This month we talked with Dr. Christine Salomon, Assistant Professor at the Center for Drug Design in the University of Minnesota. Dr. Salomon’s work intersects chemistry and microbial ecology in the hunt for interesting new natural products with far reaching potential applications. While much... Read More
One of the basic requirements of evolution is variation in a population upon which selection can act. One of the sources of variation is mutation in DNA. These changes may or may not be reflected in the ensuing amino acid sequence of a protein. This exercise explores the additive effects of m... Read More
The Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations in the water and sanitation sector. In this video GWC finalist David Kuria of Ecotact Limited, a Kenyan company dedicated to bringing public toilets to an area where there were only two for 60,000 people, discusses the need... Read More
The Koala retrovirus (KoRV) continues to spread within Australia, according to results of a new analysis of a larger sample size from a wider geographical range than was previously studied. Read More
I’m reeling from this episode!! The symbiosis, the web of life, the energies, chemicals, organisms of
Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself. Read More
Dear Vincent, Dickson and Daniel,
For thousands of years, epidemics of contagious diseases were believed to be caused by the wrath of the gods, configuration of stars, or miasma. The association of specific microorganisms with disease came about as a consequence of the work of the German physician Robert Koch. He formulated a se... Read More
Dear water-based life forms:
It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.
I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More
A new paper in PLoS recommends two vaccination strategies to better prevent whooping cough.
"In the absence of adolescent or adult vaccination, pertussis incidence among adults is predicted to more than double in 20 years. Implementing an adult program in addition to childhood and adolescent... Read More
I found TWIP just a week ago and feel I've found a home. I'm a pharmacist, usually on the night shift, and stay excited all night listening to you. Parasites have always been my hobby. In fact, I recently divorced one. His life cycle is unique. I get oddl... Read More
Host: Vincent Racaniello
This episode: Flu vaccine made by bacteria!
How XMRV, the new human retrovirus associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, might be transmitted among humans is unknown. The finding that the virus can be detected in prostate cancer cells, and in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer suggests that it could be se... Read More
In this monthly interview series, meet Erin Sanders-Lorenz, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA , co-author of the new book, "I, Microbiologist: A Discovery-based Course in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution" and a lea... Read More
Although we now understand that viruses are the most abundant organisms on Earth, there are gaps in our knowledge about their distribution in different environments. Results of a new study reveal the diversity and distribution of viruses in Arctic fresh waters. Read More
This parasite interacts with many host proteins and modifies the expression of many more genes creating an interactome with almost 3000 links. In addition it exchanges substrates and metabolites with the host, modifying many biochemical parameters. T.Gondii disrupts multiple signalling network... Read More
Both Nature and the New York Times have weighed in on the resumption of influenza H5N1 research. In an editorial from 23 January 2013, Nature opines that “Experiments that make deadly pathogens more dangerous demand the utmost scrutiny”. They call for a quantitative risk-benefit analysis of H5N1... Read More
Chimpanzees from African sanctuaries carry drug-resistant, human-associated strains of the bacteria Staphlyococcus aureus, a pathogen that the infected chimpanzees could spread to endangered wild ape populations if they were reintroduced to their natural habitat, a new study shows.
The study ... Read More
Thirty years ago this month I arrived in the Department of Microbiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) to start my own laboratory. Thirty is not only a multiple of ten (which we tend to celebrate), but also a long time to be at one place. It’s clearly time to r... Read More