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Synthesis produces new antibiotic

A fortuitous collaboration at Rice University has led to the total synthesis of a recently discovered natural antibiotic.

The laboratory recreation of a fungus-derived antibiotic, viridicatumtoxin B, may someday help bolster the fight against bacteria that evolve resistance to treatments in h... Read More

UTHealth researchers find up to 3,000 times the bacterial growth on hollow-head toothbrushes

Solid-head power toothbrushes retain less bacteria compared to hollow-head toothbrushes, according to researchers at The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston (UTHealth) School of Dentistry.

The results of the study are published in the August issue of the Journal of Dental Hyg... Read More

Small Molecule Acts As On-Off Switch for Nature's Antibiotic Factory

Scientists have identified the developmental on-off switch for Streptomyces, a group of soil microbes that produce more than two-thirds of the world's naturally derived antibiotic medicines.

Their hope now would be to see whether it is possible to manipulate this switch to make nature's anti... Read More

From bite site to brain: How rabies virus hijacks and speeds up transport in nerve cells

Rabies is usually transmitted through the bite of an infected animal into muscle tissue of the new host. From there, the virus travels all the way to the brain where it multiplies and causes the usually fatal disease. A new article sheds light on how the virus hijacks the transport system in ner... Read More

Home is where the microbes are: Home Microbiome Project announces results of study on household microbes

A person’s home is their castle, and they populate it with their own subjects: millions and millions of bacteria.

A study published tomorrow in Science provides a detailed analysis of the microbes that live in houses and apartments. The study was conducted by researchers from the U.S. Departm... Read More

Ebola genomes sequenced

Speedy analysis reveals mutations, insights into outbreak, along with clues to origin, spread.

Responding rapidly to the deadly outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, working with the Sierra Leone Ministry o... Read More

Zombie bacteria are nothing to be afraid of

Recently identified cell-cycle controls are targets for new drugs that fight infections by shutting down division.

A cell is not a soap bubble that can simply pinch in two to reproduce. The ability to faithfully copy genetic material and distribute it equally to daughter cells is fundamental ... Read More

Malaria’s Clinical Symptoms Fade on Repeat Infections Due to Loss of Immune Cells

Children who repeatedly become infected with malaria often experience no clinical symptoms with these subsequent infections, and a team led by UC San Francisco researchers has discovered that this might be due at least in part to a depletion of specific types of immune cells.

Working in Ugand... Read More

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria ac... Read More

Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified

Common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to allergens in a mouse model for peanut allergy, paving the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies.

The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds. By inducing immun... Read More

Ebola Doctor Reveals How Infected Americans Were Cured

Last week two American aid workers who had contracted Ebola while working in west Africa were released from a U.S. hospital and pronounced “recovered.” They had been flown to Emory University Hospital in Atlanta from Liberia earlier this month to receive care in the hospital’s specialized infect... Read More

Ebola Could Eventually Afflict Over 20,000, W.H.O. Says

As the tally of deaths from the worst known outbreak of the Ebola virus continued its seemingly inexorable rise, the World Health Organization said on Thursday that the epidemic was still accelerating and could afflict more than 20,000 people — almost seven times the current number of reported c... Read More

Self-Assembly For Me

I have the grating feeling that the subject of self-assembly of complex biological structures may not always amass the level of respect it deserves. I reckon that its importance is generally appreciated but, as topics go, it tends at times to be set aside. Yet, this is one of the most magnificen... Read More

BacterioFiles 180 - Phage Functions Fight Fortifications

This episode: Some phages can fight back against bacterial defenses with recently discovered genes!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper Read More

The Curious Case of a Protein and a Pilus

If you’re like me, every morning you reluctantly roll out of bed and automatically reach for your toothbrush. One of the earliest learned practices of personal hygiene, brushing surely serves more than just preventing daybreak halitosis — but have you ever pondered about the plaque you try to di... Read More

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and viruses and my ice bucket challenge

Many people have a new awareness of the disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge initiated by the ALS Association. Fewer might know that retroviruses have been proposed to play a role in the development of the disease. Read More

NIH Scientists Establish New Monkey Model of Severe MERS-CoV Disease (press release)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving scientists the best animal model yet for testing potential treatm... Read More

Experts question value of common superbug control practices

The jury is still out on the effectiveness of meticillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) superbug control policies in hospitals, according to leading infectious disease experts. In particular, screening and isolating infected patients -- which have long been regarded as the gold standard ... Read More

Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate

Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are d... Read More

Polio: mutated virus breaches vaccine protection

Thanks to effective vaccination, polio is considered nearly eradicated. Each year only a few hundred people are stricken worldwide. However, scientists are reporting alarming findings: a mutated virus that was able to resist the vaccine protection to a considerable extent was found in victims of... Read More
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