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Gut bacteria may be best defense against nasty germs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it more and more difficult to treat infections. But research suggests that the best defense against harmful bugs could be a healthy population of “good” gut bacteria. The human relationship with microbial life is complicated. At almost any su... Read More

BacterioFiles 173 - Illuminated Invader Inhibits Irritation

This episode: Virus helps to modify mice such that certain colors of light can cause or prevent pain!


(10 MB, 10.8 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jour... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 149 - Psychrobacter Survives Siberian Schisms

This episode: Cold-loving bacteria can repair surprising amounts of DNA damage even sub-zero temperatures!


(9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)


Bacteria isolated from the Siberian arctic permafrost are exposed to a lot of radiation over thousands of years, but somehow they are able to repair... Read More

Scientists Study What to Do If You Drop a Cookie on the Floor

Once again, you've dropped your snack. You bend down, snatch it up, and gently blow off any dust—and, you hope, deadly germs. You're about to put it in your mouth because, after all, you've got the "five-second rule" on your side: Food that's been dropped is safe to consume if it's been on the f... Read More

Fossil viruses preserved in hot spring bacteria

Fossilized microbes have provided scientists many clues about origins of life. By comparison, little attention is given to viruses in the fossil record. Although technically non-living, there is no question these tiny packets of protein-sheathed DNA have shaped the evolution of most life on eart... Read More

Scientists find coronavirus inhibitor blocking MERS and SARS

A team of European scientists say they have discovered a compound that can prevent the spreading of coronaviruses, responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks that have killed about 1,000 people worldwide.

A team of scientists led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden,... Read More

Guinea Worm Said to Infect Few in 2013

Only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in the world in 2013, a 73 percent drop from the 542 cases found one year earlier, the Carter Center announced Thursday.

Along with polio, Guinea worm is one of two diseases hovering on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,000 cases annua... Read More

TWiV 260: Badgers go viral



Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 150 - Morels Make Mycelial Motorways

This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


Read More

Rare bacteria outbreak linked to Chicago hospital

CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The largest outbreak ever of a rare but potentially deadly bacteria has been tied to equipment in a Chicago-area hospital, health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 44 cases of infection by the bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteri... Read More

"Super bacteria" cleaning up after oil spills

Norwegian researchers in Trondheim have achieved surprising results by exploiting nature's own ability to clean up after oil spills.
We all know that marine bacteria can assist in cleaning up after oil spills. What is surprising is that given the right kind of encouragement, they can be even mo... Read More

Celebrity portraits grown out stars' own bacteria

Well-known faces including Stephen Fry and Carol Vorderman are helping make art out of science by taking part in an experiment to grow portraits using their own bacteria.

The celebrities teamed up with American microbiologist and photographer Zachary Copfer to make the images by contributing ... Read More

Death toll from H1N1 rises as strain returns, with ‘young invincibles’ most affected

The H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 global pandemic is back. State health officials from across the country say the resurgence is resulting in a dramatic rise in flu deaths in young and middle-aged adults and in children this season.

While the reported death tolls so far are only a fracti... Read More

First Real-Time Flu Forecast Successful

Scientists were able to reliably predict the timing of the 2012-2013 influenza season up to nine weeks in advance of its peak. The first large-scale demonstration of the flu forecasting system by scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was carried out in 108 cities ac... Read More

The Role of the Microbiome in Infection Control - ICAAC 2013

The disruption of the human microbiome through use of antimicrobials is a topic of growing interest among healthcare epidemiologists, not only because it is a major risk factor for C. difficile infection (CDI), but also because it could be a driving force behind the introduction and proliferatio... Read More

BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

The Microbes Living in Our Bodies Were Probably Once Evil Pathogens

Like pretty much all multi-cellular organisms, humans enjoy the benefits of helpful bacteria. (As you may have heard, there are more bacteria in the human body than cells.) These mutualistic microbes live within the body of a larger organism, and, like any good long-term houseguest, help out the... Read More

The Science of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The science behind the transformation from plants to milk to cheese is amazing. In fact, cheese has much in common with wine and beer: They result from fermentation by microorganisms; they are “value-added” products where processing greatly increases the value; and they reflect local climate and... Read More

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