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Microbial world's use of metals mostly unmapped

A new way of surveying microbes for the metals they contain reveals that biologists have been relying on the equivalent of a 15th century map of the world. Read More

How Cranberry Juice Fights Bacteria at the Molecular Level

Revealing the science behind the homespun advice, a team of researchers at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) has identified and measured the molecular forces that enable cranberry juice to fight off urinary tract infections in people.

The data is reported in a paper published in the journ... Read More

Vaccine Via Dissolvable Microneedle Skin Patch Shows Promise

Scientists in the US who developed a skin patch that uses hundreds of microscopic dissolvable needles to deliver vaccine into the body have shown it works on animals, perhaps even better than the traditional injection method; they envisage that one day this approach could reduce the cost and adm... Read More

Feature: Weapons of mass infection

As the 2009 Fenner Award winner, Associate Professor Elizabeth Hartland presented the prestigious Fenner lecture at the Australian Society of Microbiology’s (ASM 2010) annual conference in Sydney in July. Hartland and her team at the University of Melbourne study highly specialised systems used ... Read More

Keeping the Packers staph free

Football players usually worry about wrecked knees, torn hamstrings and concussions. Not staph infections.

"I never think about it," said Green Bay Packers cornerback Tramon Williams. "I don't even know anything about that."

Red Batty would like to keep it that way.

The Packers equipmen... Read More

Doctors reconsider old antibiotics despite hazards

More than half a century ago, when antibiotics were transforming modern medicine, a now almost forgotten drug was hailed as something close to the miracle of miracles. Doctors rushed to prescribe it for an array of medical problems — that is, until they discovered that the drug, chloramphenicol,... Read More

Compound crucial in sea and air

An international team of researchers has devised a technique to study how ocean-dwelling microbes respond to a compound that signals good foraging patches for fish and mammals, but also contributes to cloud-forming sulfur aerosols. The research offers further insight into the chemical ecology of... Read More

Cell Signaling Classification System Gives Researchers New Tool

Using ever-growing genome data, scientists with the Department of Energy's (DOE) Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the University of Tennessee are tracing the evolution of the bacterial regulatory system that controls cellular motility, potentially giving researchers a method for predicting impo... Read More

TWiV 91 Letters

Darrick and Scott write:


Hello Professor Racaniello,


We are two graduate students from the University of Guelph in Canada studying oncogenic sheep betaretroviruses and we are big fans of the show. Part of the reason we like the show so much is that we can use ... Read More

TWiV 91; You're an ERVous wreck

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

On episode #91 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, Alan, Rich and Welkin discuss the nature, origin, and evolution of endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), and the recent finding of en... Read More

Microbe vs. Mineral: A Life and Death Struggle in the Desert

The bursts of rainbow colors in this photograph are mesmerizing, yet microbes are fighting for their lives in the background. Michael P. Zach of the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point, snapped this image of a salt sample he collected in a hot, arid valley near Death Valley National Park in Ca... Read More

CDC errs in level of dengue cases in Key West

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta put out a loud and definitive proclamation in anticipation of its participation in the International Conference on Emerging Infectious Diseases, held Sunday through Wednesday in Atlanta:

"Report suggests nearly 5 percent exposed to de... Read More

Guidelines Issued For Antibiotic Use in Animals

An update now on a story we're been following closely about a health risk most people don't know about - farmers feeding antibiotics to healthy animals - just to spur their growth. Congress urged them this week to stop doing that because overuse of antibiotics in animals is creating new, drug-re... Read More

Cancer drugs may help battle parasite Leishmania

A parasite afflicting nearly 12 million people across the world relies on a family of genes that should make it vulnerable to compounds developed to treat cancer and other disorders, new research by scientists at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis reveals.

The study appear... Read More

Two-step vaccine may offer "universal" flu jab

A two-step flu vaccine using DNA to "prime" the immune system and then a traditional seasonal influenza vaccine may be able to protect against all strains of the virus -- providing a long-sought "universal" flu vaccine, U.S. researchers said on Thursday.

The team at the National Institute of ... Read More

Ocean bacteria may create as much methane as they destroy

Methane seeps, which play a role in the global dynamics of this potent greenhouse gas, may be even more complicated than we thought. A perspective in this week's Science describes several new research papers on the release of methane at the level of the ocean floor. Their conclusions run counter... Read More

Retrovirus replication process different than thought

How a retrovirus, like HIV, reproduces and assembles new viruses is different than previously thought, according to Penn State College of Medicine researchers. Understanding the steps a virus takes for assembly could allow development of a way to prevent the spread of retroviral diseases.

The... Read More

In the ring: Researchers fighting bacterial infections zero in on microorganism’s soft spots

In any battle, sizing up one’s opponent is a critical first step. For researchers fighting a bacterial infection, that means assessing every nook and cranny of the malicious microorganism and identifying which ones to attack.

At the Center for Biological Research of the Spanish Research Counc... Read More

Dogs may help collar deadly Chagas disease

Mongrel dogs that live amongst the rural poor may hold the key to controlling Chagas disease, a condition affecting 10 to 12 million people in Latin America, killing more than 15,000 a year.

Chagas disease is caused by the parasite Trypanosoma cruzi that is transmitted by the triatomine insec... Read More

Scientists create a mosquito that’s ‘malaria-proof’

A "malaria-proof" mosquito has been created by scientists who have engineered a genetic "on" switch that permanently activates a malaria-destroying response, according to their report in the journal Public Library of Science Pathogens.

If these mosquitoes are successfully introduced into the... Read More
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