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Shifting evolution into reverse promises cheaper, greener way to make new drugs

By shifting evolution into reverse, it may be possible to use “green chemistry” to make a number of costly synthetic drugs as easily and cheaply as brewing beer. Normally, both evolution and synthetic chemistry proceed from the simple to the complex. Small molecules are combined and modified to ... Read More

Probiotics not for colic? A response

This week a study published in the British Medical Journal, and reported in the Daily Mail, has reported that a strain of bacteria known as Lactobacillus reuteri DSM 17938 is not effective in helping to reduce symptoms of colic in babies.

However here we examine the nature of the study, and i... Read More

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope

The Foldscope is a fully functional microscope that can be laser- or die-cut out of paper for around 50 cents.

This bookmark-sized microscope can be assembled in minutes, includes no mechanical moving parts, packs in a flat configuration, is extremely rugged and can be incinerated after to s... Read More

TWiM 76 Letters

Geoffrey writes:


Doctors:

I just got around to listening to episode 12 “Photothermal Nanoblades and Genome Engineering”. Your comment that it would need to be scaled up before it was practical for some of you to use intrigued me. I did a quick Google sear... Read More

Antibiotics Have Turned Our Bodies From Gardens Into Battlefields

We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis, and it doesn’t involve Siberian tigers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine says that many species of germs are disappearing from our bodies—and that’s a problem. In his new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of ... Read More

The sorceress’s apprentice

ANYONE who walks in the woods will be familiar with witches’ brooms (pictured). Many trees sport these bushy tumours, which have a variety of causes. An important one is a group of bacteria called phytoplasma that are, in turn, carried from plant to plant by sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppe... Read More

TWiP 70 letters


Robin writes:


Cysticercosis.


While it is true that Taenia saginata tends to be benign as helminthic infestations go in humans, the same cannot be said for Taenia solium.


In both cases, ingestion of (encysted) larvae leads to enteric infestation wi... Read More

Avoid Getting Sick: Top 8 Germiest Public Places Exposed

Worried about you or your kids picking up the flu virus or other common illnesses at school, in restrooms or at the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on the surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places and give you expert tips to avoid g... Read More

Interview of Dr. Tim Sandle

Q) Dr. Tim Sandle, the well known researcher, professor, author and science communicator. It is much interesting for me to take an interview of an eminent person who is well known for the communicating science. Starting from your early childhood life, how you used to take science as that time?
... Read More

Researchers Discover Possible New Target To Attack Flu Virus

Scientists at The University of Texas at Austin have discovered that a protein produced by the influenza A virus helps it outwit one of our body's natural defense mechanisms. That makes the protein a potentially good target for antiviral drugs directed against the influenza A virus.

Better an... Read More

TWiV 280: Post viral



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

NASA To Study If Space Travel Makes Twins Biologically Different

The world’s only twin astronauts will take center stage in an upcoming NASA experiment that will analyze whether or not identical siblings remain the same biologically if one travels to outer space while the other remains on Earth.

According to the US space agency, astronaut Scott Kelly will ... Read More

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More

Retroviruses R us

About eight percent of human DNA is viral – remnants of ancestral infections with retroviruses. These endogenous retroviral sequences do not produce infectious viruses, and most are considered to be junk DNA. But some of them provide important functions. The protein called syncytin, which is ess... Read More

A Non-Coding RNA Promotes Bacterial Persistence and Decreases Virulence by Regulating a Regulator in Staphylococcus aureus

Staphylococcus aureus is a commensal and an opportunistic pathogen that causes a large range of community and hospital-acquired infections. The bacteria produce an array of virulence factors, the expression of which is regulated by a set of regulators including proteins and RNAs. In recent years... Read More

Comeback of an abandoned antibiotic

Trimethoprim is more effective against streptococci than expected. Scarlet fever and infections of the skin and throat are often caused by a bacterium called Streptococcus pyogenes. In less-developed countries, inexpensive and well-tolerated antibiotics for therapy are often not available. Scien... Read More

Pet cats infect two people with TB

Two people in England have developed tuberculosis after contact with a domestic cat, Public Health England has announced.

The two human cases are linked to nine cases of Mycobacterium bovis infection in cats in Berkshire and Hampshire last year.

Both people were responding to treatment, PH... Read More

Tiny Lens Attachment Turns Smartphones Into Microscopes

We’ve seen mobile phone lens attachments and hacks that help you to take macro photos with your smartphone, but never before have we seen one that helps capture micro images.

It attaches to any smartphone or tablet via an adhesive backing and — using the slides provided in combination with a ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 162 - Desert Dwellers Densify Dunes

This episode: Spraying cyanobacteria could turn deserts into useful land!


(9.3 MB, 10.13 minutes)


Show notes: 
Ne... Read More

Brighter future for bacteria detection

Ever wonder why fruits and vegetables sometimes hit the shelves contaminated by pathogenic bacteria such as listeria, E. coli, and salmonella? According to Tim Lu, an assistant professor of electrical engineering and biological engineering at MIT, it boils down to the inefficient bacteria-detect... Read More

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