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Of Terms in Biology: Metagenomic Binning

Summer's almost gone. Imagine you're strolling along the shores of a lake enjoying nature's colors during sunset. Sparkle catches your eyes where the lake languidly laps against the shore. You start pondering whether microbes — and if so which ones, and how many different — cause these glistenin... Read More

How evolutionary principles could help save our world

The age of the Anthropocene--the scientific name given to our current geologic age--is dominated by human impacts on our environment. A warming climate. Increased resistance of pathogens and pests. A swelling population. Coping with these modern global challenges requires application of what one... Read More

An outbreak of enterovirus 68

During the winter of 1962 in California, a new virus was isolated from the oropharynx of 4 children who had been hospitalized with respiratory disease that included pneumonia and bronchiolitis. On the basis of its physical, chemical, and biological properties, the virus was classified as an ente... Read More

TWiM #87: Avogadro, archaeal fossils, and ICAAC

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

Strategic Self-Sabotage? MRSA Inhibits Its Own Growth

Scientists at the University of Western Ontario have uncovered a bacterial mystery. Against all logic, the most predominant strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) in North American produces an enzyme that degrades skin secretions into compounds that are toxic to itself. Th... Read More

Synthetic Fabrics Host More Stench-Producing Bacteria (podcast)

Micrococcus bacteria thrive on the open-air lattice of synthetic fibers--where they sit chomping on the fatty acids in our sweat, turning them into shorter, stinkier molecules. Christopher Intagliata reports.

Click "source" to listen to podcast. Read More

Catching Up, Part I: Meeting with Former Research Students at ASM in Boston in May.

In this post, I meet up with six of my former undergraduate students at the General Meeting of the American Society of Microbiology in Boston last May. We had a great dinner where we could catch up on challenges and cheer each other on. I am very proud of the great students in this post, who a... Read More

Cancer Survivor Saved by Measles Virus Raises Funds for Expanded Trial

After battling blood cancer for 10 years, Stacy Erholtz has no signs of the disease, thanks to an experimental treatment that used an engineered version of the measles virus.

Now, a year after finishing her treatment, the 50-year-old mother of three is transitioning from patient to advocate, ... Read More

Fighting Poisons With Bacteria - Going Inside the Rice Microbiome

When Harsh Bais grows rice plants in trays of water in his greenhouse at the University of Delaware, he can easily spot the ones that have been exposed to arsenic: They are stunted, with shorter stems and shrunken, yellow-tinged leaves.

Dr. Bais is working to develop rice plants that take up ... Read More

Avian influenza virus isolated in harbor seals poses a threat to humans

A study led by St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists found the avian influenza A H3N8 virus that killed harbor seals along the New England coast can spread through respiratory droplets and poses a threat to humans. The research appears in the current issue of the scientific journal Na... Read More

Enterovirus D68 sickens more than a dozen in New York

More than a dozen cases of Enterovirus D68 have been confirmed in New York state, according to officials.

"EV-D68 is causing cases of severe respiratory illness ... sometimes resulting in hospitalization, especially among children with asthma," the NYS Department of Health said in a statement... Read More

Recruiting bacteria to be technology innovation partners

For most people biofilms conjure up images of slippery stones in a streambed and dirty drains. While there are plenty of "bad" biofilms around – they even cause pesky dental plaque and a host of other more serious medical problems – a team at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineer... Read More

MDR Infection Risk Rises With Each Hospital Day

Extended stays in hospital appeared to increase the risk of infection with a multidrug-resistant Gram-negative pathogen, researchers said.

In a single-center study, the risk of such infection rose by 1% for every day in hospital, according to Tonya Smith, PharmD, of the University of Utah.

... Read More

What we are not afraid to say about Ebola virus

In a recent New York Times OpEd entitled What We’re Afraid to Say About Ebola, Michaeal Osterholm wonders whether Ebola virus could go airborne:

You can now get Ebola only through direct contact with bodily fluids. If certain mutations occurred, it would mean that just breathing would put one... Read More

Knowing how bacteria take out trash could lead to new antibiotics

A team of scientists has reconstructed how bacteria tightly control their growth and division, the cell cycle, by destroying specific proteins through regulated protein degradation. All organisms use controlled protein degradation to alter cell behavior in response to changing environment. A pro... Read More

One Dose of Flu Drug Shortens Fever

A single dose of an investigational influenza drug was able to reduce the duration of fever and viral shedding, researchers said here.

In a combined analysis of two randomized placebo-controlled trials, the neuraminidase inhibitor peramivir (Rapivab), given by injection within 48 hours of sym... Read More

Researchers Unlock the Genetic Code of Cancer-Causing Liver Fluke Parasite

An international team of scientists from Singapore, Thailand, China and Australia has cracked the genetic code of the liver fluke parasite, Opisthorchis viverrini, using a unique DNA analysis technique developed at A*STAR’s Genome Institute of Singapore (GIS).

GIS’s DNA analysis technique ha... Read More

Pitt-Developed Vaccine Proves Effective Against Deadly Middle East Virus

A vaccine developed by an international team of scientists led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine successfully protects mice against a contagious and deadly virus spreading across the Middle East. The vaccine is a promising candidate for immunizing camels, thought to be the sourc... Read More

Watching an Endosymbiont Becoming an Organelle?

Ah, endosymbiosis and the origin of eukaryotic cells… Wasn't this one of the grandest of all the grand events in Biology? In its ability to boggle the mind, it comes in second only to the origin of life. This, one of the most decisive events in evolution, had a unique character. Instead of new t... Read More

TWiP 77 letters

Andy writes:


Dear Professors,


I have been following TWIP for several years. I am a software engineer and parasitology is only an avocation. As an undergraduate in the early 80's I discovered my love of history of science and ecology, although I continued the p... Read More

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