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Marine bacteria to fight tough infections

Aggressive infections are a growing health problem all over the world. The development of resistant bacteria is rampant and, in the United States, resistant staphylococci cause more deaths than AIDS on an annual basis. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are studying a new form of trea... Read More

Studies Show Big Advance In HIV Prevention

Exciting research suggests that a shot every one to three months may someday give an alternative to the daily pills that some people take now to cut their risk of getting HIV. The experimental drug has only been tested for prevention in monkeys, but it completely protected them from infection in... Read More

Germs and bacteria beautified in Invisible Portraits

Through high-tech images of microbial life, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum will gross you out and make you want to wash your hands.

Nevertheless, the museum’s current art exhibition, entitled Invisible Portraits, will entice you regardless of whether you are in Science or Arts. The exhibit dis... Read More

Host plants reprogram their root cells to accommodate symbiotic nitrogen-fixing bacteria

To enter into symbiosis with nitrogen-fixing bacteria, host plants reprogram their root cells. An LMU team has now identified a calcium-binding protein complex that can be persuaded to spontaneously induce the formation of root nodules.

In almost all ecosystems, plant growth rates are limited... Read More

The Walking Dead offers teachable moment about antivirals vs antibacterials

If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More

Mycotoxin protects against nematodes

Researchers at ETH Zurich have isolated a protein from a fungus of the spruce which combats nematodes. The scientists hope that toxins of this kind will become the basis for the vaccination of livestock or domestic animals against zooparasitic nematodes.

Most terrestrial plants enter into bio... Read More

Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

By shifting evolution into reverse, it may be possible to use “green chemistry” to make a number of costly synthetic drugs as easily and cheaply as brewing beer. Normally, both evolution and synthetic chemistry proceed from the simple to the complex. Small molecules are combined and modified to ... Read More

Ebola 101: The Facts Behind A Frightening Virus

Health workers have called the Ebola outbreak in West Africa unprecedented, overwhelming and even out of control.

With 844 cases so far, it's the largest and deadliest outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. And it doesn't show signs of slowing down. On Tuesday, the World Health Orga... Read More

New candy eats 'bad' bacteria in the mouth, benefitting teeth

Our mouths are a delicate balance of good and bad bacteria. When we clean our teeth, the aim is to knock out cavity-causing bacteria, while allowing beneficial oral bacteria to thrive. Now, researchers have developed a sugar-free candy, which contains dead bacteria that bind to bad bacteria, pot... Read More

Getting a Knit Bacteriophage From a Former Student!

A former student dropped by my lab this morning, and brought me a gift: a knit bacteriophage! Many times, as educators, we hear what we haven't done well, or could do better. Sometimes, like today, we get a priceless "thank you" from a former student. Read More

Glowing Antibiotics Reveal Bacterial Infections

Despite surgeons’ best efforts, bacteria often manage to sneak onto medical implants such as bone screws, where they can cause severe infections. Research published today in Nature Communications suggests that using fluorescent antibiotics could reveal such infections before they become too seve... Read More

Probiotics not for colic? A response

This week a study published in the British Medical Journal, and reported in the Daily Mail, has reported that a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 is not effective in helping to reduce symptoms of colic in babies.

However here we examine the nature of the study, and i... Read More

Plant scientists unravel a molecular switch to stimulate leaf growth

Mechanisms that determine the size of plants have fascinated plant scientists of all times, however they are far from understood. An international research team led by plant scientists from VIB and Ghent University report an important breakthrough in the scientific journal The Plant Cell. They i... Read More

Gene prevents buildup of misfolded cell proteins

Much like how a snowplow is needed to clear streets of heavy snow, cells employ a set of genes to clear away misfolded proteins, to prevent them from accumulating and destroying the cell.

For the first time, Cornell researchers have demonstrated how a gene called SEL1L plays a critical role i... Read More

Infection with the common cold virus: scientists reveal new insights

The common cold virus (rhinovirus) is a tiny, almost round particle, containing the tightly packed genetic material surrounded by a protein shell (the virus capsid). Details on how the RNA is prepped to exit the capsid and effectively infect us have now been provided by scientists from the Max F... 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

Mathematical modelling disproves long-held view of bacterial cell cycle

A key theory of the cell cycle of asymmetric bacteria, which has prevailed for the last ten years, has been disproved by a combined approach using mathematical modelling and genetic experiments.

Modellers Prof. Martin Howard and Dr Seán Murray, from the John Innes Centre on the Norwich Resear... Read More

TWiV 290: Baylor goes viral

Vincent meets up with Janet Butel and Rick Lloyd at Baylor College of Medicine to talk about their work on polyomaviruses and virus induced stress.


 


Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests... Read More

Obesity may increase the risk of Clostridium difficile infection

Researchers from Boston Medical Center (BMC) and Boston University School of Medicine (BUSM) have identified obesity as a possible risk factor for clostridium difficile infection (CDI). These findings, which appear online in Emerging Infectious Diseases, may contribute to improved clinical surve... 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

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