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The Energizer Bacterium

Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.

Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More

TWiM 83 Letters

Matt writes:


Hello TWiM team,

It was great seeing some of you at ASM last week in Boston either in passing between sessions or at the live TWiV episode. I have a few questions about the ASM meeting:
What was something that you all took away from ASM th... Read More

Antibiotic developed 50 years ago may be the key to fighting ‘superbugs’

Scientists at the University at Buffalo are turning to an old class of antibiotics to fight new superbugs resistant to modern medicine.

A $4.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow UB researchers to develop new dosing regimens for polymyxin antibiotics.

Developed ... Read More

Bacteria Used to Create Fossil Fuel Alternative

British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves.

"Although we have only produced ... Read More

BacterioFiles 182 - Chloroplast Colonizers' Contradictory Conflicts

This episode: BacterioFiles teams up with The Plant Pathology Podcast to talk about how microbes living in plants sometimes team up with the plants, sometimes with plant pathogens!


(17.7 MB, 19.25 minutes) Read More

A gut bacterium that attacks dengue and malaria pathogens and their mosquito vectors

Just like those of humans, insect guts are full of microbes, and the microbiota can influence the insect's ability to transmit diseases. A new study reports that a bacterium isolated from the gut of an Aedes mosquito can reduce infection of mosquitoes by malaria parasites and dengue virus. The b... Read More

Algae able to switch quantum coherence on and off

A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis.

The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thoug... Read More

Finally, Clothing Designed to Stop the Spread of Germs on Public Transit

Of all the public transit etiquette violations out there, the sneeze-and-touch at the height of cold and flu season is among the worst. Everyone who rides in a city has seen it: that sickly looking person across the train or bus who sneezes into a free hand then grabs the pole we all share. Rese... Read More

Antibiotics In Manure Implicated In Human Pathogenic Bacteria In Soil

Researchers have have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics changes the composition of bacteria in the soil.

The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure. The rese... Read More

Small microbes almost killed all life on Earth, study suggests

Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study.

These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost... Read More

A video explanation of Ebola Virus.

A video explanation of Ebola Virus. Drawn and narrated by Armando Hasudungan. Read More

Light zaps viruses: How photosensitization can stop viruses from infecting cells

A UCLA-led team of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses.

The UCLA AIDS Institute study, published in th... Read More

Ebola’s ‘Fist’: U.Va. Unlocks How Deadly Virus Smashes Into Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered how the deadly Ebola virus punches its way into the cytoplasm of cells. The finding identifies an important target for blocking the infection process of this incurable disease that many fear may be used for bioterror.
... Read More

I had the bacteria in my gut analysed. And this may be the future of medicine

Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's to autism, depression and cancer.

Click on 'source' to read more. Read More

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

About half of ... Read More

Malnutrition: Starving Children Lack Crucial Gut Bacteria

When children are starving, the bacteria that live in their intestines may determine whether they can be saved, scientists working in Bangladesh are reporting. And they say it may become imperative to find a way to give children bacteria as well as food.

The study, done by researchers from Wa... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More

Have a Happy Bioluminescent Fourth of July!

In this post from my Microbiology/Education blog, I wish everyone a lovely day of food, fellowship, and fireworks. My laboratory brings you our own "fireworks" through bioluminescence! Read More

BacterioFiles 184 - Fungus Friends Fabricate Fragrance

This episode: Truffle's microbiome helps produce its attractive aromas!


(12.5 MB, 13.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


<... Read More

Bacterium and Fungus Team Up to Cause Virulent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus, according to a paper published ahead of print in the journal... Read More
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