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Bacterial Respiratory Tract Colonization Prior to Catching the Flu May Protect Against Severe Illness

Many studies have shown that more severe illness and even death are likely to result if you develop a secondary respiratory infection after developing influenza. Now, however, a team of researchers based at The Wistar Institute has determined that if you reverse the order of infection, the bacte... Read More

Researchers Find New Way to Kick Out HIV From Infected Cells

The technique addresses the problem of hidden reservoirs of HIV in the body, and could herald a new way of battling the viral infection.

Once HIV invades the body, it doesn’t want to leave. Every strategy that scientists have developed or are developing so far to fight the virus – from powerf... Read More

Choosing cheese: Research identifies microbial communities in cheese

After studying 137 varieties of cheese collected in 10 different countries, researchers have been able to identify three general types of microbial communities that live on cheese, opening the door to using each as a 'model' community for the study of whether and how various microbes and fungi c... Read More

Herbivore drool defeats fungal defence

A report in Biology Letters shows that the drool of herbivores might help defeat the toxic fungal defences of the plants they graze on.

Grazing or cutting some plants induces a noxious chemical to be produced which deters hungry plant-eaters from revisiting them. The chemicals, called alkaloi... Read More

Evolutionary origins of plant/bacteria symbiosis

The symbiosis between some plant species and nitrogen-fixing nodule bacteria is one of the most relevant cooperative relationships in the world. It shapes our global vegetation and, not least, the global nitrogen and carbon cycle. The foundations for this process were probably laid in just one e... Read More

GW Researcher Unlocks Next Step in Creating HIV-1 Immunotherapy Using Fossil Virus

The road to finding a cure for HIV-1 is not without obstacles. However, thanks to cutting-edge research by Douglas Nixon, M.D., Ph.D., and colleagues, performed at the George Washington University (GW), Oregon Health & Science University, the University of Rochester, and UC San Francisco, the sc... Read More

A Possible Solution to Toilet Stink in China

Using public toilets in China can often be a challenging undertaking, particularly for those not practiced in the art of squatting. But researchers in China have come up with a new technology that they say can help eliminate one of the most noxious of problems to plague China’s public lavatories... Read More

Ebola outbreak: 25 more deaths confirmed in West Africa

Health officials in West Africa say 25 more people have died from Ebola since 3 July, taking the total number of deaths to 518.

The World Health Organization (WHO) said 50 new cases of the deadly disease had also been reported.

A WHO spokesman said health workers were struggling to contain... Read More

Study examines therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon.

Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered.

“Of course it’s hard to spec... Read More

TWiP 75 letters


David writes (re lice and iron):


All I remember that I know is that one time I let my cat endure a heavy flea infestation for an unconscionably long time. I redeemed myself, if at all, by the knowledge that I slept with her a lot, and so endured a share myself (b... Read More

U.K. Supermarket To Run On Electricity Made From Its Own Rotting Food

The joys of anaerobic digestion

One U.K. grocery store plans to power itself using biogas harvested from its own unsold, rotting produce. Yum.

A Sainsbury's store in Cannock in central England is getting access to anaerobic digesters. The store plans to use electricity solely from the dige... Read More

Molecular Computer Detects Ebola and Marburg Viruses

Material from deadly pathogens triggers alerts directly, and could speed detection. Early detection is key to slowing outbreaks of Ebola, such as the one currently spreading across west Africa that is estimated to have infected almost 1000 people, according to the latest World Health Organizatio... Read More

Microbiologics Partners with Biomatrica to Provide Biological Stabilizers for Their Line of Molecular Standards

Saint Cloud, Minnesota, USA (July 8, 2014) Microbiologics, Inc., a leading global manufacturer of ready-to-use biological controls and standards, has partnered with Biomatrica, Inc., a world leader in ambient temperature stabilization of biomaterials. Microbiologics has licensed Biomatrica’s DNA... Read More

New Gut Bacteria Finding Could Be Key To Diabetes, Antibiotic Crisis

A team of Chinese and Danish researchers has identified 500 new species of gut-residing microorganisms and 800 new bacterial viruses which could attack them. The findings could lead to promising new treatments and possibly circumvent the current crisis of antimicrobial resistance.

Using a tec... Read More

The Leader of the Smallpox Eradication Effort Speaks About the Virus’ Rediscovery

Those of us who write about infectious diseases faced a conundrum last week, when the news broke that 60-year-old vials containing viable smallpox virus had been found on the National Institutes of Health campus. A responsible reporter always wants to talk to the experts in any subject. But when... Read More

Bacterial switches in the human gut pave way for therapeutic manipulation

The microbial ecosystem in the human gut can switch from one stable state into another, without staying for a long time in between. Key groups of bacteria tend to be either nearly absent, or relatively abundant in any given individual. This discovery highlights fundamental organizing principles ... Read More

COULD MAGNETIC BACTERIA BE THE NEXT GENERATION OF MICROBOTS?

The cutting edge of robotics may not be a smarter Siri or a less-creepy humanoid Japanese robot. It might be a swarm of bacteria, compelled to do our bidding through a remotely controlled magnetic field.

Some of the biggest technological advances of the past two decades have involved scaling ... Read More

The U.S. Neglects Its Best Science Students

The U.S. education policy world—the entire country, for that matter—is on a quest to increase the ranks of future innovators in science and technology. Yet the programs that get funded in K–12 education do not support students who are already good at and in love with science. These students have... Read More

Chikun-What? A New Mosquito-Borne Virus Lands In The U.S.

Pediatrician Jennifer Halverson will never forget her 36th birthday.

The St. Paul native was volunteering at a maternity clinic in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She felt great — she went to her job that day and then out to dinner with friends.

But when she got home and went to sleep that night in... Read More

Likely origin of lung fungus invading Pacific Northwest found by study

Cryptococcus gattii, a virulent fungus that has invaded the Pacific Northwest, is highly adaptive and warrants global "public health vigilance," according to a study by an international team of researchers. C. gattii, which likely originated in Brazil, is responsible for dozens of deaths in rece... Read More
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