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Cradle Turns Smartphone Into Handheld Biosensor

Researchers and physicians in the field could soon run on-the-spot tests for environmental toxins, medical diagnostics, food safety and more with their smartphones.

University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign researchers have developed a cradle and app for the iPhone that uses the phone's buil... Read More

Metagenomic assembly gives hints about aquatic Spartobacteria

It's a question we ask about many recently discovered bacteria: What, exactly, do the Verrucomicrobial do in the environment? Since their discovery, representatives of the phylum Verrucomicrobia have been detected in soil and aquatic environments around the world, but we have very few existing i... Read More

Salmonella uses protective switch during infection

For the first time, researchers have found a particular kind of molecular switch in the food poisoning bacteria Salmonella Typhimurium under infection-like conditions. This switch, using a process called S-thiolation, appears to be used by the bacteria to respond to changes in the environment du... Read More

All in one shot (press release)

A sugar polymer found on the cell surface of multiple pathogens could be key to developing a broad-spectrum vaccine. Developing new vaccines to protect against diseases that plague humans is fraught with numerous challenges—one being that microbes tend to vary how they look on the surface to avo... Read More

Research shows copper destroys norovirus

New research from the University of Southampton shows that copper and copper alloys will rapidly destroy norovirus – the highly-infectious sickness bug. The virus can be contracted from contaminated food or water, person-to-person contact, and contact with contaminated surfaces, meaning surfaces... Read More

Mapping the Great Indoors

On a sunny Wednesday, with a faint haze hanging over the Rockies, Noah Fierer eyed the field site from the back of his colleague’s Ford Explorer. Two blocks east of a strip mall in Longmont, one of the world’s last underexplored ecosystems had come into view: a sandstone-colored ranch house, cod... Read More

Changing Gut Bacteria Through Diet Affects Brain Function

UCLA researchers now have the first evidence that bacteria ingested in food can affect brain function in humans. In an early proof-of-concept study of healthy women, they found that women who regularly consumed beneficial bacteria known as probiotics through yogurt showed altered brain function,... Read More

Rogue Queens, Sex-Changing Fish, and Rain-Making Bacteria: Nature’s Weirdest Life Cycles

The word 'unnatural' is often used to describe what's considered weird or unusual. But is anything weirder than nature?

Just look at 17-year cicadas, poised to flood the U.S. East Coast after having stayed underground since Bill Clinton was President. And cicadas are just the start: Biology a... Read More

New one-step process for designer bacteria

A simpler and faster way of producing designer bacteria used in biotechnology processes has been developed by University of Adelaide researchers.

The researchers have developed a new one-step bacterial genetic engineering process called ‘clonetegration’, published in the journal ACS Synthetic... Read More

Biology of UAE deserts an untapped fountain of wealth

(op-ed piece from a scientist in the United Arab Emerates)

When we think of vibrant biodiversity, the Amazonian jungles, the American Great Plains and the vast oceans come to mind.

And for good reason. They are a prime source of pharmaceuticals, nutritionals and biomass for energy products... Read More

Max Perutz 1914-2002: 'the godfather of molecular biology' - video

Scientists who worked with the Nobel prize-winning pioneer discuss his legacy alongside footage and previously unseen interviews. Max Perutz, the Austrian-born British molecular biologist, founded the MRC Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) at Cambridge University in the postwar years where he... Read More

Opportunity discovers clays favorable to martian biology and sets sail for motherlode of new clues

Now nearly a decade into her planned 3 month only expedition to Mars, NASA's longest living rover Opportunity, struck gold and has just discovered the strongest evidence to date for an environment favorable to ancient Martian biology – and she has set sail hunting for a motherlode of new clues a... Read More

Study Sheds Light Into How Green Algae Engulfed Bacteria Billions Of Years Ago

A team of researchers has captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than one billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells.

This acquisition is thought to have been a critical first step in the evolution of ... Read More

Saudis say Dutch patent on MERS virus hampers research

The normally civil world of international health diplomacy was shattered yesterday, when Saudi Arabia complained that a patent taken out by Dutch scientists who isolated the Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) virus was impeding Saudi efforts to track the virus within its own borders.

... Read More

TWiV 234: Live in Denver



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler Read More

Vitamin C Can Kill Drug-Resistant TB Bacteria

Vitamin C can kill drug-resistant tuberculosis (TB) bacteria in laboratory culture, according to a new, surprising discovery by experts at Albert Einstein College of Medicine of Yeshiva University. The research, published in Nature Communications, indicates that adding vitamin C to existing TB d... Read More

Radioactive Bacteria Dramatically Reduce Spread Of Pancreatic Cancer In Mice

Using bacteria to ferry radioisotopes commonly used in cancer therapy directly into pancreatic cancer cells in mice, researchers in the US were able dramatically to reduce the number of secondary tumors that arise when the cancer spreads to other parts of the body (metastases).

Claudia Gravek... Read More

Friendly Viruses Protect Us Against Bacteria

Bacteria can be friends and foes—causing infection and disease, but also helping us slim down and even combating acne. Now, a new study reveals that viruses have a dual nature as well. For the first time, researchers have shown that they can help our bodies fight off invading microbes.

"This ... Read More

Scientists Offer First Definitive Proof of Bacteria-Feeding Behavior in Green Algae

A team of researchers has captured images of green alga consuming bacteria, offering a glimpse at how early organisms dating back more than 1 billion years may have acquired free-living photosynthetic cells. This acquisition is thought to have been a critical first step in the evolution of photo... Read More

WHO Is Helping Saudi Arabia Investigate SARS-Like Virus Before Haj

The World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Friday that it would help Saudi Arabia dig deeper into deadly outbreaks of a new SARS-like virus to draw up advice ahead of the annual haj pilgrimage, which attracts millions of Muslims.

The U.N. agency, which is not currently recommending any restr... Read More

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