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TWiP 14 Letters

Sarah writes:

To my favourite scientists,

I am a high school student from Serbia and microbiology is my passion; I plan on going to university and studying it. I wanted to tell you both how much I enjoy the TWIP podcast! I especially enjoyed the one about tapeworms.... Read More

TWiP 14: Leishmania

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Vincent and Dickson consider the life cycle and pathogenesis of the protozoan parasite Leishmania.

Download  Read More

Fish-gut clue to human immunity

Researchers have identified the function of one of the earliest antibodies in the animal kingdom, an ancient immunoglobulin that helps explain the evolution of human intestinal immune responses.

It plays a predominant role in the guts of fish and paves the way for a better understanding of hu... Read More

New superbugs spreading from South Asia: study

Plastic surgery patients have carried a new class of superbugs resistant to almost all antibiotics from South Asia to Britain and they could spread worldwide, researchers reported Wednesday.

Many hospital infections that were already difficult to treat have become even more impervious to drug... Read More

Bacteria from Hot Springs Reveal Clues to Evolution of Early Life and to Unlock Biofuels' Potential

Bacteria that lives in hot springs in Japan may help solve one of the mysteries of the early evolution of complex organisms, according to a study publishing next week in PLoS Biology. It may also be the key to 21st century biofuel production.

Biochemists Alan Lambowitz and Georg Mohr began in... Read More

Measuring MRSA in vitro

Staphylococcus aureus blood stream infections have a fatality risk of 30% to 40%; a narrow window of time is available to administer antibiotic therapy. The MicroPhage MRSA/MSSA Blood Culture Test from MicroPhage, Inc., Longmont, Colo., is the first in vitro diagnostic for direct identification ... Read More

Eye disease diagnosed online, automatically

Early diagnosis of diabetic retinopathy (DR) is vital to preserving the eye sight of a diabetes patient; however, less than half of the diabetes patients in the United States are screened due to cost or limited access to medical specialists. Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, Tenn. and Th... Read More

Drug-Resistant Staph Infections Decline In Hospitals

There's good news for a change about a bad bug called MRSA.

Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus isn't fazed by many common antibiotics. Each year infections with the germ sicken more than 90,000 Americans and kill 19,000.

But the rates of MRSA infections in hospitals have come down... Read More

Glow-in-the-dark shrimp safe to eat

So, you decide that the best way to use those still-glowing coals is to throw on those fresh shrimp that just never made it to the grill. You peel, devein and sprinkle them with salt, and then head back outside to stir the coals. Your frugal spouse flips off the kitchen light. You re-enter the d... Read More

A One-Two Punch for Multi-Drug Resistant TB?

One in ten of the 2 billion people infected with Mycobacterium tuberculosis will fall ill with tuberculosis in their lifetime, so finding effective drugs to treat TB and preventing the emergence of drug resistance are public health priorities of the highest order. Treating TB requires a combina... Read More

More seniors on Medicare use antibiotics: study

More seniors used antibiotics after enrolling in Medicare Part D, the program that helps pay for prescription drugs, in a new study of about 35,000 people.

The results are promising for conditions like pneumonia, which is sometimes deadly in the elderly but can be effectively treated with ant... Read More

Clues to Gut Immunity Evolution: Research Reveals Similarities Between Fish and Humans

A study at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine has identified the function of one of the earliest antibodies in the animal kingdom, an ancient immunoglobulin that helps explain the evolution of human intestinal immune responses. It was discovered to play a predominant ro... Read More

Popping Cells Surprise Living Circuits Creators

Under the microscope, the bacteria start dividing normally, two cells become four and then eight and so on. But then individual cells begin "popping," like circus balloons being struck by darts.

This phenomenon, which surprised the Duke University bioengineers who captured it on video, turns ... Read More

Treatments: Drug Schedule Improves Survival Rate of Those With AIDS and Tuberculosis

People who are near death from a combination of tuberculosis and AIDS are more likely to survive if they get immediate TB treatment, followed two weeks later by antiretroviral drugs for AIDS, doctors are reporting.

Several AIDS specialists said the research, supported by the French and Americ... Read More

When the End Is the Story - Human Herpesvirus six (HHV-6)

Sometimes, discovery in biology is about discerning rules and sometimes it is about pursuing exceptions. In this spirit, Human Herpesvirus six (HHV-6), the etiologic agent of the common childhood illness roseola infantum, is shaping up to be an intriguing exception.

A recent post on Small Thi... Read More

Silver Beware: Antimicrobial Nanoparticles in Soil May Harm Plant Life

Silver nanoparticles, used for their potent antimicrobial properties in hospitals and consumer products, may negatively impact plant growth as they make their way into the environment, according to a new study. Whereas it may not spell the end of all flora as we know it, the findings suggest th... Read More

How Acquired Diseases Become Hereditary Illnesses

One of the primary goals of genetics over the past decade has been to understand human health and disease in terms of differences in DNA from person to person. But even a relatively straightforward trait such as height has resisted attempts to reduce it to a particular combination of genes. In ... Read More

Viral translocation through intestinal permeability

Intestinal permeability and the translocation of bacteria, viruses and antigens through the mucosal epithelium seems to play a role in many illnesses from celiac disease over diabetes to HIV and immune activation. Do we take into account that intestinal permeability could play a very important r... Read More

Hormone hope over cystic fibrosis

Irish researchers have made a major breakthrough in understanding why women with the life-threatening disease cystic fibrosis (CF) have a poorer survival rate than men.

Academics found higher levels of the hormone oestrogen limits the lungs' ability to fight infection and bacteria that attack... Read More

Experimental antiviral drug boceprevir doubles cure rate for hepatitis C

An experimental antiviral agent called boceprevir doubled the cure rate for hepatitis C in a small phase 2 clinical trial designed to show efficacy, researchers reported Sunday. The drug will now be submitted to the larger Phase 3 trial required for approval of the drug by the Food and Drug Admi... Read More
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