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Nasal bacteria may be predictor of skin infections

Bacteria found in the nose may be a key indicator for future development of skin and soft-tissue infections in remote areas of the body, researchers say. The nose is the primary S. aureus reservoir in humans and nearly 80% of the time, an individual's colonizing strain is the same strain that ca... Read More

Slaying bacteria with their own weapons

A chemist at Washington University in St. Louis is studying siderophores, iron chelating molecules released by bacteria during an infection, with the thought of using them to design personalized antibiotic therapy that would avoid the rapid evolution of resistance that plagues antibiotic drug di... Read More

Potentially fatal parechovirus afflicting babies prompts urgent Queensland probe

A little-known virus that can be fatal in young babies has prompted Queensland scientists to undertake urgent medical research.

Parechovirus was first reported in Australia in December last year and there have now been dozens of cases across the country.

There have been 11 confirmed cases ... Read More

Cholera Bacteria Spear Their Prey to Grab Genes

The bacteria that cause cholera grab genes from other organisms in a particularly predatory and precise way, new research finds: They spear neighboring cells with a kind of poison-tipped spike.

Bacteria often grab genes from other organisms and incorporate that DNA into their own genomes. But... Read More

'Lonely' bacteria increase risk of antibiotic resistance

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that 'lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

The study, published today in Nature Communications and jointly funded by The Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences... Read More

TWiV 304: Given X, solve for EBOV

 The TWiV team consults an epidemiologist to forecast the future scope of the Ebola virus epidemic in West Africa.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Antibacterial Fabrics Kill Dangerous Germs In A Matter Of Minutes

Up to 1 in 25 patients with hospital-acquired infections. It may be that standard hand-washing and sterilization procedures in hospitals aren't enough, which is where these new fabrics that can kill bacteria come in.

University researchers in Australia have shown how cotton fabrics impregnate... Read More

MERS mystery: Virus found in camels

(CNN) -- Evidence is mounting against camels as leading suspects in a deadly mystery that's claimed more than 100 lives in the Middle East. The biological supervillain is the virus causing MERS-coV, short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a type of coronavirus. Since the first documented cas... Read More

New yeast species travelled the globe with a little help from the beetles

Researchers from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures (NCYC) at the Institute of Food Research (IFR) have identified a new globe-trotting yeast species that lives on tree-associated beetles. This new species demonstrates the importance of preserving biodiversity, as yeasts like this may hel... Read More

Nicely Aged

Resurrecting ancient beers and wines is a subtle alchemy, but Patrick McGovern knows all the tricks. He directs the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Many of his ancient brews are sold by Dogfish Head brewery i... Read More

Bacteria are more promiscuous than expected, since plasmids invade unexpectedly diverse fraction of soil bacteria

Conjugal plasmids provide microbes with full complements of new genes. Conjugal plasmid transfer is deemed responsible for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance among microbes. While broad host range plasmids are known to confer transfer abilities to diverse hosts in pure culture, the extent... Read More

Researchers find link between microbiome, type 1 diabetes

In the largest longitudinal study of the microbiome to date, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group have identified a connection between changes in gut microbiota and the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The st... Read More

BacterioFiles 188 - Rat Residents Relieve Resin Roughness

This episode: Gut bacteria in Mojave desert woodrats help them detoxify and eat toxic creosote bushes!


(10 MB, 10.8 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

Bacteria become “genomic tape recorders”

Engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure, other events in their DNA.

MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well su... Read More

Scientists find way to trap, kill malaria parasite

Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers report. As it invades a red blood cell, the malaria parasite takes part of the host cell's membrane to build a protective compartment. The parasite then starts a series of major renovations that tran... Read More

Footage From 1976 Documents Discovery of Ebola Virus

In 1976, a group of health workers took a pair of film cameras to what was then known as Zaire and documented their discovery of a new, deadly virus.

Today we know that virus as Ebola.

A 27-year-old Belgian microbiologist named Peter Piot and his colleagues were the first to scientifically... Read More

How Probiotics Will Improve Your Skin

The more time I spend in the beauty industry, the more I believe that clear, good skin is more of an art than a science. Sure, it's science-based, but there's an endless list of the things that are bad (sun, dairy, gluten, oils) and only a few things that are good (vitamin D; dairy, unless you a... Read More

How vultures evolved to live on rotting, feces-covered meat (and what we can learn from them)

Have you thanked a vulture today? It turns out that they're getting rid of an awful lot of dangerous bacteria for us. According to new research published Tuesday in Nature Communications, the vulture has a gut designed to kill off the bacteria that thrive on the carrion they crave. When they cho... Read More

Gut Reactions to Beneficial Bacteria

Q. When you eat yogurt or take a probiotic supplement, why aren’t the probiotic bacteria killed by stomach acids?

A. The point of consuming a probiotic supplement in a food like yogurt, a powder or a capsule is to introduce beneficial bacteria in the gut, said Dr. Christine Frissora, a gastro... Read More

4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life on Earth Forever

This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions o... Read More
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