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Ebola virus in Guinea ‘most aggressive, near totally fatal’

Western Africa is bracing against an unprecedented outbreak of the deadly ebola virus. Guinea is the country affected the worst by the viral hemorrhagic fever. Since January, 86 people have died from it, out of 137 cases.

Shutting down the body’s immune system, ebola is highly contagious, tra... Read More

TWiM #75: Pellicles on pickle jars

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio SchaechterMichael Schmidt and Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 159 - Drastic Diet Develops Different Dwellers

This episode: Gut microbe communities can change rapidly to accommodate major diet changes!


(12.2 MB, 13.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Scientists Generate 3D Structure for the Malaria Parasite Genome

A research team led by a cell biologist at the University of California, Riverside has generated a 3D model of the human malaria parasite genome at three different stages in the parasite’s life cycle — the first time such 3D architecture has been generated during the progression of the life cycl... Read More

Thank Your Gut Bacteria For Making Chocolate 'Healthy'

Boy, it's a good time to be a dark chocolate lover.

We've noted before the growing evidence that a daily dose of the bitter bean may help reduce blood pressure. There also seems to be a link between a regular chocolate habit and lower body weight.

Now scientists are offering an explanation... Read More

Small peptides as potential antibiotics

Small peptides attack bacteria in many different ways and may well become a new generation of antibiotics. Biologists at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum (RUB) have been researching how such peptides kill bacterial cells. "It is quite possible that, in ten years time, all of the currently marketed an... Read More

TWiV 278: Flushing HIV down the zinc



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

TWiP 69: Malaria rising



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 160 - Residents Regulate RNA Response

This episode: Gut microbe communities can help regulate the immune response to pathogens!


(9.5 MB, 10.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

At least 59 people dead in Guinea Ebola outbreak

An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.

Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- we... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 161 - Permafrost Produces Perceptible Pithos

This episode: The largest virus so far has been discovered in ancient Siberian permafrost!


(9.5 MB, 10.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Fossil viruses preserved in hot spring bacteria

Fossilized microbes have provided scientists many clues about origins of life. By comparison, little attention is given to viruses in the fossil record. Although technically non-living, there is no question these tiny packets of protein-sheathed DNA have shaped the evolution of most life on eart... Read More

Is Antibacterial Soap Increasing Your Chances Of A Nasal Infection?

Previous research has shown that the overuse of antibiotics has a hand in promoting an antibiotic-resistant strain of bacteria and now a new study published in the journal mBio has found that an antibiotic common to soaps and hand sanitizers actually promotes the growth of Staphylococcus aureus ... Read More

Concrete-Dissolving Bacteria Are Destroying Our Nation's Sewers

Underground in places nobody likes to look, bacteria are doing terrible things to our sewage pipes. The concrete pipes that carry our waste are literally dissolving away, forcing engineers into a messy, expensive battle against tiny microbes.

"The veins of our cities are in serious trouble, a... Read More

'Paleo Ale' Brewed From Yeast Found On A 40-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil

A Virginia brewer soon plans to serve a beer made from yeast found hanging out on a 40-million-year-old whale fossil, the blog Symbiartic reports. Depending on your disposition, I imagine you're reacting in one of two ways right now, "Yecchh!" or "Cool!" The beer will be called Bone Dusters Pale... Read More

Researchers Find Rising Incidence of Patients Admitted With Infections Resistant To Common Antibiotics

The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers. The study is published online in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

... Read More

TWiP 69 letters


Richard writes:


Hi Vincent and Dickson,


I enjoy TWIP, and often recommend it to my students. I'm a parasitologist, primarily a Leishmaniac, but I have learnt a lot from TWIP. I find it both more educational and entertaining than Car Talk.


The disc... Read More

TB or not TB: that is the question.

Tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious public health problem: 8.7 million cases in 2001 and over 1.4 million deaths per year. In 2006, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has been confirmed in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. The emergence ... Read More

Breastfeeding increases prevalence of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria in infants

Breastfeeding until at least nine months of age increases prevalence in the gastrointestinal tract of Lactobacilli and Bifidobacteria, species which are known to contribute to development of a healthy immune system, according to a paper describing the establishment of the intestinal microbiota d... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More
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