Many parasites commandeer the bodies of their hosts in order to spread. Examples of this include horsehair worms that reach water by forcing their cricket hosts to drown themselves, and liver flukes that drive infected ants to climb blades of grass, where cows can eat the insects, and so the flu... Read More
Vincent and Dickson discuss how malaria parasites induce odors in their rodent hosts that attract mosquitoes.
Deep in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon lies one of the worst environmental disasters in human history. Over the past several decades, oil companies have discharged more than 18 billion gallons of petroleum contaminated wastewater into the Sucumbíos region in northeastern Ecuador. The contami... Read More
Heavy metals and other toxins frequently contaminate food and water. The culprits read like a litany of bad actors—lead, cadmium, mercury, arsenic, chromium—but their numbers run into the thousands. Microbes have long been enlisted for bioremediation, but they also have the potential to protect ... Read More
This episode: Bacteria that swarm in the soil cooperate or compete based on one particular protein structure!
(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)
The 2009 H1N1 pandemic influenza virus appears to have required certain mutations in order to be transmitted to humans, according to a paper in the September Journal of Virology. The research could prove extremely valuable for efforts to predict human outbreaks.
The 2009 influenza pandemic wa... Read More
I've never met anyone who buys organic food to get more vitamins and minerals, so it's unclear why the public has been treated to a series of studies -- most recently a meta-review out of Stanford University -- telling us that for the most part organics don't have more vitamins and minerals.
... Read More
This episode: Multiple different fungi kill insects and give their nutrients to plant partners!
(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)
This episode: Virus helps to modify mice such that certain colors of light can cause or prevent pain!
(10 MB, 10.8 minutes)
This episode: Bacteria with engineered circuits can detect and keep a record of stuff in their environment, like in the gut!
(14.6 MB, 15.9 minutes)
Children from wealthy families may more likely to have peanut allergies than those less well-off, a new study finds.
In the study, children ages 1 to 9 from high-income families had higher rates of peanut allergies compared with children these ages from lower income families.
The researche... Read More
The World Cup may bring a lot more than soccer to South America in June — a viral epidemic may be traveling with it.
Research published ahead of print Monday in the Journal of Virology warns that FIFA’s 2014 World Cup — the international soccer tournament that draws both teams and fans from a... Read More
Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel provide the solution to last week's case study, present a new one, and discuss how immune suppression by nematodes increases tuberculosis fatality in African buffalo.
Microbes collected from Northern California and throughout the nation will soon blast into orbit for research and a microgravity growth competition on the International Space Station (ISS). This citizen science project, known as Project MERCCURI, is led by UC Davis microbiologists, who are inves... Read More
The agent of Lyme disease, Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb) has been shown to have the ability to hide and demonstrate resistance from harsh environmental conditions to antibiotics used to treat the infection, thanks to the formation of a biofilm, according to a University of New Haven news release Oct... Read More
Humans and chimpanzees have much in common, biologically speaking, and that may now include certain communities -- or ecosystems -- of gut bacteria, a new study finds.
Gut bacteria play a crucial role in collecting nutrients from food, helping the immune system and protecting people against d... Read More
Placement of copper objects in intensive care unit (ICU) hospital rooms reduced the number of healthcare-acquired infections (HAIs) in patients by more than half, according to a new study published in the May issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology, in a special topic issue focused ... Read More
A fun little read about lichens and their impressive attributes, accompanied by some beautiful photographs. (If the use of the term "kingdom Monera" gives you cause to smirk, just ignore it and keep reading.) Read More
Dentists have long encouraged the use of fluoride to prevent cavities and tooth decay. But several studies have also found that other things, such as lollipops, raisins, licorice root and gum, may also help in the fight against tooth decay. And now, a new study is suggesting that coconut oil cou... Read More