
The rise of drug-resistant bacteria and other biological threats has pushed the Pentagon to seek help developing small molecules that can stop some of the world's most dangerous pathogens.
The Defense Threat Reduction Agency, which seeks ways to stop or limit the effects of weapons of mass de... Read More
When a clear sunny day turns into clouds, people used it to explain their grave mood without taking into consideration how clouds can affect global warming in the atmosphere. But University of Georgia marine researchers have discovered the process of an anti-greenhouse gas known as DMSP (dimethy... Read More
When confronted with a new bacteria there are a series of simple tests that can be carried out to give a rough idea of the properties of the bacteria you are dealing with. One of the simplest and most useful tests is known as “Gram staining” which is a process of staining cells either purple or ... Read More
Tularemia is endemic in the northeastern United States, and is considered to be a risk to biosecurity -- much like anthrax or smallpox -- because it has already been weaponized in various regions of the world.
At the 58th Annual Biophysical Society Meeting, which started Saturday and continue... Read More
Recently a number of children in California have developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. The cause of this paralysis is not yet known, and information about the outbreak is scarce. However, acute-flaccid paralysis is not uncommon (California would be expected to report about 75 cases a year, b... Read More
Influenza is killing more young and middle-aged adults this year than usual, in part because they’re less likely to be vaccinated, federal health officials said Thursday.
More than 60 percent of those killed or put into the hospital by flu so far this season have been aged 18 to 64, the Cente... Read More
Hello Team TWiM,
I’ve followed with interest your coverage of Michael’s research into use of copper to fight hospital infection. Of all the interesting papers covered in 2013, I think the one most actionable is episode 55, The Copper Room. His res... Read More
In the mid-2000s, scientists identified two novel antimicrobial compounds in the bacterium Streptomyces platensis, each of which target a different enzyme involved in fatty acid synthesis in other microbes. Platensimycin and platencin are now being explored as a new class of antibiotics. Researc... Read More
The study confirms "the existence of an offensive biological warfare research programme in Nazi Germany." In January of 1942, Heinrich Himmler ordered the opening of an entomological laboratory in the Dachau concentration camp in southeastern Germany. But why? The stated purpose of the institut... Read More
Anna Dumitriu combines bacteria and textile design to explore our relationship with microorganisms.
Walk into Watermans, a theatre and arts exhibition space in West London, and you'll come across a series of intriguing installations: early 20th century medical artifacts, a dress colored with ... Read More
A new study that analyzed about 80,000 gene sequences from flu viruses has revealed that birds may have had some help from horses in spreading the virus that eventually killed 50 million to 100 million people in the influenza pandemic in 1918. Two viral genes may have circulated for years before... Read More
I listened to the latest TWIP this morning. Dickson mentioned the herbicide atrazine but thought it was a fungicide. It is actually a herbicide in the photosynthesis inhibitor class. Another bit of trivia about ag chemicals is that old chemicals like ... Read More
Immune system defenses against dangerous bacteria in the gut can be breached by turning off a single molecular switch that governs production of the protective mucus lining our intestinal walls, according to a study led by researchers at Yale, the University of British Columbia, and the Weizmann... Read More
Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is finally unearthing some of the ancient mysteries behind leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, which has plagued mankind throughout history. The new research findings appear in the current edition of journal PLOS Neglected Tropic... Read More