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The Irish Rugby Team has Exceptional Guts

Scientists in Cork carried out a study in conjunction with the Irish Rugby Football Union which revealed that exercise and associated dietary changes influence gut microbial diversity.

The scientists at the Science Foundation Ireland-funded Alimentary Pharmabiotic Centre (APC) at University C... Read More

Antibiotic Resistance Revitalizes Century-Old Virus Therapy

The use of viruses that kill bacteria as a tool for treating infections are under study again by Western researchers and governments.

For decades, patients behind the Iron Curtain were denied access to some of the best antibiotics developed in the West. To make do, the Soviet Union invested h... Read More

Bacteria help explain why stress, fear trigger heart attacks (press release)

Scientists believe they have an explanation for the axiom that stress, emotional shock, or overexertion may trigger heart attacks in vulnerable people. Hormones released during these events appear to cause bacterial biofilms on arterial walls to disperse, allowing plaque deposits to rupture into... Read More

Herpesviruses undercover: How the virus goes undetected by body's immune system

Pathogens entering our body only remain unnoticed for a short period. Within minutes our immune cells detect the invader and trigger an immune response. However, some viruses have developed strategies to avoid detection and elimination by our immune system. Researchers have now been able to show... Read More

Small-scale badger culls may boost spread of cattle TB

Scientists say that culling a small number of badgers risks increasing the spread of TB infection to cattle.

The research suggests that some farmers who have allegedly killed badgers on their property could be making things worse for themselves and neighbours.

The findings also indicate th... Read More

BacterioFiles 169 - Microbes Meddle with Mesophilic Malaria

This episode: Ambient temperature seems to affect how much insect bacteria can interfere with transmission of malaria!


(7.85 MB, 8.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
... Read More

Why Some Civil War Soldiers Glowed in the Dark

Several wounded Battle of Shiloh soldiers sat in the mud for two rainy days and nights waiting for the medics. As dusk fell the first night, some of them noticed something very strange: their wounds were glowing, casting a faint light into the darkness of the battlefield. Even stranger, when the... Read More

New methods for fecal source tracking in Norwegian water catchments

The Norwegian Institute for Agricultural and Environmental Research, Bioforsk, has tested and implemented a set of methods for the detection of fecal pollution in Norwegian watercourses. The methods, which combine microbial and molecular biological techniques, can give answers as to whether the ... Read More

Retrospective, June 2014 - Small Things Considered

As is our custom at this time of year, we go over the material that has appeared in this blog over the last six months. Seems like a lot of stuff, but it’s the result of the work of quite a number of dedicated people, all of whom deserve our gratitude.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

Microbes May Drive Evolution of New Animal Species

You could call it Seth Bordenstein’s “Frankenstein” moment. A little over a year ago, Bordenstein, a biologist at Vanderbilt University in Nashville, Tennessee, and his then-graduate student, Robert Brucker, mated two incompatible species of wasp in the lab, creating a hardy hybrid that lived wh... Read More

Researchers Explore Pre-Pandemic Influenza Vaccination Cost-Effectiveness

A vaccine matched to a newly emerged pandemic influenza virus would require a production time of at least 6 months with current proven techniques, and so could only be used reactively after the peak of the pandemic. A pre-pandemic vaccine, although probably having lower efficacy, could be produc... Read More

TWiV 288: ebircsnart esreveR

The Twivsters discuss how reverse transcriptase encoded in the human genome might produce DNA copies of RNA viruses in infected cells.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

DNA Sequencing Diagnoses Boy's Mysterious Bacterial Disease

For the first time, doctors have used DNA-sequencing technology to diagnose and treat a boy in an emergency. It's a big step for DNA sequencing—that the technology is able to work so quickly, and to help a patient directly. As useful as DNA sequencing is for research and genetic counseling, befo... Read More

Early Exposure To Bacteria Protects Children From Asthma And Allergies

Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.

It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... Read More

Ten years of virology blog

Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More

Does Your Microbiological Age Match Your Biological One?

By the time babies are two months old, they start to smile. By five months, they usually start picking up objects. By 12 months, they’ve probably said their first word. By 18 months, they’re walking. These milestones are familiar, but growing up isn’t just about moving, speaking and thinking.
... Read More

Study: When hospital workers get vaccines, community flu rates fall

Public health data in California reveal for every 15 hospital vaccinations, there is one fewer case of flu in the community.

For every 15 healthcare providers who receive the influenza vaccination, one fewer person in the community will contract an influenza-like illness, according to a study... Read More

Hemorrhagic Fevers Can Be Caused by Body’s Antiviral Interferon Response

Hemorrhagic fevers caused by Lassa, dengue and other viruses affect more than one million people annually and are often fatal, yet scientists have never understood why only some virus-infected people come down with the disease and others do not.

But now, virologists and immunologists at The S... Read More

Mers virus: Saudi Arabia raises death toll to 282

Saudi Arabia says 282 people are now confirmed to have been killed by the Mers virus, almost 100 more than initially thought.

The increase came after a national review of hospital data from the time the virus emerged in 2012.

The deputy health minister, who has been criticised for his hand... Read More

Tracking potato famine pathogen to its home may aid $6 billion global fight

The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history.

Research published t... Read More

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