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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Multiple protocol breaches behind anthrax exposure at U.S. federal labs

The safety breach at a government lab that may have exposed 84 workers to live anthrax centered on a pivotal lapse in procedure: researchers working with the bacteria waited 24 hours to be sure they had killed the pathogens, half the time required by a new scientific protocol.

The lab designe... Read More

Soil microbiomes can set plant flowering time

Scientists grew Boechera stricta plants in soil inoculated with microbes from natural B. stricta habitats to study the flowering time phenotype.

The technique researchers employed to isolate soil microbes to study their effect on a single plant phenotype can potentially be applied to other st... Read More

Rising star uses paper to tackle food-borne diseases

A University of Alberta researcher’s star is rising thanks to her idea to detect deadly pathogens such as E. coli using a paper device only slightly larger than a postage stamp.

Frédérique Deiss, a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science, is working on ways to help detect food- and wat... Read More

Researchers map gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes, to help prevent disease

Virginia Tech entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever.

With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carri... Read More

How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

Ebola In The Air: What Science Says About How The Virus Spreads

Here's an Ebola puzzle for you: If the virus isn't airborne, why do doctors and nurses need to wear full protective suits, with face masks, while treating patients?

After we dug through studies and talked to scientists, the answer slowly emerged.

Ebola does spread through the air. But not ... Read More

Resurrecting ancient microbes to understand evolution

When you hear the word “resurrection”, what’s the first thing that comes to mind? Religious miracles? Zombie viruses? The end of the world?

Whatever your mental association, I’m willing to bet it’s not “an emerging scientific discipline." Well, it just so happens a growing community of microb... Read More

Lab-on-a-Chip Tracks Down 'Most Wanted' Microbe

A diagnostic tool that’s about the size of a credit card has identified a highly prized gut microbe.

The microbe contains interesting genetic sequences, but it has proven challenging to culture in the lab.

Researchers used the device, called SlipChip, to isolate microbes from a patient’s g... Read More

New life form discovered at MSU, named after Bully

Some Mississippi State University students have discovered – and named – a new life form, a previously unknown organism discovered on campus in a mud puddle last September.

The newly classified organism – Ptolemeba bulliensis, a unicellular microscopic protest – was scooped from a courtyard b... Read More

TWiM 91 Letters



Jacob writes:
Hello hosts of TWiM and TWiV,
I'm sending this to both podcasts because I'm interested in hearing what all of you have to say (I figure that I'm going to catch Dickson on TWiV, but if not feel free to ask him on TWiP).


I saw this que... Read More

BacterioFiles 201 - Plastic-Producing Prokaryote Process

This episode: Bacteria from wastewater treatment sludge can produce lots of biodegradable plastic!


(7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jour... Read More

This algae farm eats highway pollution

Plant-like microorganisms called algae are pretty interesting little creatures - some species form expansive 'algal blooms' that harm the environment, whereas others can be used to produce biofuel and food sources. Some can even infect humans and mess with their brains.

This diverse organism ... Read More

TWiV 298: MV-NIS de myelo

The TWiV gang answers follow-up questions about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, then discuss treatment of  disseminated multiple myeloma with oncolytic measles virus.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello... Read More

Proof of life: Reevaluating oldest known Archean trace fossil for indications of early biology

In the hunt for early life, geobiologists seek evidence of ancient microbes in the form of trace fossils – geological records of biological activity – embedded in lavas beneath the ocean floor. Filamentous titanite (a calcium titanium silicate mineral) microtextures found in 3.45 billion-year-ol... Read More

Antibiotics in Blood Can Make Malaria Mosquitoes Mightier

It's well known that antibiotics can disrupt our gut bacteria. But when mosquitoes snack on blood laced with antibiotics, the same can happen to their microbiome. And that depletion of gut bacteria actually increases mosquitoes' susceptibility to the malaria parasite. Meaning they may be more li... Read More

How U.S. Hospitals Are Planning To Stop The Deadly MERS Virus

In the past month, Middle East Respiratory syndrome has morphed from a little-known disease in the Arabian Peninsula to a major global health concern, with more than 300 cases in Saudi Arabia in April, 54 of them fatal.

Two cases have been reported in the U.S. as well — one in Indiana and one... Read More

UGA researchers uncover how bacteria helps create clouds

When a clear sunny day turns into clouds, people used it to explain their grave mood without taking into consideration how clouds can affect global warming in the atmosphere. But University of Georgia marine researchers have discovered the process of an anti-greenhouse gas known as DMSP (dimethy... Read More

The protective milk shot – How mother’s milk protects piglets from parasite infections

Coccidiosis is a serious disease in new-born piglets. Caused by the parasite Cystoisospora suis, it exclusively infects pigs and often causes severe diarrhoea in suckling piglets. Parasitologists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have developed a new strategy for protecting the piglets: They infected sows... Read More

Researchers create better methods to detect E. coli

Kansas State University diagnosticians are helping the cattle industry save millions of dollars each year by developing earlier and accurate detection of E. coli.

Lance Noll, master's student in veterinary biomedical science, Greensburg; T.G. Nagaraja, university distinguished professor of di... Read More

2,300 tubes containing SARS virus samples missing in France

A major French biomedical research body, the Pasteur Institute, have launched an investigation into the disappearance of some 2,300 test tubes containing samples of the SARS virus. The loss was discovered during an inventory.

The Pasteur Institute filed a so-called 'complaint against X' on Mo... Read More
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