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Light zaps viruses: How photosensitization can stop viruses from infecting cells

A UCLA-led team of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses.

The UCLA AIDS Institute study, published in th... Read More

Brisbane’s drinking water linked to infections

Brisbane's water supply has been found to contain disease carrying bugs which can be directly linked to infections in some patients, according to a new study by QUT.

Dr Rachel Thomson, who has completed her PhD through QUT's Faculty of Health, said certain species of nontuberculous mycobacter... Read More

TWiM #73: Eyeing root nodule development

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt and Michelle Swanson Read More

TWiM 73 Letters

Mark writes:


Hello Team TWiM,


I’ve followed with interest your coverage of Michael’s research into use of copper to fight hospital infection. Of all the interesting papers covered in 2013, I think the one most actionable is episode 55, The Copper Room. His res... Read More

Knitted bacterium tour Glasgow to drum up more woolly bugs for world record bid

Glasgow’s army of knitters are being asked to craft a friend for the bug, who has been snapped throughout the city looking for other microbes to play with. The smiling bacteria has been pictured on Buchanan Street, by the Science Centre and outside Central Station. The microbe is part of a world... Read More

Ancient Mysteries of Leprosy

Research at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center is finally unearthing some of the ancient mysteries behind leprosy, also known as Hansen’s disease, which has plagued mankind throughout history. The new research findings appear in the current edition of journal PLOS Neglected Tropic... Read More

Rainwater harvesting tanks enable spread of dangerous pathogens, study shows

Some 20 percent of of South Africans lack sustainable access to water. Many have to walk a third of a mile to get clean water from a standing pump, which is often shared with 100 or more other village residents.
That's why the South African government has invested in installing more than 23,000... Read More

Sausages made with baby poo are completely normal and super healthy, say scientists

Researchers say they have discovered way to ferment sausages that could turn the fatty meat product into a health food similar to probiotic yogurts. The secret ingredient? A type of bacteria found in baby faeces.

Click on 'source' to read full article. Read More

Tiny Algae Responsible for Mysterious Fossil Whale Graveyard?

Ever since a highway construction crew in Chile uncovered a fossil graveyard of some 40 prehistoric whales in 2010, with skeletons dating back more than five million years, scientists have wondered why so many giant animals died in one place. This week, a team of them proposed an answer: The hug... Read More

Scientists Figure Out How Microbes Make Wine Good

Yeast aren’t the only microbes that help turn boring grapes into the delicious, seductive, complex, confusing, subtle, and totally splendiferous tonic known as wine. In addition to those well-known fermenters, a type of bacteria called Oenococcus oeni (for reasons that will be obvious to oenophi... Read More

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You

They have us surrounded. Even inside the spaces we build for ourselves — like homes and offices — we are a tiny minority. Invisible bacteria, fungi, and viruses outnumber us by orders of magnitude. We will always be outnumbered, but we may have a say in which microbes we’re surrounded by, accord... Read More

How Clean Should We Be?

There's a belief that says exposing people -- especially babies and young children -- to different kinds of germs early in life can keep them from developing illnesses like asthma, allergies, and other diseases that affect the immune system. The theory, called the “hygiene hypothesis,” is that o... Read More

UNC researchers discover new target for dengue virus vaccine

Using an experimental technique new to the dengue field, the labs of Ralph Baric, PhD, and Aravinda de Silva, PhD, showed that a molecular hinge where two regions of a protein connect is where natural human antibodies attach to dengue 3 to disable it. The finding, published in the Proceedings of... Read More

Uncovering the secret world of the Plastisphere

Scientists are revealing how microbes living on floating pieces of plastic marine debris affect the ocean ecosystem, and the potential harm they pose to invertebrates, humans and other animals. New research being presented here today delves deeper into the largely unexplored world of the “Plasti... Read More

Polio-like paralysis in California

Recently a number of children in California have developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis. The cause of this paralysis is not yet known, and information about the outbreak is scarce. However, acute-flaccid paralysis is not uncommon (California would be expected to report about 75 cases a year, b... Read More

TWiV special: MERS-coronavirus in dromedary camels



Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

Study: Salad Ingredient Kills Drug-Resistant TB

One of the world's oldest known disinfectants – and favorite salad dressings – may prove even stronger than previously thought.

An international research team has found that vinegar – or, more specifically, the active ingredient in vinegar – can kill mycobacteria, including a highly drug-resi... Read More

MERS Virus Widespread in Saudi Arabian Camels (News Release)

The coronavirus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is prevalent in camels throughout Saudi Arabia and has been around for at least 20 years, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Our study ... Read More

Scientists unlock a ‘microbial Pompeii’

An international team of researchers including scientists from the University of York have discovered a ‘microbial Pompeii’ preserved on the teeth of skeletons around 1,000 years old.

The key to the discovery is the dental calculus (plaque) which preserves bacteria and microscopic particles o... Read More

Evolution Made Easy, Courtesy of E. Coli (blog)

Evolution is one of those enigmatic subjects we simply do not understand fully. We know it is a biological change at the genetic level that changes the overall nature of an organism. We're also sure that it requires a significant number of generations. Unfortunately, that means it is difficult t... Read More

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