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Selection-driven Gene Loss in Bacteria

Bacterial genomes differ dramatically in size: from 140Kb to 13Mb (those numbers might be off now...please let me know if something has broken the record. Yes, I know the lower estimate can change based on semantics, but there are a bunch in that range). Although we have some clues as to how sel... Read More

Scientists Discover New Trigger for Immense North Atlantic Plankton Bloom

Across the horizon and miles out to sea toward the north, the Atlantic Ocean's own spring and summer ritual is unfolding: the blooming of countless microscopic plant plankton, or phytoplankton.

In what's known as the North Atlantic Bloom, an immense number of phytoplankton burst into color, f... Read More

Millions of diabetics could die of tuberculosis

A third of the world’s human population is infected with a dormant tuberculosis bacteria, primarily people living in developing countries. The bacteria presents a lifelong TB risk. Recent research out of the University of Copenhagen demonstrates that the risk of tuberculosis breaking out is four... Read More

Can India remain polio-free?

India has been free of polio for over one year. This is a remarkable accomplishment, considering that just 30 years ago the country recorded 200,000 cases of the disease annually, or one every three minutes. With polio endemic in two neighboring countries, Pakistan and Afghanistan, and in the mo... Read More

New probiotic bacteria shows promise for use in shellfish aquaculture

The use of probiotic bacteria, isolated from naturally-occurring bacterial communities, is gaining in popularity in the aquaculture industry as the preferred, environmentally-friendly management alternative to the use of antibiotics and other antimicrobials for disease prevention. Known to the p... Read More

So how does Respiratory Syncytial Virus infect your lungs?

Respiratory Syncytial Virus is an extremely common infection in humans. Generally in healthy adults there is little or no disease but in infants or the elderly this lung infection can often be fatal and we do not yet have a vaccine. Over at Rule of 6ix, I ask a couple of questions to the first a... Read More

A world free of 1 of the most virulent animal diseases?

One of the most economically devastating diseases in the world for those who raise cows, sheep, pigs, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals is foot and mouth Disease (FMD). This incredibly contagious and fast-spreading disease causes fever, blisters on the feet and mouth (hence the name), ... Read More

TWiV 166 Letters

Eric writes:


Hello Professors,


Thanks again for all the effort and care you invest into your podcasts. I'm writing today to suggest a pick of the week: The Nature of Things with David Suzuki. Suzuki, one of Canada's scientist/rock-stars, hosts... Read More

A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as part of a C... Read More

Drug Combo Cuts Malaria Risk in HIV Patients

Treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) reduced the risk that HIV-infected children would become co-infected with malaria, researchers said here.

Compared with treatment based on non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), therapy with the protease inhibitor-based combinati... Read More

Palese: Don’t censor live-saving science

Renowned influenza virologist Peter Palese has penned an opinion column for the science journal Nature in which he uses his experience in reconstructing the 1918 pandemic influenza virus strain to question the censoring of H5N1 results by the National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSAB... Read More

Researcher seeks to understand link between obesity, flu severity

The recent H1N1 flu pandemic was found to be particularly dangerous to obese people, and a Wayne State University researcher is looking for clues as to why.

Emily Martin, Ph.D., assistant professor of pharmacy practice in the Eugene Applebaum College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences, has begun... Read More

Reform falters after Europe’s E. coli scare

One year on from Europe’s worst recorded outbreak of Escherichia coli infection, governments have made little progress towards improving the monitoring and reporting systems that allowed the crisis to drag on for weeks. The disease, which was spread by contaminated fenugreek sprouts, swept acros... Read More

NTU scientists invent superbug killers

The superbugs have met their match.

Conceived at Nanyang Technological University (NTU), it comes in the form of a coating which has a magnetic-like feature that attracts bacteria and kills them without the need for antibiotics.

The killer coating, which has shown to destroy 99 per cent of... Read More

Bacterial gene 'therapy' to combat cholera

Cholera is an extremely virulent intestinal infection caused by ingestion of the bacterium Vibrio cholerae (V. cholerae). EU researchers elucidated the molecular mechanisms behind expression of virulence genes with important implications for new therapies.

Click "source" to read more.

"Inv... Read More

Tooth protection from the sea

A team of dentists and scientists from Newcastle University are developing a new product from a marine microbe to protect dentures, teeth and gums from bacteria in the mouth.

They are using an enzyme isolated from a marine bacterium Bacillus licheniformis found on the surface of seaweed which... Read More

Arsenic-loving bacteria? New studies contradict report of bugs that seemed to break the rules

It was a provocative finding: strange bacteria in a California lake that thrived on something completely unexpected — arsenic. What it suggested is that life, a very different kind of life, could possibly exist on some other planet.

The research, published by a leading scientific journal in 2... Read More

Cat Litter Parasite Tied to Suicide Risk in New Moms

Mothers with IgG antibodies to Toxoplasma gondii at delivery are at risk for later self-harm or suicide, particularly if they have higher titers against the parasite, a Danish study found.

The risk of self-directed violent behavior was increased 1.53-fold (95% CI 1.27 to 1.85, Psk rose to 1.9... Read More

Single mumps vaccine making a comeback to the UK - but is it better or worse than what we have?

Due to low uptake of the MMR vaccine across the world, we have seen a dramatic rise in the number of cases of measles and mumps. These have gone against efforts to eradicate these diseases. Perceived safety concerns have led to the rise in uptake of single vaccines and thus for a number of years... Read More

DNA Implanted Bacteria To Detect Glucose

Should a study by a team of students from Missouri University of Science and Technology become reality, individuals suffering with diabetes will be able to monitor their blood sugar levels in a more cost-effective way.

Recently, the team of students at the Missouri S&T chapter of iGEM - the ... Read More

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