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Inspired by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed... Read More

The Dog Bacteria That Can Protect You From Asthma

Studies suggest that infants who grow up with dogs in their home are less likely to develop asthma. Researchers may now have found one reason why. Pets, dogs in particular, may protect infants from the effects of a common virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Infants with severe RSV infec... Read More

Exploitive prions versus your innocent immune system

Prions are infectious prions which are responsible for often fatal neurological diseases in mammals but just how do they do this? What allows them to enter your body? How does it initially replicate itself? And how does it get into your brain? Research out last week in PLoS Pathogens shows that ... Read More

BESC researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production.

Scientists have long been on the hunt for cost-effective ways to break down complex pla... Read More

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Data sharing aids the fight against malaria

In the hunt for drugs that target diseases in the developing world, ‘open innovation’ is creating a buzz. Pharmaceutical companies are making entire libraries of chemical compounds publicly available, allowing researchers to rifle through them for promising drug candidates.

The latest push fo... Read More

Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.

Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More

New GM Crops Could Make Superweeds Even Stronger

Herbicide-resistant superweeds threaten to overgrow U.S. fields, so agriculture companies have genetically engineered a new generation of plants to withstand heavy doses of multiple, extra-toxic weed-killing chemicals.

It’s a more intensive version of the same approach that made the resistant... Read More

Thoughts on the Inaugural Conference on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

". . . a guest post [to microbe.net] by David Thaler, who is one of the Sloan-funded investigators working on the microbiology of the built environment . . ."

"A few thoughts after the Inaugural meeting of Microbiology of the Built Environment Boulder.

My own opinions on these points are s... Read More

TWiP 39: I encyst, said the amoeba

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson review th... Read More

TWiM #31: Screen door on a submarine

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Jo Handelsman Read More

TWiM #29: Death and an iron-loaded spike

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and S... Read More

TWiV 186 Letters

Kurt writes:


Dear Vincent,


Sorry I missed your visit to NU- my teaching duties in Evanston prevented it!


Several of my students attended both and had good reports all around. Your work on ISGs sounds like it is coming along well.


I just today l... Read More

TWiM #27: An inflamed gut is good for Salmonella

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Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio Schaechter, and Read More

TWiV 179: Was ist ein Virus?

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Read More

Engineered Gut Bacteria Reverse Type 1 Diabetes in Experimental Mice

Scientists have managed to reverse type 1 diabetes (T1D) in experimental mice by giving the animals an oral course of harmless gut bacteria that had been engineered to secrete the whole proinsulin autoantigen (PINS) and the immunomodulatory human cytokine IL-10 (hIL10). An international team led... Read More

TWiP 41 Letters

Adam writes:

What up Doc's?


I'm writing to voice my complete disagreement with the sentiments of Sven Urban, in his letter on TWIP 38, that you as hosts are prone to engage in a ‘degree of banter which is distracting'.


I'm sure Dickson does not mind being ant... Read More

One Health: Humans, Animals and the Environment

The health of humans, animals, and the environment are inextricably interconnected. Disruption of the environment often creates new niches for the evolution of infectious diseases, and provides opportunities for the transmission of pathogens to animals or humans. The majority of infectious disea... Read More

TWiV 186: From Buda to stump grinding

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

TWiM 31 Letters

Peter writes:

Dear TWiM Team


A fascinating article from New Scientist this week.


Standard medical teaching is that the foetus is sterile and that the microbiome only begins to develop post natal.


New research from Spain indicates that the microbiome s... Read More

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