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NASA To Test Microgravity’s Effect On Bacteria, Antibiotics

NASA’s Antibiotic Effectiveness in Space (AES-1) investigation is launching in January and it will be offering scientists more insight into how bacteria behave in microgravity.

Bacteria are considered the most successful life forms, and they are hard to run from, even in space. In a micrograv... 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

Bio-artist colors textiles with deadly bacteria and antibiotics

Would you cuddle up with a quilt stained with MRSA? Artist Anna Dumitriu challenges the relationship between humans and bacteria by staining textiles with superbugs.

As part of her artist's residency on the UK Clinical Research Consortium Project “Modernising Medical Microbiology” at the Univ... 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

Smells Like … An Armpit Infection?

One man's irrepressible body odor was the result of a bacterial infection of his armpit hair, according to a new report of the case.

The 40-year-old man told his doctors he'd had armpit odor and "dirty" armpit hair for the last four years.

There was a "creamy yellow" substance on the man's... Read More

Better batteries through biology?

MIT researchers find a way to boost lithium-air battery performance, with the help of modified viruses.

Lithium-air batteries have become a hot research area in recent years: They hold the promise of drastically increasing power per battery weight, which could lead, for example, to electric c... Read More

A Newly Discovered Microbe Could Accelerate Global Warming

Teaming beneath Sweden's thawing permafrost is a previously undiscovered microbe known as methanongen (Candidatus Methanoflorens Stordalenmirensis). As its name suggests, the microbe does one thing really well: release methane into the atmosphere, presenting a feedback loop of gas production tha... Read More

Early Exposure To Bacteria Protects Children From Asthma And Allergies

Babies who are exposed to both bacteria and allergens in the first year of life are less likely to develop asthma and allergies, a study finds.

It's the latest wrinkle in the hygiene hypothesis — the notion that exposure to bacteria trains the infant immune system to attack bad bugs and ignor... 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

Baby born with AIDS in Los Angeles may be cured of virus, doctors hope

Doctors are reporting a second instance of a baby born with AIDS going into remission, or possibly cured, by aggressive treatment after birth. The first case, a child from Mississippi who is now 3 1/2, was reported last April. Doctors revealed the case Wednesday at an AIDS conference in Boston. ... Read More

What Are The Odds That an Artificially Enhanced Flu Strain Could Escape a Lab?

A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More

First Fecal Transplant Bank Opens

OpenBiome, a company based in Cambridge, Mass., has opened a facility that collects stool samples from healthy, pre-screened individuals. It then processes those "donations" and readies them for shipment to hospitals, where they are put into the colons of people with the deadly gut infection Cl... Read More

New childhood TB cases double earlier estimates

esearchers from Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH) and Harvard Medical School (HMS) have estimated that around 1 million children contract tuberculosis (TB) annually — twice the number previously thought to have the disease and three times the number of cases diagnosed every y... 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

TWiM 80 Letters

Bob writes:


Dear TWIM hosts,


I enjoyed episode 76, "Genetic biopixels and a pathogenic sweet tooth". I really enjoyed hearing about the course that Dr. Schaechter teaches and in particular the work his students did in developing the biosensor. I would like to ... Read More

Bacterial Nanowires: Not What We Thought They Were

New videos of morphing bacteria reveal that the strange, distinguishing features of so-called “electric bacteria” aren’t quite what they at first appeared to be.

For the past 10 years, scientists have been fascinated by a type of “electric bacteria” that shoots out long tendrils like electric... Read More

The Fungus That Killed Darwin’s Frog

In his second expedition to South America, Darwin discovered many new species of animals and plants. The field observations obtained throughout this 5-year expedition provided the intellectual framework for the maturation of his ideas on evolution. It also introduced the world to a tiny (2-3 cm ... Read More

Maize Plus Bacteria: One-Two Punch Knocks Copper Out of Stamp Sand

Scientists have known for years that together, bacteria and plants can remediate contaminated sites. Ramakrishna Wusirika, of Michigan Technological University, has determined that how you add bacteria to the mix can make a big difference. Wusirika has also shed light on the biochemical pathways... Read More

Commonly used pain relievers have added benefit of fighting bacterial infection

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

Artificial magnetic bacteria 'turn' food into natural drugs

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

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