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"Never Really Alone" with Seth Bordenstein (Including Current News!)

This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More

Biologist investigates how gene-swapping bacteria evade antibiotics

A scientific peek into bacteria boudoirs is revealing how "sex" among disease-causing microbes can lead different species or strains to become resistant to antibiotic medications. Read More

How long have primates been infected with viruses related to HIV?

Disease-causing viruses engage their hosts in ongoing arms races: positive selection for antiviral genes increases host fitness and survival, and viruses in turn select for mutations that counteract the antiviral host factors. Studying such adaptive mutations can provide insights into the distan... Read More

A new virus in liver cancer

More than a cause of a simple infection, viruses are often involved in the development of serious diseases. Such is the case with liver cancer, which often develops in an organ that has been weakened by hepatitis B or C virus. Researchers at Inserm, the Paris Public Hospitals (AP-HP), Paris Desc... Read More

In very ill, probiotics don't prevent 'superbugs' from colonizing intestinal tract

Compared with routine medical care, probiotics administered to critically ill patients in intensive care units showed no benefit in preventing the colonization of drug-resistant microbes in the intestinal tract, according to new research at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. Read More

New Compound for Alcoholism Treatment

BOC Sciences-A new beta-carboline compound shows great potential for alcoholism treatment. At present, no side effects caused by the new compound have been found in the trials on rats. The compound was developed by research team from Wisconsin in Milwaukee, US. With further successful tests and ... Read More

NIH-funded study establishes genomic data set on Lassa virus

An international team of researchers has developed the largest genomic data set in the world on Lassa virus (LASV). The new genomic catalog contains nearly 200 viral genomes collected from patient samples in Sierra Leone and Nigeria, as well as field samples from the major animal reservoir, or h... Read More

Study: Breastfeeding could reduce common infections among Indigenous infants

TORONTO, Aug. 17, 2015--Promoting breastfeeding could lead to a substantial reduction in common infections and even deaths that are more common in Indigenous infants than non-Indigenous infants, a new study suggests. Read More

Chestnut leaves yield extract that disarms deadly staph bacteria

Leaves of the European chestnut tree contain ingredients with the power to disarm dangerous staph bacteria without boosting its drug resistance, scientists have found. Read More

$7 million grant aids efforts to eliminate neglected tropical diseases

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have received a $7 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation aimed at eliminating river blindness and elephantiasis, two neglected tropical diseases that annually sicken millions. Read More

TSRI & Janssen study makes major advance toward more effective, long-lasting flu vaccine

LA JOLLA, CA - August 24, 2015 - Scientists from The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) and the Janssen Pharmaceutical Companies of Johnson & Johnson (Janssen) have found a way to induce antibodies to fight a wide range of influenza subtypes--work that could one day eliminate the need for repeate... Read More

Unlikely Element Turns up in Enzyme; Commercial Renewable Fuels Might Ultimately Result

Washington, DC – August 14, 2015 - Tungsten is exceptionally rare in biological systems. Thus, it came as a huge surprise to Michael Adams, PhD., and his collaborators when they discovered it in what appeared to be a novel enzyme in the hot spring-inhabiting bacterium, Caldicellulosiruptor besci... Read More

Paper-based test can quickly diagnose Ebola in remote areas (video)

BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2015 -- When a fever strikes in a developing area, the immediate concern may be: Is it the common flu or something much worse that requires quarantine? To facilitate diagnosis in remote, low-resource settings, researchers have developed a paper-based device that changes color, d... Read More

HIV testing among older adults is declining, despite CDC recommendation

Researchers led by the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health examined HIV testing trends among adults ages 50 through 64 both before and after 2006, when the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that most doctors automatically screen all patients for HIV regardless of whe... Read More

HIV particles do not cause AIDS, our own immune cells do

Researchers from the Gladstone Institutes have revealed that HIV does not cause AIDS by the virus's direct effect on the host's immune cells, but rather through the cells' lethal influence on one another. Read More

Oysters harbor, transmit human norovirus: Avoid raw ones

Washington DC - August 28, 2015 - Oysters not only transmit human norovirus; they also serve as a major reservoir for these pathogens, according to research published August 28 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. "More than 80 percent of... Read More

BacterioFiles 227 - Microbe Menaces Meningitis

This episode: Colonizing ourselves with friendly bacteria could drive out more risky ones, such as those that cause meningitis!


(9.8 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Infection with multiple HIV-1 variants leads to poorer clinical outcomes

HIV-1 infection with multiple founder variants points to poorer clinical outcomes than infection with a single variant, according to a paper published today in the journal Nature Medicine. Read More

Portraits of Microbiologists Using Luminous Bacteria as "Paint."

My wife Jennifer Quinn​ hits it out the park: a portrait of Kenneth Nealson​ and the late Woody Hastings "painted" with luminous bacteria, giving them props for the early days of quorum sensing---where the basic principles were first uncovered in bioluminescent microbes. This principle of "aut... Read More

TWiV 352: Science art with Michele Banks

Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guest: Michele Banks


Vincent meets up with Michele Banks in Wash... Read More

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