Suzanne writes (re Aphids):
The best way to get rid of aphids in the garden (the ants in my yard love to herd them onto my okra) is a sharp stream of water from the hose. Aphids wash right off! They don't tend to come back right away, either.
A flu vaccine that works against all flu viruses and provides protection for at least two decades is getting closer to reality, according to scientists at Mount Sinai Health System.
The organization’s vaccine would offer better and broader and longer-lasting protection against seasonal influe... Read More
This episode: Bacteria living in plants seem to be contributing to plants' nutrition, possibly reducing the need for fertilizer!
(17.5 MB, 19.15 minutes)
We’re in the midst of an extinction crisis, and it doesn’t involve Siberian tigers. Microbiologist Martin Blaser of New York University School of Medicine says that many species of germs are disappearing from our bodies—and that’s a problem. In his new book, Missing Microbes: How the Overuse of ... Read More
The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More
A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More
A historical look back at the discovery of the AIDS virus. Margaret Heckler, president Reagan's Health and Human Services Secretary made the announcement to the world. “First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been ... Read More
Antibiotic stewardship programs, which promote the appropriate use of antibiotics in hospitals and other healthcare centers, can not only lead to reduction in antibiotic use with no adverse effects but can also lead to significant savings, over $600,000 annually in the case of one New York Ho... Read More
Paul Duprex joins the TWiV team to discuss the current moratorium on viral research to alter transmission, range and resistance, infectivity and immunity, and pathogenesis.
Chinese researchers have discovered what they say is the first ‘virological penicillin’ – MIR2911, a molecule found naturally in a Chinese herb called honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively tr... Read More
This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!
(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)
Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug an... Read More
A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.
The latest find, described online Monday ... Read More
A former student dropped by my lab this morning, and brought me a gift: a knit bacteriophage! Many times, as educators, we hear what we haven't done well, or could do better. Sometimes, like today, we get a priceless "thank you" from a former student. Read More
Dear Vincent & Dickson… and Daniel,
I always enjoy listening to TWIP here in Kona, Hawaii.
Our weather today is 79ºF and clear but we have just experienced a record 25-year overnight low of 54ºF,
It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.
The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More
Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More
This episode: Bacteria living in plants could help plants clean up cancer-causing pollutants!
(6.9 MB, 7.5 minutes)
The day we knew would come is finally here. The first locally acquired case of the tropical disease chikungunya was reported in the U.S. today.
The mosquito-borne viral disease first debuted in the Western Hemisphere last year and has since sprawled across the Caribbean, with cases in Puerto ... Read More