It isn't often these days that a whole new country comes into being. But that just happened, with the official hiving off of South Sudan from the rest of Sudan on 9 July.
Sudan always was an improbably huge result of post-colonial border invention, and the near-permanent civil war between the... Read More
Reuters columnist Peter Christian Hall believes the possibility that H5N1 could be effectively weaponized is remote and there is more harm than good in withholding data from two research papers that outline the methods to create an aerosolized strain of avian flu in ferrets.
"Amid the furor ... Read More
Squishing a stack of virus sheets generates enough electricity to power a small liquid crystal display. With increased power output, these virus films might one day use the beating of your heart to power a pacemaker, the researchers behind them say.
Piezoelectric materials build up charge whe... Read More
Scientists at Stanford University and the J. Craig Venter Institute have developed the first software simulation of an entire organism, a humble single-cell bacterium that lives in the human genital and respiratory tracts.
The scientists and other experts said the work was a giant step toward... Read More
With NASA’s Curiosity Rover safely on Mars and ready to search for signs of life, back on Earth attempts are underway to engineer bacteria that could thrive on the Red Planet.
A team of undergraduates from Stanford and Brown Universities are busy applying synthetic biology to space exploratio... Read More
Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement - and their survival.
Fungal spores can attach themselves to bacteria, "hitching a ride" wherever the ... Read More
Thank you for taking the time to produce these podcasts free of charge. I hope this style of science podcasti... Read More
The acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) pandemic is caused by the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV-1), which attacks the immune system and leaves infected individuals susceptible to opportunistic infections. AIDS and HIV-1 are thought to have a relatively short history in humans, with the... Read More
Better resistance to parasites and a less fussy diet are allowing aggressive signal crayfish from the US to threaten white-clawed crayfish native to Yorkshire.
The Yorkshire crayfish suffers from two parasites: plague, which is carried by the American invader, and porcelain disease that makes... Read More
As the world’s athletes limber up for the forthcoming Olympic games in London, infectious-disease experts are preparing for their own trials. Their competition is with the diseases that millions of athletes, officials, media and spectators bring with them as they converge from across the globe o... Read More
A bacterium recently discovered near Death Valley has some very unusual properties according to a report published in the December 23 issue of Science magazine. While some ‘bugs’ are like migratory birds, making tiny magnets that they use to guide their navigation, this is the first bacterium to... Read More
Hi Dr Racaniello,
I am a long time listener of TWIV and really enjoy the informal scientific discussions. I listen to TWIV while working in the lab and am trying to catch up on TWIM and TWIP episodes too.
I have been dill... Read More
Top US scientists on Wednesday defended their bid to stop details of a mutant bird flu virus from being published and called for global cooperation to ward off an uncontrollable pandemic.
Meanwhile, scientists involved in the experiments said they are cooperating with government officials and... Read More
Virulent drug-resistant "superbugs" are back in the news. We have a lot to learn from these small but smart creatures. To the dismay of many in the pubic health field, the FDA just dropped plans to enforce a 1977(!) decision to limit the use of antibiotics in animal feed, which facilitates the e... Read More
A North Carolina State University study shows that, for the first time since testing began several years ago, feral pigs in North Carolina have tested positive for Brucella suis, an important and harmful bacteria that can be transmitted to people.
The bacteria are transmitted to humans by uns... Read More
Hello to the TWiV crew,
Here are a couple of picks I thought would be good for provoking thought and generating discussion...
While working on a project, I came across some papers attempting to define what "critical thinking" means. I app... Read More
By altering how plants turn sunlight into chemical energy, scientists hope to produce biofuels that make economic sense.
For years researchers have been trying to figure out the best ways of making plants produce biofuels. But there is a fundamental problem: photosynthesis, the process by wh... Read More
In the search for new life, scientists have studied the depths of the ocean and the lips of steaming volcanoes. They've looked on Mars and the moons of Jupiter, and even planets beyond this solar system.
Dr. David Relman went searching inside his own mouth. On a routine dental visit in 1998, ... Read More
Monkeys and apes are considered edible game in many parts of Africa. As people from these regions have emigrated to other parts of the world, some have retained their love of this and other types of bushmeat. A new study now finds that meat from nonhuman primates — from chimps to monkeys — can h... Read More