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Perry writes:


Greetings Vincent and Dick,


Hooray for finally mentioning G. pulchrum in episode 62, my most favorite parasite and one worthy of further discussion. As a diagnostic veterinary pathologist, I encounter this spirurid in approximately... 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

Japanese superfood prevents flu infection

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood?

The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed ... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... 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

Pig-killing PEDv virus moves into Canada

Canada has discovered its first two cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has already killed more than 1 million pigs in the United States, government and industry officials said on Thursday.

The Ontario government is investigating a hog farm in the province's Middlesex C... Read More

Whole Virus HIV Vaccine Excels in Trial

Phase 1 Clinical Trial (SAV CT 01) of the first and only preventative HIV vaccine based on a genetically modified killed whole virus (SAV001-H) has been successfully completed with no adverse effects in all patients, Western and Sumagen Canada Inc. announced.

Click "source" above to read more... Read More

Frozen bacteria repair their DNA at -15ºC

Bacteria encased in ice can be resuscitated after thousands, perhaps even millions of years. How these hardy bugs manage to survive deep freeze is something of a mystery. If nothing else, the low levels of radiation hitting Earth’s surface should cause any ice-bound bacterium’s DNA to break apa... Read More

BacterioFiles 172 - Sunlight-Snackers Seize Sparks

This episode: Some photosynthetic bacteria can use electricity for their metabolism to make useful stuff too!


(9.2 MB, 10 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1... Read More

First Case of New Bird Flu Identified in Human Patient

The latest version is called H6N1, and represents the first time that this strain of bird flu has jumped from birds to people.

Flu researchers are especially wary of birds, from wild avian species like migrating geese to run-of-the-mill chickens at local poultry markets. They harbor a series ... 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

Officials Warn Of Dangers Of Tick-Borne Powassan Virus

A Poughkeepsie high school senior died suddenly, after he was bitten by a tick and contracted a severe virus.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Joseph Elone’s family said doctors had been treating their son for a summer cold – until he collapsed on the front lawn.

Elone, 17, was actual... Read More

Lab-work without a lab: culturing bacteria in rural areas with limited resources

In order to isolate, study and efficiently treat a bacterial outbreak, it is vital to be able to grow, store and identify the particular strains of bacteria that cause the disease. While this can be a fairly simple task in a well stocked laboratory, it’s a lot harder to achieve out in the field,... Read More

New Springtime Flu Strain Going Around New York

Thought you only had to deal with allergies these days? Well, maybe you've noticed some friends or work colleagues calling in sick lately—that may be because there's another flu strain making the rounds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza B is accounting for 55% of all vi... Read More

New flu virus found in Peruvian bats

A brand new flu virus has been found in Peruvian bats, according to a new study from researchers at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The virus, called A/bat/Peru/10, belongs to a family of flu virusesknown as influenza A, which mainly infect birds, but can also infect other ani... Read More

Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant NASA Clean Rooms

A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America.

Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there tha... 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

Exploring The Invisible Universe That Lives On Us — And In Us (cool NPR animated video)

The next time you look in a mirror, think about this: In many ways you're more microbe than human. There are 10 times more cells from microorganisms like bacteria and fungi in and on our bodies than there are human cells.

Scientists increasingly think that these microorganisms have a huge inf... Read More

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus

On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of... Read More

Fecal transplant pill knocks out recurrent C. diff infection, study shows (Press Release)

SAN FRANCISCO – Swallowing pills containing a concentrate of fecal bacteria successfully stops recurrent bouts of debilitating Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection by rebalancing the bacteria in the gut, suggests a study being presented at the IDWeek 2013™ meeting today.

Infection from C... Read More

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