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Gut bacteria may be best defense against nasty germs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it more and more difficult to treat infections. But research suggests that the best defense against harmful bugs could be a healthy population of “good” gut bacteria. The human relationship with microbial life is complicated. At almost any su... Read More

At least 59 people dead in Guinea Ebola outbreak

An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- we... Read More

BacterioFiles 174 - Synthetic Cells Sense and Send Signals

This episode: Bacteria with engineered circuits can detect and keep a record of stuff in their environment, like in the gut!


(14.6 MB, 15.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Scientists Study What to Do If You Drop a Cookie on the Floor

Once again, you've dropped your snack. You bend down, snatch it up, and gently blow off any dust—and, you hope, deadly germs. You're about to put it in your mouth because, after all, you've got the "five-second rule" on your side: Food that's been dropped is safe to consume if it's been on the f... Read More

"Super bacteria" cleaning up after oil spills

Norwegian researchers in Trondheim have achieved surprising results by exploiting nature's own ability to clean up after oil spills.
We all know that marine bacteria can assist in cleaning up after oil spills. What is surprising is that given the right kind of encouragement, they can be even mo... Read More

Fossil viruses preserved in hot spring bacteria

Fossilized microbes have provided scientists many clues about origins of life. By comparison, little attention is given to viruses in the fossil record. Although technically non-living, there is no question these tiny packets of protein-sheathed DNA have shaped the evolution of most life on eart... Read More

TWiV 260: Badgers go viral

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Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 150 - Morels Make Mycelial Motorways

This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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New vaccines against an old disease: brucellosis

Brucellosis is a worldwide extended infectious disease of livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, cows, pigs, …) and remains one of the most common zoonotic infections, with more tan 500,000 new human cases worldwide every year. Control and eradication of brucellosis requires the use of animal vaccines... Read More

Scientists find coronavirus inhibitor blocking MERS and SARS

A team of European scientists say they have discovered a compound that can prevent the spreading of coronaviruses, responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks that have killed about 1,000 people worldwide.

A team of scientists led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden,... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

Guinea Worm Said to Infect Few in 2013

Only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in the world in 2013, a 73 percent drop from the 542 cases found one year earlier, the Carter Center announced Thursday.

Along with polio, Guinea worm is one of two diseases hovering on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,000 cases annua... Read More

BacterioFiles 165 - Bacillus Biofilms Balk Bilks

This episode: Interview with Jordi van Gestel: cheaters in bacterial communities don't always succeed!


(13.1 MB, 14.25 minutes)


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BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

Rare bacteria outbreak linked to Chicago hospital

CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The largest outbreak ever of a rare but potentially deadly bacteria has been tied to equipment in a Chicago-area hospital, health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 44 cases of infection by the bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteri... Read More

Introducing the Thanatomicrobiome

In a healthy adult human body, most internal organs such as the brain, spleen, liver, and heart are devoid of microorganisms because the immune system keeps them in check. After human host death, however, the immune system falters and microorganisms proliferate throughout the body beginning in ... Read More

Celebrity portraits grown out stars' own bacteria

Well-known faces including Stephen Fry and Carol Vorderman are helping make art out of science by taking part in an experiment to grow portraits using their own bacteria.

The celebrities teamed up with American microbiologist and photographer Zachary Copfer to make the images by contributing ... Read More

The Microbes Living in Our Bodies Were Probably Once Evil Pathogens

Like pretty much all multi-cellular organisms, humans enjoy the benefits of helpful bacteria. (As you may have heard, there are more bacteria in the human body than cells.) These mutualistic microbes live within the body of a larger organism, and, like any good long-term houseguest, help out the... Read More

The Science of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The science behind the transformation from plants to milk to cheese is amazing. In fact, cheese has much in common with wine and beer: They result from fermentation by microorganisms; they are “value-added” products where processing greatly increases the value; and they reflect local climate and... Read More

Death toll from H1N1 rises as strain returns, with ‘young invincibles’ most affected

The H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 global pandemic is back. State health officials from across the country say the resurgence is resulting in a dramatic rise in flu deaths in young and middle-aged adults and in children this season.

While the reported death tolls so far are only a fracti... Read More

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