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Microbes are going to save the world | Bonnie Bassler (video)

Should we only consider bacteria as harmful to our bodies?

Bonnie Bassler is a molecular biologist who has made a stunning discovery: bacteria 'talk' to each other using chemical signals that enable them to act as a unit, mount attacks and coordinate defence. This phenomenon of bacterial com... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

TWiV 294: Smallpox and anthrax and flu, oh my!

The TWiV team reviews the discovery of old vials of smallpox virus at NIH, anthrax and influenza mishaps at CDC, the baby who was not cured of HIV, Cambridge Working Group, and sacking of NSABB members.


Hosts:  Read More

My Dishwasher Is Trying to Kill Me: Extreme Conditions Suit Pathogenic Fungus

A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found. A new paper published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier, shows that these sites make perfect habi... Read More

At least 59 people dead in Guinea Ebola outbreak

An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- we... Read More

Gut bacteria may be best defense against nasty germs

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are on the rise, making it more and more difficult to treat infections. But research suggests that the best defense against harmful bugs could be a healthy population of “good” gut bacteria. The human relationship with microbial life is complicated. At almost any su... Read More

Scientists Study What to Do If You Drop a Cookie on the Floor

Once again, you've dropped your snack. You bend down, snatch it up, and gently blow off any dust—and, you hope, deadly germs. You're about to put it in your mouth because, after all, you've got the "five-second rule" on your side: Food that's been dropped is safe to consume if it's been on the f... Read More

BacterioFiles 174 - Synthetic Cells Sense and Send Signals

This episode: Bacteria with engineered circuits can detect and keep a record of stuff in their environment, like in the gut!


(14.6 MB, 15.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Fossil viruses preserved in hot spring bacteria

Fossilized microbes have provided scientists many clues about origins of life. By comparison, little attention is given to viruses in the fossil record. Although technically non-living, there is no question these tiny packets of protein-sheathed DNA have shaped the evolution of most life on eart... Read More

"Super bacteria" cleaning up after oil spills

Norwegian researchers in Trondheim have achieved surprising results by exploiting nature's own ability to clean up after oil spills.
We all know that marine bacteria can assist in cleaning up after oil spills. What is surprising is that given the right kind of encouragement, they can be even mo... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 150 - Morels Make Mycelial Motorways

This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


Read More

TWiV 260: Badgers go viral

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Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

Scientists find coronavirus inhibitor blocking MERS and SARS

A team of European scientists say they have discovered a compound that can prevent the spreading of coronaviruses, responsible for the SARS and MERS outbreaks that have killed about 1,000 people worldwide.

A team of scientists led by Edward Trybala from the University of Gothenburg in Sweden,... Read More

New vaccines against an old disease: brucellosis

Brucellosis is a worldwide extended infectious disease of livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, cows, pigs, …) and remains one of the most common zoonotic infections, with more tan 500,000 new human cases worldwide every year. Control and eradication of brucellosis requires the use of animal vaccines... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

Guinea Worm Said to Infect Few in 2013

Only 148 cases of Guinea worm disease were found in the world in 2013, a 73 percent drop from the 542 cases found one year earlier, the Carter Center announced Thursday.

Along with polio, Guinea worm is one of two diseases hovering on the brink of extinction, with fewer than 1,000 cases annua... Read More

TWiM 64 Letters

Tim writes:


Vincent and friends,


While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More

BacterioFiles 165 - Bacillus Biofilms Balk Bilks

This episode: Interview with Jordi van Gestel: cheaters in bacterial communities don't always succeed!


(13.1 MB, 14.25 minutes)


Read More

Rare bacteria outbreak linked to Chicago hospital

CHICAGO, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- The largest outbreak ever of a rare but potentially deadly bacteria has been tied to equipment in a Chicago-area hospital, health officials said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said 44 cases of infection by the bacteria carbapenem-resistant enterobacteri... Read More

BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

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