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Bacteria become “genomic tape recorders”

Engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure, other events in their DNA.

MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well su... Read More

'Breath test' shows promise for diagnosing fungal pneumonia

Many different microbes can cause pneumonia, and treatment may be delayed or off target if doctors cannot tell which bug is the culprit. A novel approach—analyzing a patient's breath for key chemical compounds made by the infecting microbe—may help detect invasive aspergillosis, a fungal infecti... Read More

Mutating virus suppresses cow’s immune response

Bovine viral diarrhea virus infections result in one of the most costly diseases among cattle with losses in U.S. herds estimated at $2 billion per year, according to professor Christopher Chase of the South Dakota State University Veterinary and Biomedical Sciences Department.

"It is an immu... Read More

Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

Click "source" to watch this fantastic video conversation.

Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our phy... Read More

TWiP 89 letters


Robin writes:


Cerebral cysticercosis
.....


(trichinosis?)


Left shift:
This is from the days when dinosaurs roamed the earth:
Manual counters for the differential count had the buttons left to right for neutrophils, bands, eosinophil... Read More

Researchers produce first atlas of airborne microbes across United States

A University of Colorado Boulder and North Carolina State University-led team has produced the first atlas of airborne microbes across the continental U.S., a feat that has implications for better understanding health and disease in humans, animals and crops. Read More

There Is No ‘Healthy’ Microbiome - NY Times Opinion Piece #microbiome

Ed Yong, a freelance science writer who authors the Not Exactly Rocket Science blog for National Geographic, has penned an opinion piece in the NY Times Sunday Review on how society needs to start thinking about the microbiome as an ecosystem with all the complexities that it entails and not as ... Read More

Bacteria may help treat acne, ulcers

Is it possible that our personal hygiene routines make us too clean? Are we soaping and cleansing away friendly microbes that help preserve skin health? A study presented at the 5th American Society for Microbiology Conference on Beneficial Microbes in Washington, DC, provides food for thought o... Read More

Chagas disease - a new public health threat for Americans?

Chagas disease - a parasitic infection that can cause severe heart disease and death if not caught and treated early - affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. Now, new research suggests it is increasingly being seen in the southern US and poses an emerging potential public... Read More

Sizing up cells: Study finds possible regulator of growth

Modern biology has attained deep knowledge of how cells work, but the mechanisms by which cellular structures assemble and grow to the right size largely remain a mystery. Now, researchers may have found the key in a dynamic agglomeration of molecules inside cells.

Click "source" to read more... Read More

'Attract and kill:' Trapping malaria mosquito mums before they lay eggs

In a world first, researchers have found that a naturally occurring chemical attracts pregnant malaria-transmitting mosquitoes - a discovery which could boost malaria control efforts. The chemical, cedrol, found in mosquito breeding sites near Africa's Lake Victoria, could be used in traps that... Read More

Central Park Features Worldwide Soil Microbes

"If you want to find unique diversity and if you want to find a wide range of different below-ground organisms, you don't have to travel around the world. You can walk across Central Park."

That statement comes from Noah Fierer, an ecology and evolutionary biology professor at the University ... Read More

How a Bacterial Virus Found in Jerusalem Sewage Could Prevent Root Canal Infections

According to the Review on Antimicrobial Resistance commissioned by the UK Prime Minister, failing to address the growing problem of drug-resistant infections could cause 10 million deaths a year and cost up to $100 trillion USD by 2050.

Now, researchers from the Hebrew University of Jerusal... Read More

Unlocking the Key to Immunological Memory in Bacteria

A powerful genome editing tool may soon become even more powerful. Researchers with the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) have unlocked the key to how bacteria are able to “steal” genetic information from viruses and other foreign invaders for use in their own immunological me... Read More

Dawn of the Cyborg Bacteria (video)

In a basement laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania, two roboticists have harnessed the innate sensing, swimming, and swarming abilities of bacteria to power microscopic robots. Even though their work sounds like the prologue to a dark science fiction film, Ph.D. students Elizabeth Beatti... Read More

Acute flaccid paralysis of unknown etiology in California

In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More

Revealed: how bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes. The rese... Read More

More secondary schooling reduces HIV risk

Boston, MA -- Longer secondary schooling substantially reduces the risk of HIV infection--especially for girls--and could be a very cost-effective way to halt the spread of the virus, according to researchers from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. In a study in Botswana, researchers fou... Read More

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex

Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike... Read More

Programmable Antibiotics Could Kill Infections While Leaving Your "Good" Bugs Alone

As the world experiences a wakeup call about the rise of drug-resistant infections, a new approach to creating smarter, “programmable” drugs could combat the two major problems with life-saving drugs today.

On the one hand, today’s antibiotics work a little too well. They not only kill infect... Read More
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