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Mouse microbes may make scientific studies harder to replicate

The microbes that reside in mice are making it difficult to replicate scientific studies. Despite many researchers best efforts to standardize the environment and conditions that their mice live in, replication isn't always possible. While "cagemates" tend to have the same microbes in their gut,... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

Polio in Nigeria

Polio returns to Nigeria after two years - but it turns out it had never gone away.
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For the First Time, Researchers Identify the Secret Genetic Weapon of Clostridium difficile

Washington, DC – August 16, 2016 – A trio of researchers at the University of Texas Health Science Center, School of Public Health in Houston, have identified the location of the genes that control production of toxins that harm people infected by Clostridium difficile bacteria. The gene locus, ... Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

BacterioFiles 263 - Germ Jettisoned Jellyfish Genes

This episode: Microscopic parasites of fish and worms actually came from jellyfish-like animals, after losing most of their genome!

(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)

Show notes: 
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TWiV 402: The plight of the bumblebee

Polio returns to Nigeria, Zika virus spreads in Miami, and virus infection of plants attracts bumblebees for pollination, from the virus gentlepeople at TWiV.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

TWiP 114: Plant potions perturb Plasmodium

The TWiP troika solve the case of the Female from the Bronx, and reveal how feeding on different plants affects mosquito capacity to transmit malaria.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Demystifying secondary bacterial pneumonia

In some individuals, an influenza A virus infection can cause asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to travel to the lungs where it can trigger severe, sometimes deadly, secondary pneumonia. S. aureus is one of the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia in cases of seasonal... Read More

Scraping away at the complex microbial communities that cause periodontal disease

Though both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums, the related ailments are not simply different severities of the same disease, finds a new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers confirmed this by investigating the bacterial composition of the sup... Read More

Young Inventors Work On Secret Proteins To Thwart Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Three young inventors and students at Stanford University are working to develop proteins that fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are optimistic they have found something that works. The proteins the team is developing attack "something that's essential to bacterial survival". But they wo... Read More

Maternal high-fat diet during pregnancy can affect baby's gut microbes

A new study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that, "babies born to mothers who consumed a high-fat diet during pregnancy had a gut microbiome that was distinctly different from the one in babies of mothers on a non-high-fat diet".
Noteably, researchers found that, "the micro... Read More

New Model Sheds Light on Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia

Washington, DC – August 9, 2016 – For years, researchers have known that the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) can trigger severe, sometimes deadly secondary bacterial pneumonia, in some people who are subsequently infected with influenza A virus, but scientists have not known exactly h... Read More

Mcr-1 Gene Isolated from Human for the First Time in Brazil

Washington, DC – August 8, 2016 – For the first time in Brazil, a particular antibiotic resistance mechanism conferring resistance to the important antibiotic, colistin, has been detected in a human. It was in a strain of Escherichia coli that was isolated from a diabetic patient’s foot infectio... Read More

The cities of the future could be built by microbes

Today in Phys.org, Martyn Dade-Robertson explores the possibility of using microbes to produce natural cement. This process, called biomineralisation, was discovered deep under water off the coast of the Greek island of Zakynthos.
Future implications for biomineralisation include self-healing ... Read More

Zika Virus in the USA

On this episode of Virus Watch we cover three Zika virus stories: the first human trial of a Zika virus vaccine, the first local transmission of infection in the United States, and whether the virus is a threat to participants in the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Read More

Mosquito saliva enhances virus replication and disease

Mosquito saliva, which is injected into the host as a mosquito probes for a blood vessel, contains a collection of chemicals which include anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, vasodilators to keep blood vessels wide, and anesthetics to prevent us from sensing the mosquito. Saliva also conta... Read More

BacterioFiles 262 - Pathogen Polyketide Protects and Punishes

This episode: Clostridium bacteria that infect potatoes can both kill competitors and tolerate oxygen, thanks to the pink compounds they produce!

(12.4 MB, 13.5 minutes)

Show notes: 
Journal Paper:

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TWiV 401: Vector victorious

Zika virus spreads in the USA, a Zika virus DNA vaccine goes into phase I trials, and how mosquito bites enhance virus replication and disease, from the friendly TWiFolk Vincent, Dickson, Alan, and Kathy.

Hosts:  Read More

TWiM #132: Bacteria learn long division

Vincent, Elio, and Michele present cell division by longitudinal scission in an insect symbiont, and thermally activated charge transport in microbial nanowires.

Read More
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