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Hijacking bacteria's natural defences to trap and reveal pathogens

Bad bacteria could soon have no place left to hide, thanks to new materials that turn the cell’s own defences against them.

Scientists at The University of Nottingham and GSK Consumer Healthcare have developed a technique that could locate the potential source of an infection by hijacking the... Read More

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscope

The Foldscope is a fully functional microscope that can be laser- or die-cut out of paper for around 50 cents.

This bookmark-sized microscope can be assembled in minutes, includes no mechanical moving parts, packs in a flat configuration, is extremely rugged and can be incinerated after to s... Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... Read More

Scientists Build a Yeast Chromosome From Scratch. Next Up? Designer Genomes

Creating synthetic organisms with specially-tailored genomes is a long way off, but the first synthetic eukaryotic chromosome is a big step forward.

Humans have been using what they know about the biological world to make stuff for centuries—from beer to antibiotics. But, what if you could ma... Read More

What Gut Bacteria Might Have To Do With Colorectal Cancer Risk

While genetics likely play a role in some instances of colorectal cancer, a new study in mice suggests gut bacteria could also influence development of intestinal tumors. Researchers from the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai found that giving antibiotics to mice to disrupt their microbial... Read More

When Will We Have a Vaccine for Ebola Virus?

The latest outbreak of Ebola virus in west Africa is the worst ever—as of Monday, it had infected more than 1,200 people and claimed at least 672 victims since this spring. Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone all have confirmed cases. An official at Doctors Without Borders has declared the outbreak... Read More

Arctic bacteria gene swap to detoxify mercury

On the list of substances you really don’t want to mess with, elemental mercury is pretty high up. Inhalation or absorption of the volatile metal can quickly lead to irreversible poisoning. Unfortunately, Hg is also a hallmark of industrial society.....Mercury-resistant bacteria carry a collecti... Read More

The bacteria in breast milk

Bacteria are found in large numbers all over the human body where there is a channel to the outside world, for example in the gut, lungs, and surface of the skin. I’ve always thought that actually inside the human body was a bacteria-free environment unless an infection was raging so I was very ... Read More

Bacteria Enhance Growth of Fruit Trees Up to 40 Percent

Improvement in reforestation and agriculture is possible thanks to the work of scientists in the Center of Research and Advanced Studies (Cinvestav) who use different strains of fungi and bacteria to promote development and health in trees, which have enabled them to accelerate growth of differe... Read More

TWiV 289: Vinny and the capsids

Vinny and the capsids answer listener questions about the definition of life, state vaccination laws, the basic science funding problem, viral ecology, inactivation of viruses by pressure, and much more.


Hosts:  Read More

Paint a virus to death

An Auckland scientist has invented molecules that can attach themselves to any surface in a few minutes and modify every type of cell or virus. The potential for the technology is huge - from attacking cancer cells to protecting newborn babies. Read More

Bacteria Proposed for Passaic River Superfund Site Cleanup

A decades long fight over cleaning up one of the nation's most contaminated riverbeds has posed a difficult question: how to safely remove enough toxic material from New Jersey's Passaic River to fill two MetLife Stadiums.

The federal government is moving forward with long-stalled efforts to ... Read More

Parvo Trial Shows Promising Results In Effort To Combat Puppy Virus

A North Dakota company that discovered an antibody technology while trying to cure flocks of dying geese is using its research for a more warm and fuzzy purpose: saving puppies.

Early tests performed on about 50 puppies in seven U.S. states for Grand Forks-based Avianax have resulted in a 90 ... Read More

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... Read More

Scientists create accurate predictor of the next year’s flu virus

Influenza viruses evolve rapidly, making it hard to develop protective vaccines against them. Despite a great deal of effort, scientists have found it difficult to forecast which way the virus’ evolution would take it. Now, thanks to improvements in our ability to study viruses and a new mathema... Read More

New research shows how pathogenic E. coli O157:H7 binds to fresh vegetables

Food-poisoning outbreaks linked to disease-causing strains of the bacterium Escherichia coli are normally associated with tainted meat products. However, between 20-30% of these are caused by people eating contaminated vegetables, as was seen in the 2011 outbreak in Europe that caused 53 deaths.... 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

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More

Graphic Warnings: Ebola Posters Keep The Virus On People's Minds

The campaign is called "Kick Back Ebola." But the posters pack a punch.

Sierra Leone has reported over 700 suspected Ebola cases, more than any other country this year. To help stop the outbreak, health workers have put up Ebola awareness signs all over Sierra Leone's seaside capital of Freet... Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.

In this study we attemp... Read More

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