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We Are Our Bacteria

Like ecosystems the world over, the human microbiome is losing its diversity, to the potential detriment of the health of those it inhabits.

Dr. Martin J. Blaser, a specialist in infectious diseases at the New York University School of Medicine and the director of the Human Microbiome Program... Read More

TWiP 79 letters


Jesse writes:


Doctors TWiP,


I came across this paper and thought it sounded interesting for a discussion on TWiP:


Colonisation resistance in the sand fly gut: Leishmania protects Lutzomyia longipalpis from bacterial infection
Read More

Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any a... Read More

New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables

Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... Read More

Highly Drug Resistant, Virulent, Strain of Pseudomonas Aeruginosa Arises in Ohio (press release)

A team of clinician researchers has discovered a highly virulent, multidrug resistant form of the pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, in patient samples in Ohio. Their investigation suggests that the particular genetic element involved, which is still rare in the United States, has been spreading ... Read More

Protein ID'd as possible universal therapeutic target for many infections, including Ebola

A protein called GRP78 could be a universal therapeutic target for treating human diseases like brain cancer, Ebola, Influenza, Hepatitis and superbug bacteria such as MRSE and MRSA, according to a Virginia Commonwealth University-led pre-clinical study published this month in the Journal of Cel... Read More

New childhood TB cases double earlier estimates

esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... Read More

Cyanobacterium found in algae collection holds promise for biotech applications

Cyanobacteria could serve as a synthetic biology chassis that could be retooled for the production of biofuels, drugs or chemcials. So far, however, they have been held back by sluggish growth that makes it difficult to conduct the initial experiments needed to characterize their genetic and met... Read More

Artificial Spleen Cleans Ebola from Blood

Researchers have developed a high-tech method to rid the body of infections — even those caused by unknown pathogens. A device inspired by the spleen can quickly clean blood of everything from Escherichia coli to Ebola, researchers report on September 14 in Nature Medicine.

Blood infections c... Read More

MoMA PS1's Mushroom Tower | Hy-Fi by The Living

For MoMA PS1's Young Architect Program, David Benjamin and the architecture firm, The Living, utilized cutting-edge bio-design technologies to create a completely organic, compostable tower. The winning structure is composed of discarded cornstalks and mushroom material, and used zero energy in ... Read More

Photonic tweezers can pick up a single virus with light

A new device from Macquarie University can manipulate objects as small as 50 nanometers wide — about a thousandth of the width of a human hair and small enough to allow direct manipulation of a single viral capsule.

Click on 'source' to read full article. Read More

ICAAC 2014 - New Antimicrobial Strategy Silences NDM-1 Resistance Gene in Pathogens

Researchers have created a synthetic DNA analog that can bind to and silence the gene responsible for NDM-1, a severe form of antibiotic resistance that can make ... Read More

Maize Plus Bacteria: One-Two Punch Knocks Copper Out of Stamp Sand

Scientists have known for years that together, bacteria and plants can remediate contaminated sites. Ramakrishna Wusirika, of Michigan Technological University, has determined that how you add bacteria to the mix can make a big difference. Wusirika has also shed light on the biochemical pathways... 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

What Are The Odds That an Artificially Enhanced Flu Strain Could Escape a Lab?

A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More

Baby born with AIDS in Los Angeles may be cured of virus, doctors hope

Doctors are reporting a second instance of a baby born with AIDS going into remission, or possibly cured, by aggressive treatment after birth. The first case, a child from Mississippi who is now 3 1/2, was reported last April. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. ... Read More

Antibiotics Have Turned Our Bodies From Gardens Into Battlefields

We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis, and it doesn’t involve Siberian tigers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine says that many species of germs are disappearing from our bodies—and that’s a problem. In his new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of ... Read More

The day they discovered the AIDS virus

A historical look back at the discovery of the AIDS virus. Margaret Heckler, president Reagan's Health and Human Services Secretary made the announcement to the world. “First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been ... Read More

TWiV 309: Ebola email

The TWiVocytes answer questions about Ebola virus, including mode of transmission, quarantine, incubation period, immunity, and much more.


 Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Inspiration for 2015 via the Late, Great Randy Pausch!

The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More
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