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Microbes After Hours: The Necrobiome - Microbial Life After Death

What happens to us after we die?  A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers and multitudes of microbes.  Microbes from the environment, the corpse, as well as the insects and scavengers are blended together and work to recycle tissues back to t... Read More

Yeast fights viruses!

Humans have used Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in baking, brewing and winemaking for millennia. New research from the University of Idaho and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals another way that yeast species can help our species: by demonstrating how viruses interact with their hosts, a... Read More

A Citizen Microbiology project on the Built Environment

There is a growing popular and policy interest in the microbiome, and the possibilities of more nuanced or ‘probiotic’ ways of living with germs. To date however there has been limited public engagement with the science and technology of metagenomics. The project engages with the growing scienti... Read More

TWiM #136: Diderms and then monoderms

The TWiM team discusses the importance of neutrophils in microbial infections, and evidence that ancient bacteria had two cell walls.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, El... Read More

TWiM #137: The battle for oxygen

Highlights of the Recent Advances in Microbial Control meeting in San Diego, and expansion of a gut pathogen by virulence factors that stimulate aerobic respiration.


Vincent Racaniello, <... Read More

Antibacterial and antiinflammatory properties of bovine colostrum

Colostrum is a thick, sticky, yellowish mammary secretion that all mammals provide to their newborns during the first 24-48 hours after delivery.

It has been reported that constituents from BC are 100-fold to 1,000-fold more potent than human colostrum. This means that even human infants can ... Read More

Virus steals black widow poison gene to help it attack

For the first time a virus that targets bacteria has been found to have genes lifted from non-bacterial cells – those of the black widow spider. Read More

There’s a breast microbiome, and it’s different in women with breast cancer

In one of the most recent studies involving the microbiiome, researchers from the Mayo Clinic have identified significant differences in the breast bacteria of women with and without breast cancer.

The paper, published in the journal Scientific Reports, reveals that inside the breast is a com... Read More

Pseudomonas aeruginosa – the molecular tools of a bacterial survivor

The bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa can thrive in environments as different as the moist, warm tissue in our lungs, and the dry, nutrient-deprived surface of an office wall. Such adaptability makes it problematic in healthcare – where it causes infections in cases of cystic fibrosis, cancer, HIV... Read More

CMV Is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed

The world has been galvanized by the Zika epidemic spreading through the Americas, which has left more than two thousand infants with severe brain damage. But for pregnant women and their infants in the United States, cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is the far greater viral threat.

Every year, 20,00... Read More

Four biting insect–borne viruses that you may not have heard about are now worrying researchers

Disease detectives are on the lookout for obscure viruses that can be spread among people by traveling insects, and quickly become a widespread problem. Scientific papers are filled with illnesses to watch. Four particular viruses now stand out to virologists and epidemiologists, although it is ... Read More

Global Warming Collapses Symbiotic Gut Bacteria, Killing Host Insects

Washington, DC – October 4, 2016 – A new study shows that when heat-susceptible bacteria living symbiotically in the guts of insects are exposed to increased temperatures, both the bacteria and the insect are negatively impacted and can die. The study, reported online this week in the journal mB... Read More

After Hurricane Matthew, Cholera Becomes a Concern

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, and the southeast United States two days later, leaving tens of thousands without power, transportation, and in the worst cases, homes. Because of its extreme poverty, and its continuing recovery from previous natural disasters, Haiti is looking at... Read More

New vaccines againts zika can prevent neurological disorders in newborn mice

Two vaccines against Zika virus developed at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine have successfully conveyed immunity from female mice to pups conceived weeks after the mother's vaccination.

When challenged with Zika virus within a week of their birth, both vaccines protected the p... Read More

MMP #17: How bacteria can change graphene to propel rotors.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Julia Yeomans and Vikas Berry.

Julia Yeomans of Oxford University in the United Kingdom and chemical engineer
Vikas Berry of the University of Illinois, Chicago, talk with Jeff Fox about their separate, but in some ways similar, research effor... Read More

Arkansas Investigates Mumps Outbreak With More Than 400 Possible Cases

The Arkansas Department of Health is investigating a mumps outbreak that may have infected hundreds of people.

A total of 427 suspected cases of mumps are being investigated in the state, with the majority of them children, the department reported on Friday.

More than 30 schools in the sta... Read More

Metagenomic Study Links Microbes to Flavors in Kefir

Washington, DC - October 4, 2016 - A team of food scientists and microbiologists in Ireland have used high-throughput sequencing to analyze how microbial populations change as kefir ferments. It's a new frontier in food analysis: Using the data, collected over a 24-hour fermentation period, the ... Read More

A bacterial role in breast cancer development and prevention

Microbial infection is implicated in an ever-growing number of types of cancer. Adding to the already long list of microbial-associated cancers, an increasing body of evidence suggests breast cancer may also be associated with a specific microbial milieu. A report in Applied and Environmental Mi... Read More

Close Quarters: The Importance of Interspecies Interactions in Microbial Biofilms

Biofilms, surface-attached microbial communities encased in an extracellular matrix, are one of the most common macroscopic microbial structures we can see in nature. Biofilms like those seen in pond scum, in dental plaque, or in hot springs, are mixed communities with the members forming both a... Read More

Staphylococcus aureus has a resistance strategy that thwarts certain antimicrobials

The natural presence of fatty acids in the human body leads to increased resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to a class of antimicrobials that target bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This discovery, based on research by INRA scientists in collaboration with with INSERM, Hôpital Cochin APHP, th... Read More
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