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Infectious agents with no genome

If the reader does not believe that viroids and satellites are distinctive, then surely prions, infectious agents composed only of protein, must impress.

The question of whether infectious agents exist without genomes arose with the discovery and characterization of infectious agents associat... Read More

Among gut microbes, strains, not just species, matter

A large community of microorganisms calls the human digestive tract home. This dynamic conglomerate of microscopic life forms - the gut microbiome - is vital to how people metabolize various nutrients in their food, how their immune systems react to infection, and how they respond to various med... Read More

How we used to talk about Measles

These days, the happiest place on Earth isn't so cheerful. In December, a large number of people started coming down with measles after visiting Disneyland in California. So far, about 80 measles cases have been reported in the state, an unusually large number for a virus that has long been unde... Read More

Bacteria May Remain Dormant After UV Disinfection

Many drinking water treatment facilities worldwide disinfect water with ultraviolet light because it’s quick and efficient, kills protozoa such as Giardia, and doesn’t introduce potentially harmful disinfection by-products. But a new study shows that UV treatment alone can push bacteria into a d... Read More

Make the Pause on Risky Pathogen Research Permanent

Last October the White House announced a pause in federal funding for so-called gain-of-function experiments that increase the contagiousness or virulence of influenza viruses or of the coronaviruses that cause severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS). ... Read More

How Listeria Breaches the Placenta

A gut bacterium called Listeria (Listeria monocytogenes), which is often found in soft cheese, is known to present a risk to pregnant women. Listeria uses distinct tactics to breach the intestine and the placenta, using a protein called phosphoinositide-3 kinase (PI3-K), according to a study pub... Read More

Obama to seek more funds for antibiotic-resistant bacteria fight

President Barack Obama will request a doubling of funds for fighting and preventing antibiotic-resistant bacteria in his 2016 budget, the White House said Tuesday.

The goal is to expand US investment in developing of antibacterial and new rapid diagnostics and launch a major effort to charact... Read More

Diabetes in rats treated with engineered probiotic

Imagine a pill that helps people control diabetes with the body’s own insulin.

Cornell researchers have achieved this feat in rats by engineering human lactobacilli, a common gut bacteria, to secrete a protein called Glucagen-like peptide 1 (GLP-1).

A 2003 study led by Atsushi Suzuki of th... Read More

Genetic changes in Ebola virus in West African outbreak could hinder potential treatments

WASHINGTON, DC--January 20, 2015--Researchers have tracked the genetic mutations that have occurred in the Ebola virus during the last four decades. Their findings, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, identified changes in the current West... Read More

Safer, more natural insect control result of research

Bacteriology's Goodrich-Blair studies compound that could lead to safer #insect control.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

The Real Contagion of Anti-Vaccine Idiocy

Quinn Cummings is a writer of three books, Notes From the Underwire, The Year of Learning Dangerously and Pet Sounds.

When a 'personal choice' becomes a health crisis

I glanced at my phone and frowned — why on earth was my daughter’s pediatrician calling me at seven at night?

Without pr... Read More

Ebola virus 'has killed a third of world's gorillas and chimpanzees'

The Ebola virus currently poses the greatest threat to the survival of great apes, conservationists have warned, after killing an estimated third of the world's gorillas and chimpanzees since the 1990s.

The unprecedented current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed some 8,641 people, acco... Read More

Trust your gut: E. coli may hold one of the keys to treating Parkinson's

E. coli usually brings to mind food poisoning and beach closures, but researchers recently discovered a protein in E. coli that inhibits the accumulation of potentially toxic amyloids—a hallmark of diseases such as Parkinson's.

Amyloids are formed by proteins that misfold and group together, ... Read More

TWiV 321: aTRIP and a pause

Paul Duprex joins the TWiV team to discuss the current moratorium on viral research to alter transmission, range and resistance, infectivity and immunity, and pathogenesis.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Scientists discover bacteria that survives solely by eating electricity

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting th... Read More

Deadly bacteria on medical scopes trigger infections

The deadly pattern of illnesses began to emerge in 2012 at hospitals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago. In each case, the culprit was a bacteria known as CRE, perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even "last defense" antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.

... Read More

TWiP 81: Living in a wormy world

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel provide the solution to last week's case study, present a new one, and discuss how immune suppression by nematodes increases tuberculosis fatality in African buffalo.


Hosts: Vin... Read More

TWiP 81 letters


Allan writes:


Dear Vincent & Dickson… and Daniel,


I always enjoy listening to TWIP here in Kona, Hawaii.


Our weather today is 79ºF and clear but we have just experienced a record 25-year overnight low of 54ºF,
(FREEZING, as few of us hav... Read More

Ebola experts say 16 other bat viruses could infect man

Scientists looking for Ebola in bats have identified 16 other viruses in the animal which could jump to humans and potentially cause a disease outbreak on a similar scale to the West African crisis, a health security expert said on Friday.

Humans can contract Ebola from bats, which are carrie... Read More

Five intriguing facts about viruses that cause measles, Ebola and other scourges

Viruses are incredibly simple, arguably the most simple living organisms on the planet. They have no brains, no metabolism, and they can’t reproduce on their own. Yet they are able to wreak incredible havoc on our bodies and to outwit the scientifically advanced weapons that humans have invente... Read More
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