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Terminal Proteins: Crossing the Border

A variety of Bacteria, Archaea, and mobile genetic elements replicate their DNA as a linear chromosome using terminal proteins (TPs) to prime DNA synthesis, thus solving their end replication problem. As described in an earlier post, phage φ29 uses its TPs to also organize the sites of DNA repli... Read More

BacterioFiles 194 - Squirrel Sequence Stops Similar Sickness

This episode: Remnants of viral infection left behind in squirrels' genome may protect them from incoming viruses!


(9.3 MB, 10.1 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jou... Read More

TWiV 314: Einstein goes viral

Vincent travels to Albert Einstein College of Medicine where he speaks with Kartik, Ganjam, and Margaret about their work on Ebolavirus entry, a tumor suppressor that binds the HIV-1 integrase, and the entry of togaviruses and flaviviruses into cells.


Host:  Read More

Is HIV Evolving Into A Weaker Virus?

Viruses are masters at mutating.

So the big concern with deadly viruses, like Ebola and hepatitis C, is that they will evolve into more dangerous forms over time.

It looks like just the opposite is happening with HIV — although it's happening slowly.

"HIV can generate any mutation in th... Read More

Resistance and Futility

Scientists reveal how penicillin deals bacteria a devastating blow – work that may lead to new antibiotics.

Penicillin, the wonder drug discovered in 1928, works in ways that are still mysterious almost a century later. One of the oldest and most widely used antibiotics, it attacks enzymes th... Read More

‘Superbugs’ Kill India’s Babies and Pose an Overseas Threat

A deadly epidemic that could have global implications is quietly sweeping India, and among its many victims are tens of thousands of newborns dying because once-miraculous cures no longer work.

These infants are born with bacterial infections that are resistant to most known antibiotics, and ... Read More

A POISONOUS CURE

Take two poisonous mushrooms, and call me in the morning. While no doctor would ever write this prescription, toxic fungi may hold the secrets to tackling deadly diseases.

A team of Michigan State University scientists has discovered an enzyme that is the key to the lethal potency of poisonou... Read More

Pantry Pests Harbor Plastic-Chomping Bacteria

Polyethylene is one of the most popular and, unfortunately, persistent types of plastics. Bags, bottles, and packaging made from the polymer accumulate in landfills and oceans across the globe. Scientists lament that microbes can’t chew up the plastic to render it harmless. However, a new study ... Read More

CDC: Flu shot less effective this year because current virus has mutated

Scientists are concerned about what they're seeing so far this flu season, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday, a day after the agency advised doctors this year's flu vaccine is not as effective because the current strain of the virus has mutated.

Dr. ... Read More

Ebola Free-for-All Could Trigger Bad Science and Wasted Efforts

Everybody and his uncle, it seems, has an idea of something that might work to cure people infected with the deadly virus.

When it comes to treatments for Ebola, there has been a nearly four-decade-long drought. Nothing in the medical arsenal attacks the virus directly. For the most part, p... Read More

New molecules to burst malaria's bubble

Scientists have released details of a raft of new chemicals with potent anti-malarial properties which could open the way to new drugs to fight the disease.

A new paper in PNAS is the third published recently by a group at the Australian National University (ANU). The group has collaborated w... Read More

Mapping Human Disease: ‘Not All Pathogens Are Everywhere’

Researchers at North Carolina State University have for the first time mapped human disease-causing pathogens, dividing the world into a number of regions where similar diseases occur.

The findings show that the world can be separated into seven regions for vectored human diseases – diseases ... 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

Tool to edit DNA revolutionizing research in Boston area

It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.

The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More

Ebola In The Air: What Science Says About How The Virus Spreads

Here's an Ebola puzzle for you: If the virus isn't airborne, why do doctors and nurses need to wear full protective suits, with face masks, while treating patients?

After we dug through studies and talked to scientists, the answer slowly emerged.

Ebola does spread through the air. But not ... Read More

Revealed: how bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes. The rese... Read More

Wireless Electronic Implants Stop Staph, Then Harmlessly Dissolve

Researchers at Tufts University, in collaboration with a team at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana, have demonstrated a resorbable electronic implant that eliminated bacterial infection in mice by delivering heat to infected tissue when triggered by a remote wireless signal. The si... Read More

Sophisticated HIV Diagnostics Adapted for Remote Areas

Diagnosing HIV and other infectious diseases presents unique challenges in remote locations that lack electric power, refrigeration, and appropriately trained health care staff. To address these issues, researchers funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have developed a low-cost, elec... Read More

Pirate viruses caught in their own trap?

In order to infect a host cell and proliferate, some viruses, such as the hepatitis C virus, infiltrate the ribosomes, the molecular machines that assemble the proteins present in each of our cells. Viral proteins are thus produced to the detriment of cellular proteins. A group of scientists in ... Read More

World AIDS Day: The History of a Virus in 7 Stories

Dec. 1 has been World AIDS Day since 1988 — but though the awareness and activism around the diseases has changed drastically during the years between then and now.

To see just how much our understanding and attitudes have evolved, take a look back at TIME’s coverage of AIDS through these sev... Read More
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