Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug an... Read More
The TWiVocytes answer questions about Ebola virus, including mode of transmission, quarantine, incubation period, immunity, and much more.
Chinese researchers have discovered what they say is the first ‘virological penicillin’ – MIR2911, a molecule found naturally in a Chinese herb called honeysuckle.
Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively tr... Read More
For MoMA PS1's Young Architect Program, David Benjamin and the architecture firm, The Living, utilized cutting-edge bio-design technologies to create a completely organic, compostable tower. The winning structure is composed of discarded cornstalks and mushroom material, and used zero energy in ... Read More
A historical look back at the discovery of the AIDS virus. Margaret Heckler, president Reagan's Health and Human Services Secretary made the announcement to the world. “First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been ... Read More
For most of my life, if I’ve thought at all about the bacteria living on my skin, it has been while trying to scrub them away. But recently I spent four weeks rubbing them in. I was Subject 26 in testing a living bacterial skin tonic, developed by AOBiome, a biotech start-up in Cambridge, Mass. ... Read More
Suzanne writes (re Aphids):
The best way to get rid of aphids in the garden (the ants in my yard love to herd them onto my okra) is a sharp stream of water from the hose. Aphids wash right off! They don't tend to come back right away, either.
A flu vaccine that works against all flu viruses and provides protection for at least two decades is getting closer to reality, according to scientists at Mount Sinai Health System.
The organization’s vaccine would offer better and broader and longer-lasting protection against seasonal influe... Read More
The late computer scientist Randy Pausch wrote many inspirational things about life and academia during his struggle with pancreatic cancer. As we approach 2015, his words are helpful to me, and perhaps to others. About life, about academia, about helping others...and making our dreams come tr... Read More
Invasive species aren’t just species—they can also be pathogens. Such is the case with the West Nile virus. A mosquito-borne virus identified in the West Nile subregion in Uganda in 1937—hence the name—West Nile wasn’t much of a concern to people elsewhere until it broke out of Africa in 1999. T... Read More
Hello Dr Racaniello and Despommier,
I recently saw an article about the paper linked below on Science Daily and thought it might be worth a discussion on TWIP. It is about the possibility of bed bugs being a vector for T. cruzi. I would love to... Read More
Antibiotic stewardship programs, which promote the appropriate use of antibiotics in hospitals and other healthcare centers, can not only lead to reduction in antibiotic use with no adverse effects but can also lead to significant savings, over $600,000 annually in the case of one New York Ho... Read More
Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More
A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.
The latest find, described online Monday ... 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
Cyanobacteria could serve as a synthetic biology chassis that could be retooled for the production of biofuels, drugs or chemcials. So far, however, they have been held back by sluggish growth that makes it difficult to conduct the initial experiments needed to characterize their genetic and met... Read More
Doctors have used gene therapy to upgrade the immune system of 12 patients with HIV to help shield them from the virus's onslaught. It raises the prospect of patients no longer needing to take daily medication to control their infection. The patients' white blood cells were taken out of the body... Read More
Some commonly used drugs that combat aches and pains, fever, and inflammation are also thought to have the ability to kill bacteria. New research reveals that these drugs, better known as nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, act on bacteria in a way that is fundamentally different from current ... Read More
The day we knew would come is finally here. The first locally acquired case of the tropical disease chikungunya was reported in the U.S. today.
The mosquito-borne viral disease first debuted in the Western Hemisphere last year and has since sprawled across the Caribbean, with cases in Puerto ... 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