Disappointed federal officials today announced that the “Mississippi baby,” thought to have been cured of HIV with an aggressive treatment regimen, now has detectable levels of virus. The sad news, upsetting for the family of the 46-month-old girl, also dashed the hopes of clinicians who believe... Read More
The Human Microbiome Project (HMP) is a global initiative to identify and characterize the microorganisms present at multiple sites in the human body. An international team of researchers reports on new ways to harness the results of the HMP and discusses how changes in the microbiome might affe... Read More
This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm!
(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)
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
The drought that has the entire country in its grip is affecting more than the color of people’s lawns. It may also be responsible for the proliferation of a heat-loving amoeba commonly found in warm freshwater bodies, such as lakes, rivers and hot springs, which the drought has made warmer than... Read More
Accelerated progress against the global burden of HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis (TB) has been made since 2000 when governments worldwide adopted Millennium Development Goal 6 to combat HIV/AIDS, malaria, and TB. New estimates from a major new analysis show that worldwide, the number of people l... Read More
Cancer has left its 'footprint' on our evolution, according to a study which examined how the relics of ancient viruses are preserved in the genomes of 38 mammal species.
Viral relics are evidence of the ancient battles our genes have fought against infection. Occasionally the retroviruses th... Read More
The journal Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde u. Infektionskrankheiten was one of the leading publication in the early days of Microbiology. Many of the great discoveries of microbial pathogens were published therein. An example is the 1898 Japanese microbiologist Kiyoshi Shiga acco... Read More
This episode: Algae-killing bacteria could help improve biofuel recovery processes!
(11 MB, 12 minutes)
Imagine you were forced to live in perpetually subzero temperatures, with no oxygen, no light, and way more salt than your system could handle. How would you manage? One way might be to get extremely small. At least, that seems to be what’s happening in a frozen Antarctic lake that’s cut off fro... Read More
George Washington had a collection of 476 kinds of pickles. To prevent scurvy, Christopher Columbus stocked pickles on the Niña, Pinta, and Santa Maria. Julius Caesar, believing pickles to be invigorating, added them to the Roman legions' diet. In 5000 BCE, the Babylonians were known for picklin... Read More
The most detailed analysis to date of the spread of the H1N1 2009 pandemic influenza virus, known informally as ‘swine flu’, has found that short-range travel was likely the primary driver for the 2009 pandemic in the United States, in contrast with popularly accepted views on the way diseases s... Read More
Could a fist bump be a cleaner, better way for people to greet each other, especially in germy hospitals? British researchers have done an experiment that seems to say yes.
They tested just how many bacteria are transferred hand to hand during a handshake, a high-five and a fist bump. Handsha... Read More
Researchers at Bigelow Laboratory for Ocean Sciences dug into the last 70 years of peer-reviewed publications about protozoan parasites that infest bivalve mollusks and found that when an organism can be cultured in the laboratory, more papers and greater understanding result. Senior Research S... Read More
The TWiVome discusses an miRNA based strategy to mitigate risk of gain of function studies, and identification of a second receptor required for Lassa virus entry.
When most people look at soil, they just see dirt. When I look at soil, I see billions of microorganisms crawling atop one another, consuming the dead in a feasting frenzy that stops for nothing save a deep freeze. I see microbes and their enzymes, the digestive juices that break down, transform... Read More
SDSU virologists and biologists have identified a highly abundant, never-before-described virus that could play a major role in obesity, diabetes.
Odds are, there’s a virus living inside your gut that has gone undetected by scientists for decades. A new study led by researchers at San Diego S... Read More
A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More
MIT study finds ocean bacteria follow predictable patterns of daily activity.
We are all creatures of habit, and a new MIT study finds ocean bacteria are no exception.
In a paper published this week in Science, researchers from MIT and elsewhere report that microbes in the open ocean follo... Read More
Nearly 40 years ago, a young Belgian scientist travelled to a remote part of the Congolese rainforest - his task was to help find out why so many people were dying from an unknown and terrifying disease.
In September 1976, a package containing a shiny, blue thermos flask arrived at the Instit... Read More