Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common pl... Read More
The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research. "When people think about food-borne pathogens, normally they list bacteria, viruses, and maybe parasites. Fungal pathogen... Read More
A former student dropped by my lab this morning, and brought me a gift: a knit bacteriophage! Many times, as educators, we hear what we haven't done well, or could do better. Sometimes, like today, we get a priceless "thank you" from a former student. Read More
It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.
The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More
Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections without antibiotics, which would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.
Ever since the development of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have remained t... Read More
Resurrecting ancient beers and wines is a subtle alchemy, but Patrick McGovern knows all the tricks. He directs the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Many of his ancient brews are sold by Dogfish Head brewery i... Read More
A little-known virus that can be fatal in young babies has prompted Queensland scientists to undertake urgent medical research.
Parechovirus was first reported in Australia in December last year and there have now been dozens of cases across the country.
There have been 11 confirmed cases ... Read More
On his second trip to Brazil, Vincent joins Eurico to speak with four young virologists, Gustavo, Cintia, Tatiana, and Suellen, about their work and their prospects for careers in science.
Host: Read More
New results from a safety and immunogenicity study, which included a challenge phase to test efficacy, indicate that a live attenuated enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine candidate, given in combination with a novel adjuvant, provided significant protection against disease. This repr... Read More
The first microscopes, in the 1500s and 1600s, transformed glass panes that looked completely transparent into a universe teeming with bacteria, cells, pollen and intricate crystals. These visionary aids were the first devices to show people that there were cells within a drop of blood. Since th... Read More
The calorie free sweetener erythritol is widely used in Asia; it is also gaining popularity in Europe and America. At the Vienna University of Technology, a new cheap method has been developed to produce erythritol from straw with the help of mould fungi.
Erythritol has many great advantages:... Read More
Matt Daugherty writes:
I just listened to the latest TWiM. Thanks for covering our horizontal gene transfer paper! It was great to hear you all talk about it and give your thoughts.
With regards to the selective pressure for retention of the Dae’s in genomes o... Read More
The bacteria that cause cholera grab genes from other organisms in a particularly predatory and precise way, new research finds: They spear neighboring cells with a kind of poison-tipped spike.
Bacteria often grab genes from other organisms and incorporate that DNA into their own genomes. But... Read More
Look what the cat dragged in! The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a common protozoan transmitted by cats, can effect mammalian brain cells in strange ways. In rodents, the parasite has been shown to inhibit fear and actually attract them to the smell of cat urine. Humans can be infected through c... Read More
This episode: Genes taken from bacteria may have been important for the evolution of distinct groups of archaea!
(7.4 MB, 8 minutes)
Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers report. As it invades a red blood cell, the malaria parasite takes part of the host cell's membrane to build a protective compartment. The parasite then starts a series of major renovations that tran... Read More
Let's face it: colonoscopies are pretty unpleasant. But what if you could eat a spoonful of yogurt to check for cancer rather than enduring that procedure? MIT professor Sangeeta Bhatia is working on engineered bacteria that detects colorectal cancer. Read More
As the focus of the Ebola issue shifts from management to recovery and prevention, an array of post-infection effects have cropped up in survivors of the virus. Vision and hearing problems have resulted from infection with the Ebola virus, and researchers are now faced with the task of determin... Read More
It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system - in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system - from single-celled to human - the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between "foreign"... Read More