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Contaminomics: Why Some Microbiome Studies May Be Wrong

You’ve got a group of people with a mysterious disease, and you suspect that some microbe might be responsible. You collect blood and tissue samples, you extract the DNA from them using a commonly used kit of chemicals, and you sequence the lot. Eureka! You find that every patient has the same m... Read More

Legionella outbreaks of Alcoy may have multiple sources

A genomic analysis has been carried out of Legionella pneumophila strains of 13 legionellosis outbreaks produced in Alcoy during the period from 1999 to 2010. Legionella pneumophila is a strictly environmental pathogen, an opportunistic bacterium that inhabits aquatic and soil environments, spre... Read More

New antibiotic in mushroom that grows on horse dung

Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zurich have discovered a new protein with antibiotic properties in a mushroom that grows on horse dung. Researchers are now exploring the various potential applications.

Microbiologists and molecular biologists at ETH Zurich and the Univer... Read More

Microbiome Studies Contaminated By Sequencing Supplies

Non-sterile lab reagents and DNA extraction kits add their own assortment of DNA to microbiome samples.

In this age of cheap DNA technology, scientists are sequencing every sample they can get their hands on. They've ID'd the microbes in mosquito guts, coral mucus and frog skin; in polar ice;... Read More

SA vaccine cuts bacteria to size

South Africa has shown the world that a vaccine against the strains of bacteria that can cause deadly meningitis and pneumonia in children works.

A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with world Pneumonia Day, records the country's success in reducing pne... Read More

Scientists find superbug bacteria in World War I soldier who died of dysentery

Scientists who unlocked the genetic code of bacteria grown from a soldier who died of dysentery say it revealed a superbug that was resistant to antibiotics decades before those drugs were in common use.

The discovery sheds light on the history of antibiotic resistance, which has become a glo... Read More

Altered milk protein can deliver AIDS drug to infants

A novel method of altering a protein in milk to bind with an antiretroviral drug promises to greatly improve treatment for infants and young children suffering from HIV/AIDS, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

That's critical because an estimated 3.4 m... Read More

Typhoid gene unravelled

People who carry a particular type of gene have natural resistance against typhoid fever according to new research published in Nature Genetics.

Lead researcher, Dr Sarah Dunstan from the Nossal Institute of Global Health at the University of Melbourne said the study is the first large-scale,... Read More

Gut–brain link grabs neuroscientists

Companies selling ‘probiotic’ foods have long claimed that cultivating the right gut bacteria can benefit mental well-being, but neuroscientists have generally been sceptical. Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to the gut’s microbial residents, known as t... Read More

"Bioleaching" bugs present viable mining method

Salt and acid-tolerant bacteria with the potential to be used in mining processing have been uncovered in the Wheatbelt.

The bugs were found during a "bio-prospecting" survey near Merredin and are likely to become more important in WA in coming decades as high-grade ore runs out.
CSIRO envir... Read More

New drug could make vaccines more effective in the elderly

Oxford University scientists have developed a new method of boosting the ageing immune system using a naturally occurring chemical compound.

Early tests in mice carried out by the research team have shown that the compound restores the immune system's inbuilt 'memory', enabling the body to mo... Read More

Our wine owes a debt to ancient viruses

Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-milion-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes.

A team of UQ-led plant scientists has discovered that the Pinot Noir grape variety owes a significant part of its genetic heritage to ancient plan... Read More

Pre-symptomatic markers for hemorrhagic viruses like Ebola identified

It is possible to distinguish between different hemorrhagic fevers, including Marburg (Ebola cousin) and Lassa before the person becomes symptomatic, new research has found. This study will allow for the development of better diagnostics, especially during the early stages of disease, when treat... Read More

Biochemistry detective work: algae at night

Photosynthesis is probably the most well-known aspect of plant biochemistry. It enables plants, algae, and select bacteria to transform the energy from sunlight during the daytime into chemical energy in the form of sugars and starches (as well as oils and proteins), and it involves taking in ca... Read More

BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons

This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!


(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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Line dancing bacteria on a chip (w/ Video)

By changing the direction of a magnetic field, so-called magneto-tactic bacteria are able to make a full U-turn. They can be taught line dancing in this way, inside the tiny micro channels of a lab on a chip. Magnetically steered objects will be capable of delivering medication, for example. Sci... Read More

The Ancient Art Of Cheese-Making Attracts Scientific Gawkers

From Swiss to cheddar, cheeses depend on the action of microbes for their flavor and aroma. But it's far from clear how these teams of microbes work together to ripen cheese.

To a cheese-maker, that's just the beauty of the art. To a scientist, it sounds like an experiment waiting to happen.
... Read More

This Device Diagnoses Hundreds of Diseases Using a Single Drop of Blood

The digital health revolution is still stuck.

Tech giants are jumping into the fray with fitness offerings like Apple Health and Google Fit, but there’s still not much in the way of, well, actual medicine. The Fitbits and Jawbones of the world measure users’ steps and heart rate, but they don... Read More

Quest for hepatitis B treatment wins Emerging Researcher Award

Walter and Eliza Hall Institute researcher Dr Greg Ebert has won the Bupa Health Foundation Emerging Health Researcher Award 2014 for his work on developing a new therapy for chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) infection.

Chronic hepatitis B is a viral liver disease that affects 230,000 Australia... Read More

For enterics, adaptability could be an Achilles heel

In research published in Nature Chemical Biology, scientists from RIKEN in Japan have discovered a surprisingly simple mechanism through which enterics can adjust to the very different oxygen environments inside the human gut and outside. This research, which was led by Shigeyuki Yokoyama and Wa... Read More
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