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TWiP 82: A NOD to helminths

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel solve last week's case study, present a new one, and reveal how secreted proteins from a helminth prevent diabetes in mice.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Horticultural hijacking: Researchers reveal the 'dark side' of beneficial soil bacteria

t's a battleground down there—in the soil where plants and bacteria dwell.

Even though beneficial root bacteria come to the rescue when a plant is being attacked by pathogens, there's a dark side to the relationship between the plant and its white knight. According to research reported by a U... Read More

TWiP 79: Across the river and into the trees

Vincent and Dickson discuss the spread of P. knowlesi in Malaysia, and how Leishmania parasites protect the sandfly gut from bacterial infection.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and&nbs... Read More

Antimicrobial from soaps promotes bacteria buildup in human noses

An antimicrobial agent found in common household soaps, shampoos and toothpastes may be finding its way inside human noses where it promotes the colonization of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria and could predispose some people to infection. Researchers at the University of Michigan report their fi... Read More

Dogs, Owners May Swap Disease-Causing Oral Bacteria: Study

If you're a pet-owner who kisses your dog on the mouth, you might want to think twice.

A new study in the journal Archives of Oral Biology suggests that it's possible for disease-causing oral bacteria to be exchanged between dogs and their owners.

Japanese researchers examined dental plaqu... Read More

TWiV 212: Apocalypse TWiV 122112 212

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit Read More

TWiM #89: Microbial handoffs

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, ... Read More

TWiV 278: Flushing HIV down the zinc

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

The sorceress’s apprentice

ANYONE who walks in the woods will be familiar with witches’ brooms (pictured). Many trees sport these bushy tumours, which have a variety of causes. An important one is a group of bacteria called phytoplasma that are, in turn, carried from plant to plant by sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppe... Read More

Carl Woese Dies at 84; Discovered Life’s ‘Third Domain’

Carl Woese, a biophysicist and evolutionary microbiologist whose discovery 35 years ago of a “third domain” of life in the vast realm of micro-organisms altered scientific understanding of evolution, died on Sunday at his home in Urbana, Ill. He was 84.

His death was announced by the Universi... Read More

Bacterial protein in house dust spurs asthma according to NIH study (NIH press release)

A bacterial protein in common house dust may worsen allergic responses to indoor allergens, according to research conducted by the National Institutes of Health and Duke University. The finding is the first to document the presence of the protein flagellin in house dust, bolstering the link betw... Read More

TWiP 72 letters


Robin writes:


plethora (n.)


1540s, a medical word for "excess of body fluid," from Late Latin plethora, from Greek plethore "fullness," from plethein "be full" (see pleio-). Figurative meaning "too-muchness, overfullness in any respect" i... Read More

Thank Your Gut Bacteria For Making Chocolate 'Healthy'

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

Now scientists are offering an explanation... Read More

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Bacteria Ate 200,000 Tons of Oil After Deepwater Horizon Spill

Researchers from the Univ. of Rochester and Texas A&M Univ. have found that, over a period of five months following the disastrous 2010 Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill, naturally occurring bacteria that exist in the Gulf of Mexico consumed and removed at least 200,000 tons of oil and ... Read More

Get to know the bacteria and viruses that call your body home

Are you willing to take a close look at yourself for science?

A really, really close look?

A team of scientists in the Bay Area is inviting citizen scientists to join them in a quest to create the largest database of human microbiomes in the world.

The human microbiome is the ecosystem ... Read More

New SARS-like virus discovered before it causes outbreak (from October)

Four months ago, a mucus sample arrived in Dr. Ali Mohamed Zaki’s laboratory in Saudi Arabia.

The mucus had been coughed up by a 60-year-old Saudi Arabian man with a strange case of pneumonia. He had been admitted to the Dr. Soliman Fakeeh hospital in Jeddah on June 13; soon after, his kidney... Read More

TWiP 77: Mixed messages

Vincent and Dickson discuss the exchange of messenger RNAs between a parasitic plant and its hosts.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

TWiV 287: A potentially pandemic podcast

Matt updates the TWiV team on MERS-coronavirus, and joins in a discussion of whether we should further regulate research on potentially pandemic pathogens.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

BacterioFiles 164 - Sponge Symbionts Synthesize Stuff

This episode: Bacteria symbiotic with sea sponges make many potentially useful compounds!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
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