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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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'Attract and kill:' Trapping malaria mosquito mums before they lay eggs

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes - a discovery which could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa's Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that... Read More

TWiV 326: Giving HIV a flat tyr

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan Dove, and  Read More

Emerging diseases likely to be more harmful in similar species

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species Read More

Gorilla Origins of the Last Two AIDS Virus Lineages Confirmed

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More

Modified E. coli spin fibres as tough as spider silk

Spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar, but efforts to spin our own have so far failed to match the real thing. Now a German research group has come up with artificial fibres that equal its toughness, which could lead to safer airbags.

His team spliced spider genes into E.... Read More

Microbial soil cleanup at Fukushima

Proteins from salt-loving, halophilic, microbes could be the key to cleaning up leaked radioactive strontium and caesium ions from the Fukushima Dai-ichi Nuclear Power Plant incident in Japan. The publication of the X-ray structure of a beta-lactamase enzyme from one such microbe, the halophile ... Read More

BacterioFiles 206 - Mollusc Maneuvers Microbe Machines to Macerate Maples

This episode: When digesting wood, shipworms outsource their microbial symbionts from gut to gills!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper<... Read More

Preparing for Ebola, but Stopping Lassa Fever

In mid-November, a W.H.O team which aimed to prepare a number of African countries for a potential Ebola outbreak ended up identifying an outbreak of the virus which causes Lassa Fever in Benin. Preventative measures designed to stem the outbreak of Ebola were used to effectively contain the v... Read More

How Quickly Would Measles Spread if Too Few People Were Vaccinated?

What would actually happen if only 80 percent of school-age children were vaccinated against the measles? It’s a scary thought that a new simulation from the University of Pittsburgh aims to visualize.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

These are the smallest bacteria ever identified

The ultra-small bacteria were discovered in groundwater. The sample was taken from Rifle, Colorado. The cells take on the appearance of tightly-coiled spirals. The bacterial cells are thought to be the smallest that a cell can be and still hold sufficient material to sustain life.

The cells h... Read More

Link identified between virus recognition, destruction in bacterial immune system

An immune system that helps bacteria combat viruses is yielding unlikely results such as the ability to edit genome sequences and potentially correct mutations that cause human disease.

University of Georgia researchers Michael and Rebecca Terns were among the first to begin to study the bact... Read More

TWiV 327: Does a gorilla shift in the woods?

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Teenager with stroke symptoms actually had Lyme disease

A Swiss teenager, recently returned home from a discotheque, came to the emergency department with classic sudden symptoms of stroke, only to be diagnosed with Lyme disease.

"Everything about her symptoms indicated stroke: speech deficits, poor comprehension and right-sided face and arm weak... Read More

Attention, All Scientists: Do Improv

Martha Furie stormed into the room and huffily sat down in a chair.

“Well, you know, I’ve been working really hard, studying Lyme disease,” she said, her voice tinged with disdain, to the woman sitting in the next chair. “It’s been a long process. It’s hard to talk about it.”

The other wom... Read More

Spherical nucleic acids set stage for new paradigm in drug development

A research team led by Northwestern University nanomedicine expert Chad A. Mirkin and Sergei Gryaznov of AuraSense Therapeutics is the first to show spherical nucleic acids (SNAs) can be used as potent drugs to effectively train the immune system to fight disease, by either boosting or dampening... Read More

Ebola survivors offer clues to body's virus defences

The human body can mobilize a strong defense against Ebola virus, suggests a study of four people with the virus who were treated in the United States last year.

A team led by immunologist Rafi Ahmed of Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia, found that the people treated at Emory between Augus... Read More

Mental Health May Depend on Creatures in the Gut

The microbiome may yield a new class of psychobiotics for the treatment of anxiety, depression and other mood disorders.The ongoing exploration of the human microbiome promises to bring the link between the gut and the brain into clearer focus. Scientists are increasingly convinced that the vast... Read More

Protection Without a Vaccine

Last month, a team of scientists announced what could prove to be an enormous step forward in the fight against H.I.V.

Scientists at Scripps Research Institute said they had developed an artificial antibody that, once in the blood, grabbed hold of the virus and inactivated it. The molecule ca... Read More

New targets for rabies prevention and treatment

Researchers have identified genes that may be involved in determining whether an individual is sensitive or resistant to rabies virus infection. Read More

TWiM 100 Letters

Matt Daugherty writes:


I just listened to the latest TWiM. Thanks for covering our horizontal gene transfer paper! It was great to hear you all talk about it and give your thoughts.


With regards to the selective pressure for retention of the Dae’s in genomes o... Read More

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