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New Springtime Flu Strain Going Around New York

Thought you only had to deal with allergies these days? Well, maybe you've noticed some friends or work colleagues calling in sick lately—that may be because there's another flu strain making the rounds.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, influenza B is accounting for 55% of all vi... 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

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

First Case of New Bird Flu Identified in Human Patient

The latest version is called H6N1, and represents the first time that this strain of bird flu has jumped from birds to people.

Flu researchers are especially wary of birds, from wild avian species like migrating geese to run-of-the-mill chickens at local poultry markets. They harbor a series ... Read More

Rare New Microbe Found in Two Distant NASA Clean Rooms

A rare, recently discovered microbe that survives on very little to eat has been found in two places on Earth: spacecraft clean rooms in Florida and South America.

Microbiologists often do thorough surveys of bacteria and other microbes in spacecraft clean rooms. Fewer microbes live there tha... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... 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

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

HPV: Sex, cancer and a virus

On a sunny day in 1998, Maura Gillison was walking across the campus of Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Maryland, thinking about a virus. The young oncologist bumped into the director of the university's cancer centre, who asked politely about her work. Gillison described her discovery of... 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

Fecal transplant pill knocks out recurrent C. diff infection, study shows (Press Release)

SAN FRANCISCO – Swallowing pills containing a concentrate of fecal bacteria successfully stops recurrent bouts of debilitating Clostridium difficile (C. diff) infection by rebalancing the bacteria in the gut, suggests a study being presented at the IDWeek 2013™ meeting today.

Infection from C... Read More

Creative "Extra Credit" Projects in Microbiology!

In this blog entry, I explore how students can use their creativity to learn microbiology in innovative and often artistic ways. It makes learning more personal! Read More

Florida Bill Would Combat Superbug Threat

A bill to track drug-resistant infections has been introduced in Florida, inspired in part by FRONTLINE’s Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Janet Adkins, a Republican, requires the state health department to maintain an online record of the type and location of any a... Read More

Photonic tweezers can pick up a single virus with light

A new device from Macquarie University can manipulate objects as small as 50 nanometers wide — about a thousandth of the width of a human hair and small enough to allow direct manipulation of a single viral capsule.

Click on 'source' to read full article. 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

TWiV 282: Tamiflu and tenure too




Hosts:  Read More

Glowing Antibiotics Reveal Bacterial Infections

Despite surgeons’ best efforts, bacteria often manage to sneak onto medical implants such as bone screws, where they can cause severe infections. Research published today in Nature Communications suggests that using fluorescent antibiotics could reveal such infections before they become too seve... Read More

Babies' Weak Immune Systems Let In "Good" Bacteria

As any new parent knows, infants are notoriously susceptible to bacterial infections. A study now suggests that the body engineers this vulnerability deliberately, allowing beneficial microbes to colonize the baby’s gut, skin, mouth and lungs. Learning to manipulate this system could lead to tre... Read More

Gut Bacteria Might Guide The Workings Of Our Minds

Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.

"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Californ... Read More

Rare seawater 'flesh-eating' bacteria kills 35 a year

The death last week of a Florida man from an uncommon flesh-eating bacterium was the state's ninth so far this year.

The bacterium is in the same family as those that cause cholera.

Henry Konietzky, 59, of Palm Coast, Fla., died Sept. 23 after setting crab traps two days earlier in the riv... Read More

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