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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

Science teaching goes viral: Alternative course increases undergraduate retention

An alternative approach to the traditional introductory laboratory course at the undergraduate level significantly increases student retention rates, according to research published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

In 2012, the President's Coun... 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

Newly Found Tactics in Offense-Defense Struggle with Hepatitis C Virus

The hepatitis C virus (HCV) has a previously unrecognized tactic to outwit antiviral responses and sustain a long-term infection. It also turns out that some people are genetically equipped with a strong countermeasure to the virus' attempt to weaken the attack on it. The details of these findin... 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

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

Bacteria Can't Cling to 'Repulsive' New Surface

Bacteria can’t stick to a new type of nanoscale surface that could prove useful in food processing, medical, and shipping industries.

The technology uses an electrochemical process called anodization to create nanoscale pores that change the electrical charge and surface energy of a metal sur... Read More

Yogurt bacteria could replace colonoscopies for cancer detection

Let's face it: colonoscopies are pretty unpleasant. But what if you could eat a spoonful of yogurt to check for cancer rather than enduring that procedure? MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is working on engineered bacteria that detects colorectal cancer. 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

Mystery Flipper Revealed

New understanding of how bacteria build their protective cell wall solves persistent puzzler.

Using a series of chemical and genetic tricks to interrogate a dizzying cast of characters involved in the process of building a cell wall, researchers believe they have discovered the hidden identit... 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

A New Future for Anti-viral Therapy

Extramural basic research at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine, funded by the U.S. Army Research Laboratory – Army Research Office (ARL-ARO), has led to discoveries of the biochemical mechanisms for viral growth and of an unprecedented method that may inhibit viral replication. These fundamenta... Read More

Gut bacteria from a worm can degrade plastic

Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common pl... Read More

Top chefs, artisanal food producers, and microbiologists join forces to explore new tastes and textures

Chefs from top-notch restaurants are reaching out to microbiologists, seeking advice that goes beyond traditional food safety or conventional food-processing concerns. With or without professional scientific advice, some chefs and food producers are doing their own microbiological experiments, s... Read More

Healthy Bacteria May Lead to Long Life

In the past few years, scientists have begun to uncover the multitude of ways in which the community of bacteria living in the our intestines, known as the microbiome, can impact our health. Not only do these (benign) bacteria help with metabolism and digestion, shifts in it are linked to a wide... Read More

Polio-like paralysis in California

Recently a number of children in California have developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. The cause of this paralysis is not yet known, and information about the outbreak is scarce. However, acute-flaccid paralysis is not uncommon (California would be expected to report about 75 cases a year, b... Read More

Test for Persistent Lyme Infection Using Live Ticks Shown Safe in Clinical Study

In a first-of-its-kind study for Lyme disease, researchers have used live, disease-free ticks to see if Lyme disease bacteria can be detected in people who continue to experience symptoms such as fatigue or arthritis after completing antibiotic therapy. The technique, called xenodiagnosis, attem... 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

Video Microscope Reveals Movement in "Stock-Still" Objects

The first microscopes, in the 1500s and 1600s, transformed glass panes that looked completely transparent into a universe teeming with bacteria, cells, pollen and intricate crystals. These visionary aids were the first devices to show people that there were cells within a drop of blood. Since th... Read More

The incubation period of a viral infection

The time before the symptoms of a viral infection appear is called the incubation period. During this time, viral genomes are replicating and the host is responding, producing cytokines such as interferon that can have global effects, leading to the classical symptoms of an acute infection (e.g.... Read More
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