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New China bird flu a reminder of mutant virus risk

The death of a woman in China from a strain of bird flu previously unknown in humans is a reminder of the ever-present potential pandemic threat from mutating animal viruses, scientists said on Wednesday.

The new strain, called H10N8, has so far infected only two people - a fatal case in a 73... Read More

Bacterial fibers critical to human, avian infection

Escherichia coli – a friendly and ubiquitous bacterial resident in the guts of humans and other animals – may occasionally colonize regions outside the intestines. There, it can have serious consequences for health, some of them lethal.

In a new study conducted in assistant professor Melha M... Read More

Pictures Considered #13. How Many Things Can Be Illustrated In One Picture?

This transmission EM of a thin section of a T2 phage infecting an E. coli cell was produced by Lee Simon in the late 1960’s. It is noteworthy for depicting a remarkably large number of properties of the phage and of the infection process. Can you figure out how many such characteristics are illu... Read More

Appearance of lyme disease rash can help predict how bacteria spreads through body

Lyme disease is often evident by a rash on the skin, but infections do not always produce similar rashes. This can make it difficult to detect the disease early, when antibiotic treatment is most effective. Researchers describe a new mathematical model that captures the interactions between dise... Read More

Scientists create potential vaccine ingredient for childhood respiratory disease (RSV)

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have invented a new method for designing artificial proteins, and have used it to make key ingredients for a candidate vaccine against a dangerous virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), a significant cause of infant mortality. The virus has ... Read More

When cats bite: One in three patients bitten in hand hospitalized, infections common

Dogs aren’t the only pets who sometimes bite the hands that feed them. Cats do too, and when they strike a hand, can inject bacteria deep into joints and tissue, perfect breeding grounds for infection. Cat bites to the hand are so dangerous, one in three patients with such wounds had to be hospi... Read More

Beijing smog contains witches' brew of microbes

Metagenomic survey reveals traces of pathogens and allergens in the city’s air. For people racked by the dreaded ‘Beijing cough’, it is all too clear that particles in the city’s thick smogs pose a public-health problem. But much less clear is the impact — or even the identity — of the microbes ... Read More

Science teaching goes viral: Alternative course increases undergraduate retention

An alternative approach to the traditional introductory laboratory course at the undergraduate level significantly increases student retention rates, according to research published in mBio, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

In 2012, the President's Coun... Read More

Study Finds Cervicovaginal Microbiota Different in Women Destined to Have Preterm Birth

In a study to be presented on Feb. 6 at 3:15 p.m. CST, at the Society for Maternal-Fetal Medicine’s annual meeting, The Pregnancy Meeting ™, in New Orleans, researchers will report that cervicovaginal (CV) microbiota differs in the late second and early third trimester in women destined to have ... Read More

Growing bricks (with bacteria), not another brick in the wall: Ginger Krieg Dosier at TEDxWWF (video)

Imagine a world where bricks are grown instead of fired: this is the world architect-turn-scientist Ginger Krieg Dosier lives every day. Ginger strives to create an alternate building block that will craft a more sustainable future for the construction industry and in turn help to lower the worl... Read More

A Detailed Look at HIV in Action

The human intestinal tract, or gut, is best known for its role in digestion. But this collection of organs also plays a prominent role in the immune system. In fact, it is one of the first parts of the body that is attacked in the early stages of an HIV infection. Knowing how the virus infects c... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 153 - Social Swarmers Synchronize Cell Systems

This episode: Bacteria that swarm in the soil cooperate or compete based on one particular protein structure!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Trick that aids viral infection is identified

Scientists have identified a way some viruses protect themselves from the immune system’s efforts to stop infections, a finding that may make new approaches to treating viral infections possible.

Viruses have well-known strategies for slipping past the immune system. These include faking or s... Read More

Components in C. diff identified that may lead to better treatment

Researchers have identified components in Clostridium difficile (C. diff) that may lead to new diagnostic tools, and ultimately more timely and effective treatment for this often fatal infection. C. diff is a spore-forming bacterium that causes severe diarrhea and is responsible for 14,000 death... Read More

A quicker, cheaper way to detect staph in the body

Probe identifies staph bacteria without need for biopsies. Chances are you won’t know you’ve got a staph infection until the test results come in, days after the symptoms first appear. But what if your physician could identify the infection much more quickly and without having to take a biopsy a... Read More

Adhering To The 'Replicon Model' The Sloppy Way

Sixty years ago Jacob, Brenner and Cuzin devised their 'Replicon Model', inspiring and useful guideline for replication research ever since. According to the model, a 'Replicon' is a genetic element replicated from a single 'Replicator'—replication origin, in modern terms—and replication is trig... Read More

CU-Boulder researchers sequence world’s first butterfly bacteria, find surprises

For the first time ever, a team led by the University of Colorado Boulder has sequenced the internal bacterial makeup of the three major life stages of a butterfly species, a project that showed some surprising events occur during metamorphosis.

The team, led by CU-Boulder doctoral student To... Read More

Bricks Grown From Bacteria

A unique biotechnology start-up company have developed a method of growing bricks from nothing more than bacteria and naturally abundant materials. Having recently won first place in the Cradle to Cradle Product Innovation Challenge, bioMason has developed a method of growing materials by employ... Read More

Bespoke microbiome therapy to manage plant diseases

In this paper we describe the perspective of following the achievements in medicine, where gut microbiome transplants are proving to be a powerful method to overcome several gastrointestinal disorders and many other physiological problems, to possible solve diseases in plants. There is strong si... Read More

Using Wordcloud-Reponses to Discover How Students Perceive Concepts in the Classroom

In this blog, I share some "first word that comes to mind" responses of my freshman biology class to the words "germ," "bacteria," "cell," and "DNA." The way that we perceive an idea or concept definitely impacts our relationship with it. Thus, finding out what students think, coming into our ... Read More
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