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Mycobacteriophages: Windows into Tuberculosis

Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Mycobacteriophages display a remarkable genetic diversity. About 30 distinct types (called clusters, or singletons if they have no relatives) that share little or no nu... Read More

Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defences against them.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the... Read More

Scientists Build a Yeast Chromosome From Scratch. Next Up? Designer Genomes

Creating synthetic organisms with specially-tailored genomes is a long way off, but the first synthetic eukaryotic chromosome is a big step forward.

Humans have been using what they know about the biological world to make stuff for centuries—from beer to antibiotics. But, what if you could ma... Read More

What Gut Bacteria Might Have To Do With Colorectal Cancer Risk

While genetics likely play a role in some instances of colorectal cancer, a new study in mice suggests gut bacteria could also influence development of intestinal tumors. Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that giving antibiotics to mice to disrupt their microbial... Read More

Paint a virus to death

An Auckland scientist has invented molecules that can attach themselves to any surface in a few minutes and modify every type of cell or virus. The potential for the technology is huge - from attacking cancer cells to protecting newborn babies. Read More

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... Read More

Bacteria Proposed for Passaic River Superfund Site Cleanup

A decades long fight over cleaning up one of the nation's most contaminated riverbeds has posed a difficult question: how to safely remove enough toxic material from New Jersey's Passaic River to fill two MetLife Stadiums.

The federal government is moving forward with long-stalled efforts to ... Read More

Scientists create accurate predictor of the next year’s flu virus

Influenza viruses evolve rapidly, making it hard to develop protective vaccines against them. Despite a great deal of effort, scientists have found it difficult to forecast which way the virus’ evolution would take it. Now, thanks to improvements in our ability to study viruses and a new mathema... Read More

Parvo Trial Shows Promising Results In Effort To Combat Puppy Virus

A North Dakota company that discovered an antibody technology while trying to cure flocks of dying geese is using its research for a more warm and fuzzy purpose: saving puppies.

Early tests performed on about 50 puppies in seven U.S. states for Grand Forks-based Avianax have resulted in a 90 ... Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.

In this study we attemp... Read More

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More

BacterioFiles 175 - Bacteria Build Better Biofilms

This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm!


(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1/ Read More

Ebola 101: The Facts Behind A Frightening Virus

Health workers have called the Ebola outbreak in West Africa unprecedented, overwhelming and even out of control.

With 844 cases so far, it's the largest and deadliest outbreak since the virus was discovered in 1976. And it doesn't show signs of slowing down. On Tuesday, the World Health Orga... Read More

A Newly Discovered Microbe Could Accelerate Global Warming

Teaming beneath Sweden's thawing permafrost is a previously undiscovered microbe known as methanongen (Candidatus Methanoflorens Stordalenmirensis). As its name suggests, the microbe does one thing really well: release methane into the atmosphere, presenting a feedback loop of gas production tha... Read More

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More

Avoid Getting Sick: Top 8 Germiest Public Places Exposed

Worried about you or your kids picking up the flu virus or other common illnesses at school, in restrooms or at the mall? There’s good reason: Viruses and bacteria run rampant on the surfaces you touch every day. We blow the lid on the 8 germiest public places and give you expert tips to avoid g... Read More

New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables

Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... Read More

Early Exposure To Bacteria Protects Children From Asthma And Allergies

Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.

It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... Read More

Photonic tweezers can pick up a single virus with light

A new device from Macquarie University can manipulate objects as small as 50 nanometers wide — about a thousandth of the width of a human hair and small enough to allow direct manipulation of a single viral capsule.

Click on 'source' to read full article. Read More

First Fecal Transplant Bank Opens

OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., has opened a facility that collects stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals. It then processes those "donations" and readies them for shipment to hospitals, where they are put into the colons of people with the deadly gut infection Cl... Read More
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