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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

Antibiotics in Blood Can Make Malaria Mosquitoes Mightier

It's well known that antibiotics can disrupt our gut bacteria. But when mosquitoes snack on blood laced with antibiotics, the same can happen to their microbiome. And that depletion of gut bacteria actually increases mosquitoes' susceptibility to the malaria parasite. Meaning they may be more li... Read More

This algae farm eats highway pollution

Plant-like microorganisms called algae are pretty interesting little creatures - some species form expansive 'algal blooms' that harm the environment, whereas others can be used to produce biofuel and food sources. Some can even infect humans and mess with their brains.

This diverse organism ... Read More

Lab-on-a-Chip Tracks Down 'Most Wanted' Microbe

A diagnostic tool that’s about the size of a credit card has identified a highly prized gut microbe.

The microbe contains interesting genetic sequences, but it has proven challenging to culture in the lab.

Researchers used the device, called SlipChip, to isolate microbes from a patient’s g... Read More

New life form discovered at MSU, named after Bully

Some Mississippi State University students have discovered – and named – a new life form, a previously unknown organism discovered on campus in a mud puddle last September.

The newly classified organism – Ptolemeba bulliensis, a unicellular microscopic protest – was scooped from a courtyard b... Read More

How Ebola Blindsides the Body's Defenses

Researchers often describe the battle between the Ebola virus and the humans it occasionally infects as a race—one that people win only if their immune systems manage to pull ahead before the virus destroys too many of their internal defenses. What they may not know is that the virus is a cheat.... Read More

The Ebola Outbreak: 'A Dress Rehearsal For The Next Big One'

Until this year, the world had recorded 1,640 deaths from Ebola since the virus was discovered in 1976.

Then Ebola appeared in West Africa.

So far this year, 887 people have died of Ebola in West Africa, the World Health Organization said Monday.

To put that into perspective, more than ... Read More

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-ol... Read More

TWiV 314: Einstein goes viral

Vincent travels to Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he speaks with Kartik, Ganjam, and Margaret about their work on Ebolavirus entry, a tumor suppressor that binds the HIV-1 integrase, and the entry of togaviruses and flaviviruses into cells.


Host:  Read More

TWiM 87 Letters

Varun writes:


Greetings TWiM Profz,


As a perso... Read More

TWiP 80 letters

Jessica writes:


Hello Dr Racaniello and Despommier,


I recently saw an article about the paper linked below on Science Daily and thought it might be worth a discussion on TWIP. It is about the possibility of bed bugs being a vector for T. cruzi. I would love to... Read More

IS LIFE WITH A DOG LIKE TAKING PROBIOTICS?

A new study will explore whether living with a dog encourages the growth of positive microorganisms in the human gut—enough to improve physical and mental health in older adults. Read More

How U.S. Hospitals Are Planning To Stop The Deadly MERS Virus

In the past month, Middle East Respiratory syndrome has morphed from a little-known disease in the Arabian Peninsula to a major global health concern, with more than 300 cases in Saudi Arabia in April, 54 of them fatal.

Two cases have been reported in the U.S. as well — one in Indiana and one... Read More

2,300 tubes containing SARS virus samples missing in France

A major French biomedical research body, the Pasteur Institute, have launched an investigation into the disappearance of some 2,300 test tubes containing samples of the SARS virus. The loss was discovered during an inventory.

The Pasteur Institute filed a so-called 'complaint against X' on Mo... Read More

The protective milk shot – How mother’s milk protects piglets from parasite infections

Coccidiosis is a serious disease in new-born piglets. Caused by the parasite Cystoisospora suis, it exclusively infects pigs and often causes severe diarrhoea in suckling piglets. Parasitologists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have developed a new strategy for protecting the piglets: They infected sows... Read More

Bacterial Nanowires: Not What We Thought They Were

New videos of morphing bacteria reveal that the strange, distinguishing features of so-called “electric bacteria” aren’t quite what they at first appeared to be.

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric... Read More

Researchers create better methods to detect E. coli

Kansas State University diagnosticians are helping the cattle industry save millions of dollars each year by developing earlier and accurate detection of E. coli.

Lance Noll, master's student in veterinary biomedical science, Greensburg; T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of di... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More

TWiV 299: Rocky Mountain virology

Vincent visits the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana and speaks with Marshall, Sonja, and Byron about their work on tick-born flaviviruses, innate immunity, and prion diseases.


Host: Vincent ... Read More

BacterioFiles 205 - Colon Community Counterattacks Cholera

This episode: Microbes in the human gut seem to prevent/inhibit cholera!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper

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