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The Race To Create The Best Antiviral Drugs

If you've ever had a bacterial infection like staph or strep throat, your doctor may have prescribed penicillin. But if you've had the flu or a common cold virus, penicillin won't work. That's because antibacterials only kill bacteria, and both the flu and the common cold are viruses. So for ill... Read More

Human gut bacteria seem to be picky eaters

People who eat a diet high in fats and animal protein tend to have a different group of bacteria flourishing in their gut compared with those who eat a mostly plant-based diet, researchers have found.

Researchers suspect that the microbes within us affect our vulnerability to infectious disea... Read More

TWiM 34 Letters

Peter writes:

Dear TWiM Team


I see that some action is now being taken in America against the non-therapeutic use of antibiotics as livestock growth promoters:


Read More

TWiV 169: Epidemiology causes conclusions



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

How Salmonella forms evil twins to evade the body's defenses

An unusual regulatory mechanism that controls the swimmer/non-swimmer option in genetically identical Salmonella also impacts the bacteria's ability to cause infection.

University of Washington scientists reported the discovery this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.... Read More

Microbiology: Learning about who we are

Microbial inhabitants outnumber our body's own cells by about ten to one. These residents have become the subject of intensive research, which is beginning to elucidate their roles in health and disease.

Two journal articles by, David A. Relman, Departments of Medicine and of Microbiology and... Read More

TWiP 30 Letters

Jim writes:

How about using compost that includes road kill? I heard a billion pounds of animal byproducts go to landfills rather than into animal feed to prevent spread of mad cow disease. Compost that, too?


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Virginia may compost roadkill<... Read More

A spike for piercing the cell membrane

Some viruses that infect bacteria (bacteriophages) deliver their DNA into the host cell with an amazing injection machine. The tailed bacteriophages (such as T4, illustrated) store their DNA in a capsid attached to a long tail tube that is surrounded by a sheath. At the bottom of the tube is a b... Read More

Bacteria ‘munching’ on Titanic: scientists

In less than 30 years, there may be nothing left of the Titanic but a heap of “rusticles,” warns researcher Henrietta Mann, who has spent four years researching bacteria gnawing on its sunken hull.

A scientific expedition in 1991 to the disintegrating wreck some 12,400 feet (3,780 meters) to ... Read More

TWiV 162: Transcription



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit... Read More

A microbiology video game is being made, and needs your help on kickstarter

Bacillus is a video game named after the organism the developer studied in college. It's very different from other video games in that it features an accurate model for evolution. So accurate, every bacteria in the game has it's own genome (represented by A's T's C's and G's of course). But the ... Read More

Sick People Smell Bad: Why dogs sniff dogs, humans sniff humans, and dogs sometimes sniff humans

A man can live many lives. Paul Ehrlich has. Once, he was a butterfly biologist. Another time, he wrote the book called The Population Bomb, a book that triggered global conversations about the fate of humanity. Still another, he described the relationship between plants and the animals that eat... Read More

Scientists a step closer to Hepatitis C vaccine

European scientists say they have successfully tested in animals a vaccine for hepatitis C, a contagious and debilitating virus that can cause liver failure and cancer.

Currently, there is no human vaccine for hepatitis C (HCV), which is spread through contaminated blood and kills some 350,00... Read More

Food borne bacteria sickens 8 in Illinois, 93 nationwide

Food safety officials are investigating whether raw fish in sushi and other foods is responsible for a multi-state Salmonella outbreak that has sickened eight people in Illinois.

So far, no deaths have been connected to the strain of the bacteria, which has sent 10 people to the hospital and ... Read More

Fed fiber, killer cells may ward off cancer

Fiber supplements may help the body’s own killer cells fight bacterial infection and reduce inflammation, greatly decreasing the risk of colon cancer.

Prebiotics are fiber supplements that serve as food for the trillions of tiny bacteria living in the gut. When taken, they can stimulate the g... Read More

DARPA calls for antibiotic replacement

Most everyone that has been keeping abreast of world events knows that the clock is ticking on antibiotics; bacteria have been slowly developing a resistance and development of new antibiotics has slowed to a crawl, thus the day will soon come that all of the tools were are currently using to fi... Read More

Capturing viruses with bacteria

When my laboratory discovered the cell receptor for poliovirus in 1989, many new research directions were suddenly revealed – such as creating a mouse model for poliomyelitis. One application we did not think of was to use the receptor to screen samples of drinking water for the presence of viru... Read More

Genetic variation in human gut viruses could be raw material for inner evolution

A growing body of evidence underscores the importance of human gut bacteria in modulating human health, metabolism, and disease. Yet bacteria are only part of the story. Viruses that infect those bacteria also shape who we are. Frederic D. Bushman, PhD, professor of Microbiology at the Perelman ... Read More

Biofuel Research Boosted by Discovery of How Cyanobacteria Make Energy

A generally accepted, 44-year-old assumption about how certain kinds of bacteria make energy and synthesize cell materials has been shown to be incorrect by a team of scientists led by Donald Bryant, the Ernest C. Pollard Professor of Biotechnology at Penn State and a research professor in the D... Read More

House Of Natural Fiber's Intelligent Bacteria At The New Museum

As part of The Ungovernables' exhibition, The New Museum hosted The House of Natural Fiber (HONF), a new media art collective out of Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Yogyakarta is the second largest city on Java, a densely-populated island that hosts an active volcano named Mt. Merapi which erupted in 200... Read More

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