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TWiV 303: Borna this way

The TWiV team discusses transmission of Ebola virus, and inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by viral DNA in the ground squirrel genome.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

HIV Lessons from the Mississippi Baby

The news in July that HIV had returned in a Mississippi toddler after a two-year treatment-free remission dashed the hopes of clinicians, HIV researchers and the public at large tantalized by the possibility of a cure.

But a new commentary by two leading HIV experts at Johns Hopkins argues th... Read More

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

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

Motorcycling to Ebola Treatment Could Spread the Infection

Ambulances are scarce in areas of west Africa roiled by the Ebola outbreak, so when ill patients and their families need to go to the clinic they often turn to the next best thing—a motorcycle taxi. An ill passenger will wrap her arms around the driver’s waist and away they will go—sometimes dri... 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

Dandruff-Causing Skin Fungi Discovered Unexpectedly in Deep Sea Vents, Antarctica

Until relatively recently, the fungus Malassezia was thought to have one favorite home: us. As the dominant fungus on human skin and sometimes-cause of dandruff, the yeast Malassezia was thought to live a simple if sometimes irritating domestic existence humbly mooching off the oils we exude.

... 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

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

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

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

Creative Classroom: The ticks ‘come marching in’ in singing professor’s microbiology class

At the end of a recent “Medical Microbiology” class taught by Dr. Sheldon Campbell, students clapped, cheered heartily, and stomped their feet on the floor. A couple of them even shouted “Encore!”

It’s not quite the reaction one would expect from medical students who just spent 45 minutes lea... Read More

Giving Chickens Bacteria ... To Keep Them Antibiotic-Free

You know those foods and pills that promise to supply your body with "good bacteria?"

They may or may not make you healthier, but some of these "probiotics" do, in fact, appear to be effective in chickens. Poultry companies are turning to probiotics as an alternative to antibiotics, which hav... 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

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

New Tracking Technologies Aim to Prevent Sloppy Handling at U.S. Biolabs

Two months after safety breaches at federal labs first set off a public furor, top health officials are auditioning new checks on worker safety including specialized time-lapse cameras and digital worksheets to track crucial steps such as bacterium inactivation. The goal: to prevent future debac... Read More

Termites evolved complex bioreactors 30 million years ago

Achieving complete breakdown of plant biomass for energy conversion in industrialized bioreactors remains a complex challenge, but new research shows that termite fungus farmers solved this problem more than 30 million years ago. The new insight reveals that the great success of termite farmers ... Read More

How NASA's Microbe Detection Technology Speed Up Tissue Transplants

What do the Curiosity rover and a bone allograft have in common? They both have got to be super duper clean.

That’s why AlloSource, a Colorado-based nonprofit that specializes in human tissue donation, has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to make... Read More

Researchers develop new DNA sequencing method to diagnose tuberculosis

Researchers working in the UK and The Gambia, have developed a new approach to the diagnosis of tuberculosis (TB) that relies on direct sequencing of DNA extracted from sputum (a technique called metagenomics) to detect and characterize the bacteria that cause TB without the need for time-consum... Read More

Research predicts possible 6,800 new Ebola cases this month

New research published in the online journal PLoS Outbreaks predicts new Ebola cases could reach 6,800 in West Africa by the end of the month if new control measures are not enacted.

Arizona State University and Harvard University researchers also discovered through modelling analysis that th... Read More
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