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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Overwhelming medical evidence proves that negative side effects are rare and minor

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Sizing up cells: Study finds possible regulator of growth

Modern biology has attained deep knowledge of how cells work, but the mechanisms by which cellular structures assemble and grow to the right size largely remain a mystery. Now, researchers may have found the key in a dynamic agglomeration of molecules inside cells.

Click "source" to read more... Read More

Link identified between virus recognition, destruction in bacterial immune system

An immune system that helps bacteria combat viruses is yielding unlikely results such as the ability to edit genome sequences and potentially correct mutations that cause human disease.

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Energetic immune cells are vital for fighting disease

A good immune system relies on a key ‘energy producing’ protein in immune cells to develop immunity to vaccines and disease, an international team of scientists has found.

The protein, called HuR (human antigen R) is critical for controlling metabolism in B cells, which make antibodies that a... Read More

Modified E. coli spin fibres as tough as spider silk

Spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar, but efforts to spin our own have so far failed to match the real thing. Now a German research group has come up with artificial fibres that equal its toughness, which could lead to safer airbags.

His team spliced spider genes into E.... Read More

Attention, All Scientists: Do Improv

Martha Furie stormed into the room and huffily sat down in a chair.

“Well, you know, I’ve been working really hard, studying Lyme disease,” she said, her voice tinged with disdain, to the woman sitting in the next chair. “It’s been a long process. It’s hard to talk about it.”

The other wom... Read More

TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Maria Julia Marinissen, Read More

Newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise

Scientists have discovered a new hormone that fights the weight gain caused by a high-fat Western diet and normalizes the metabolism -- effects commonly associated with exercising. When tested in mice, the hormone blocked the negative health effects of eating a high-fat diet. Read More

Ultracold-Resistant Chemical on Titan Could Allow It to Harbor Life

Computer simulations reveal that a compound found on Saturn’s largest moon may be able to form a freeze-resistant, flexible membrane that could encapsulate cells or organelles

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Dawn of the Cyborg Bacteria (video)

In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More

Regular coffee drinkers have 'cleaner' arteries

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries - a known risk factor for heart disease - Korean researchers believe.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut

The microbiome may yield a new class of psychobiotics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.The ongoing exploration of the human microbiome promises to bring the link between the gut and the brain into clearer focus. Scientists are increasingly convinced that the vast... Read More

These are the smallest bacteria ever identified

The ultra-small bacteria were discovered in groundwater. The sample was taken from Rifle, Colorado. The cells take on the appearance of tightly-coiled spirals. The bacterial cells are thought to be the smallest that a cell can be and still hold sufficient material to sustain life.

The cells h... Read More

Gorilla Origins of the Last Two AIDS Virus Lineages Confirmed

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease.

"Everything about her symptoms indicated stroke: speech deficits, poor comprehension and right-sided face and arm weak... Read More

Over 900 Hookworm Genes "turn on" to wreak havoc

Tiny parasitic hookworms infect nearly half a billion people worldwide, almost exclusively in developing countries. Researchers say sequencing the genome of a particular species could help develop more effective drugs.

Other hookworm species cause more disease among humans, but Ancylostoma ce... Read More

Lab-on-paper developed for rapid, inexpensive medical diagnostics

A new paper-based platform has been created for conducting a wide range of complex medical diagnostics. The key development was the invention of fluid actuated valves embedded in the paper that allow for sequential manipulation of sample fluids and multiple reagents in a controlled manner to per... Read More

Pollution is driving force behind growth of nuisance algal scums, study finds

Potentially toxic microbes which pose a threat to our drinking water have undergone a dramatic population explosion over the last 200 years as a result of pollution, research involving experts from The University of Nottingham has found. The study, published in the journal Ecology Letters, looke... Read More

First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The existence of ultra-small bacteria has been debated for two decades, but there hasn't been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based descriptio... Read More

BacterioFiles 204 - Animalcules Assist Agave Amino Accumulation

This episode: Bacteria living in plants seem to be contributing to plants' nutrition, possibly reducing the need for fertilizer!


(17.5 MB, 19.15 minutes)


Show notes: 
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