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TWiM #97: There’s gold in them hills

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

Bacteria: are they in your head?

The human “microbiome”—the trillions of bacteria, yeasts, and other microscopic creatures that live inside a human body—has been one of the major science stories in recent years. It seems that barely a week goes by that we don’t learn something new about the relationship between the human body a... Read More

Fecal Bacteria Overpower Highly Contagious C. diff Strain

A mix of six different bacteria found naturally in the healthy gut system of mice and isolated from feces can succeed where antibiotics fail, and eradicate murine infection by highly contagious strains of the Gram-positive anaerobe Clostridium difficile, including the human epidemic 027/BI strai... Read More

TWiV 271: To bee, or not to bee, that is the infection

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

TWiV 275: Virocentricity with Eugene Koonin

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 Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Rich Condit Read More

Anti-bacterial chemical triclosan shows up in rivers, causes concern

Three decades ago, some companies began adding a chemical called triclosan to their products and tried to convince consumers that their hand soap or toothpaste was better because it was “anti-bacterial.”

Now, scientists are finding traces of that compound in the environment, and it’s causing ... Read More

Amoeba Takes Bites of Human Cells to Kill Them

Amoebae — a group of amorphous, single-celled organisms that live in the human body — can kill human cells by biting off chunks of intestinal cells until they die, a new study finds. This is the first time scientists have seen this method of cell killing, and the new findings could one day help ... Read More

Beautiful Bacteria: How To Make Art From E. Coli

Bacteria can be pernicious, but they also keep your stomach digesting, turn cucumbers into beloved pickles, and can, apparently, also be used to make art. Of course, it all depends on how you want to define "art." But Zachary Copfer finds himself precisely where it intersects with science.

"I... Read More

TWiV 315: Must be something in the water

Vincent, Alan, Rich and Kathy discuss the association of a virus with sea star melting disease, and the finding of a phycodnavirus in the oropharynx of humans with altered cognitive functions.


Hosts: Vincen... Read More

Scientists Find New Bacteria That Feasts On Antibiotics

Scientists have found a soil bacteria that not only resists the toxic effects of antibiotics -- it makes a meal out of them.

Many bacteria can protect themselves from antibiotics by modifying the compounds to make them harmless or by pumping the compounds out of their cells entirely. And othe... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 144 - Copper Chelator Calms Quicksilver

This episode: Bacteria could reduce mercury's toxicity in their environment!


(6.5 MB, 7 minutes)


Methanotrophs (bacteria that use methane for their carbon and energy) secrete siderophore-like compounds that are usually used to chelate copper and make it more bioavailable, but ... Read More

Ontario reports first pig-to-human H1N1 case

The first Ontario case of a human contracting the H1N1 variant influenza virus from a pig has been confirmed, the province’s chief medical officer said Tuesday.

“It is a first for us in Ontario,” Dr. Arlene King told the Star.

King said an adult male, who is in critical but stable conditio... Read More

An RNA virus that infects Archaea?

Every different life form on earth can probably be infected with at least one type of virus, if not many more. Most of these viruses have not yet been discovered: just over 2,000 viral species are recognized. While the majority of the known viruses infect bacteria and eukaryotes, there are only ... Read More

TWiM 62 Letters

Robert writes:
In TWIM #60 @1:06:23 Michael Schmidt suggests that glucose for fermentation from biomass is a necessary step in production of fuel ethanol. Fuel ethanol and other low molecular weight compounds can also be produced by autotrophic anaerobic fermentation of ... Read More

Stroke Drug Kills Bacteria That Cause Ulcers and Tuberculosis

A drug currently being used to treat ischemic strokes may prove to be a significant advance in the treatment of tuberculosis and ulcers. In a new research report appearing online in The FASEB Journal, a compound called ebselen effectively inhibits the thioredoxin reductase system in a wide varie... Read More

More than bread and beer: The National Collection of Yeast Cultures (video)

Do you eat bread? Or drink beer? If so you've probably consumed yeast products from the National Collection of Yeast Cultures.

Yeasts are one of the earliest, if not the earliest, biological tools used by people. Brewers' yeast, Saccharomyces cerivisae, features widely in products we consume... Read More

Vomiting Larry battles "Ferrari of the virus world"

Poor Larry isn't looking too good. He's pale and clammy and he's been projectile vomiting over and over again while his carers just stand by and watch.

Yet their lack of concern for Larry is made up for by their intense interest in how far splashes of his vomit can fly, and how effectively th... Read More

The changing microflora of bacteria in the lungs

Any part of the human body that is open to the outside world it available for the colonisation of bacteria. While this blog has covered bacteria in the gut, the vagina and the throat, one area I’ve neglected to cover is the bacteria that get into the lungs. As the company I currently work for is... Read More

BacterioFiles 172 - Sunlight-Snackers Seize Sparks

This episode: Some photosynthetic bacteria can use electricity for their metabolism to make useful stuff too!


(9.2 MB, 10 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item 1... Read More

NASA To Study If Space Travel Makes Twins Biologically Different

The world’s only twin astronauts will take center stage in an upcoming NASA experiment that will analyze whether or not identical siblings remain the same biologically if one travels to outer space while the other remains on Earth.

According to the US space agency, astronaut Scott Kelly will ... Read More
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