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Molecular pumps could make vaccines stronger

Scientists at the University of California - Berkeley have found that molecular pumps in Listeria bacteria that expel antibiotics, which make the bug harder to kill with standard drugs, also expel small signaling molecules that stimulate a strong immune response in cells that they infect.

The... Read More

Study finds rising levels of dioxins from common soap ingredient in Mississippi River sediments

Specific dioxins derived from the antibacterial agent triclosan, used in many hand soaps, deodorants, dishwashing liquids and other consumer products, account for an increasing proportion of total dioxins in Mississippi River sediments, according to University of Minnesota research.

The study... Read More

Seasonal Influenza: Made in the USA

Every autumn, the seasonal flu arrives in the United States, causing tens of thousands of deaths and many more hospitalizations. Now, a new genetic analysis suggests that the strains of influenza circulating in the United States can migrate to the rest of the world. Such an event happened in 19... Read More

Algal blooms hit the poor of India hard

The problem of toxic algae is not just confined to the Nordic countries - in India algal blooms are threatening poor people's access to food and their livelihoods, a problem that has been exacerbated by global warming. With funding from the Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural ... Read More

New System Using Bacterial Communities to Solve Complex Problems

A new system using bacterial communities to autonomously solve complex problems was developed at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid's Facultad de Informática. The designed algorithms help to synchronize different bacteria according to the bacteria's natural capabilities and mechanisms of comm... Read More

Travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease in Europe in 2008

In 2008, the European Surveillance Scheme for Travel Associated Legionnaires’ Disease (EWGLINET) received reports of 866 cases of travel-associated Legionnaires’ disease, 42 of whom were reported to have died. 824 of the cases were classified as confirmed and 42 were presumptive. As in previous ... Read More

The Microbe Factor and Its Role in Our Climate Future

When new reports about global warming come out, they typically include a picture of the land and sky, with arrows marking the movement of carbon dioxide around the planet. Some arrows rise up from cities and farmland, while other arrows plunge down to forests and oceans. This sort of diagram doe... Read More

DNA testing debated as condo board tries to find source of dog droppings

DNA testing is used in many critical tasks: convicting criminals, clearing innocent suspects, establishing paternity, identifying genetic diseases during pregnancy.

And now this: identifying whose dog left droppings on the condominium's carpet.

According to a story by Jill Rosen of the Bal... Read More

Peering Over the Fortress That Is the Mighty Cell

When J. Craig Venter announced at a news conference the other day that he and his co-workers had created the first “synthetic cell,” he displayed the savvy graciousness of an actor accepting an Academy Award.

Dr. Venter, the renowned genome wrassler and president of the J. Craig Venter Insti... Read More

Virus Ravages Cassava Plants in Africa

Lynet Nalugo dug a cassava tuber out of her field and sliced it open.

Inside its tan skin, the white flesh was riddled with necrotic brown lumps, as obviously diseased as any tuberculosis lung or cancerous breast.

“Even the pigs refuse this,” she said.

The plant was what she called a “... Read More

Modified Measles Virus Shows Potential for Treating Childhood Brain Tumors

The use of modified measles virus may represent a new treatment for a childhood brain tumor known as medulloblastoma, according to a new study appearing in Neuro-Oncology.

Medulloblastoma is the most common malignant central nervous system tumor of childhood, accounting for about 20 percent ... Read More

H1N1 Pandemic Flu Hits Pregnant Women Hard

Pregnant women who get the H1N1 pandemic strain of flu are at high risk of experiencing serious complications for themselves and their unborn child, a new study finds.

According to the report, there has not been much data about the effect of the novel H1N1 flu on pregnant women and their fetu... Read More

Discovery May Lead to Safer Drinking Water, Cheaper Medicine

A discovery that may pave the way to helping reduce health hazards such as E. coli in water could also make chemicals and drugs such as insulin cheaper to produce and their production more environmentally friendly.

By creating a three-dimensional model, Queen's University biochemistry profess... Read More

Genome of bacteria responsible for tuberculosis of olive tree sequenced

Researchers at the Public University of Navarra, the Polytechnic University of Madrid (CBGP), the University of Malaga, the University of Wisconsin and the Valencian Institute of Agricultural Research have managed to sequence the genome of the bacteria responsible for tuberculosis in the olive t... Read More

Electrons In, Biofuel Out

Is “microbial electrosynthesis” the future of biofuel? Corn fermentation is one oft-used way to make biofuel, but making ethanol this way is often criticized as inefficient, and since it requires corn (or some other crop), it requires farm land and other farming resources that might otherwise b... Read More

TWiV 84 letters

TWiV 84 letters



Matthew writes:


Hi Twiv,


Firstly, love the podcast, I listen to it on my way to work. Don't change a thing!


I recently wrote to you asking about the possible link between a high-arginine diet and herpes simplex outbreaks in... Read More

TWiV 84: Gators go viral

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On episode #84 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent and Rich spoke with Dave Bloom and Grant McFadden about their work on herpesviruses and poxviruses in this episode recorded before an aud... Read More

MIT Team Extends Use of Virus Template to Assemble Li-ion Anode Materials; Biologically Activated Noble Metal Alloys

An MIT team including Drs. Gerbrand Ceder and Angela Belcher has synthesized gold (Au) and silver (Ag) alloy nanowires as anode materials for Li-ion batteries using multiple clones of the M13 bacteriophage virus. A paper on their work was published 27 May in the ACS journal Nano Letters.

This... Read More

Split-Virus Vaccine Better of Two H1N1 Shots

Of the two vaccines used in the U.K. to protect against pandemic H1N1 influenza, the adjuvanted split-virus vaccine offered better protection for children than the non-adjuvanted whole-virus vaccine, but caused more side effects, a phase II study showed.

After two doses, there were higher ser... Read More

Tooth brushing habits linked to a healthy heart

Forgetting to brush your teeth not only leads to stinky breath, there's a good chance it might also lead to heart disease.

That's the finding of a new study that looked at how toothbrushing practices affect the heart. It found that people who don't brush their teeth too often are more at risk... Read More

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