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HIV virulence depends on where virus inserts itself in host DNA

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can insert itself at different locations in the DNA of its human host – and this specific integration site determines how quickly the disease progresses, report researchers at KU Leuven’s Laboratory for Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy. Their study was p... Read More

Single-dose, needle-free Ebola vaccine provides long-term protection in macaques

Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a single-dose, needleless Ebola vaccine given to primates through their noses and lungs protected them against infection for at least 21 weeks. A vaccine that doesn’t require an injection could help prevent passing along infections through uni... Read More

Would You Lick an E.Coli-Shaped Popsicle?

Designer Wei Lei poses a challenging, and fascinating question: Would you lick a delicious treat that resembles a prickly cactus or a deadly E. coli bacterium?

The Chinese designer’s collection of sweets, Dangerous Popsicles, transforms frozen sugar water into colorful spiny treats inspired b... Read More

By introducing DNA from other organisms, scientists enhance production of compounds in fungus

The enzymes and compounds produced by fungi are of great interest to the pharmaceutical, textile, paper and food industries. These organisms are capable of secreting, their nutritional needs are low and have high growth rate. A group of researchers from the National Autonomous University of Mexi... Read More

Fine Reading: There Is No 'Healthy' Microbiome

This is our first ever recommendation of an article published outside the usual scientific venues, but after all the hype we have heard about the human microbiome we were delighted to finally read a balanced account of what the research tells us and what it does not tell us. Plus, this article w... Read More

Contaminomics: Why Some Microbiome Studies May Be Wrong

You’ve got a group of people with a mysterious disease, and you suspect that some microbe might be responsible. You collect blood and tissue samples, you extract the DNA from them using a commonly used kit of chemicals, and you sequence the lot. Eureka! You find that every patient has the same m... Read More

Legionella outbreaks of Alcoy may have multiple sources

A genomic analysis has been carried out of Legionella pneumophila strains of 13 legionellosis outbreaks produced in Alcoy during the period from 1999 to 2010. Legionella pneumophila is a strictly environmental pathogen, an opportunistic bacterium that inhabits aquatic and soil environments, spre... Read More

New antibiotic in mushroom that grows on horse dung

Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zurich have discovered a new protein with antibiotic properties in a mushroom that grows on horse dung. Researchers are now exploring the various potential applications.

Microbiologists and molecular biologists at ETH Zurich and the Univer... Read More

Microbiome Studies Contaminated By Sequencing Supplies

Non-sterile lab reagents and DNA extraction kits add their own assortment of DNA to microbiome samples.

In this age of cheap DNA technology, scientists are sequencing every sample they can get their hands on. They've ID'd the microbes in mosquito guts, coral mucus and frog skin; in polar ice;... Read More

SA vaccine cuts bacteria to size

South Africa has shown the world that a vaccine against the strains of bacteria that can cause deadly meningitis and pneumonia in children works.

A study published today in the New England Journal of Medicine, to coincide with world Pneumonia Day, records the country's success in reducing pne... Read More

Scientists find superbug bacteria in World War I soldier who died of dysentery

Scientists who unlocked the genetic code of bacteria grown from a soldier who died of dysentery say it revealed a superbug that was resistant to antibiotics decades before those drugs were in common use.

The discovery sheds light on the history of antibiotic resistance, which has become a glo... Read More

Altered milk protein can deliver AIDS drug to infants

A novel method of altering a protein in milk to bind with an antiretroviral drug promises to greatly improve treatment for infants and young children suffering from HIV/AIDS, according to a researcher in Penn State's College of Agricultural Sciences.

That's critical because an estimated 3.4 m... Read More

Typhoid gene unravelled

People who carry a particular type of gene have natural resistance against typhoid fever according to new research published in Nature Genetics.

Lead researcher, Dr Sarah Dunstan from the Nossal Institute of Global Health at the University of Melbourne said the study is the first large-scale,... Read More

Gut–brain link grabs neuroscientists

Companies selling ‘probiotic’ foods have long claimed that cultivating the right gut bacteria can benefit mental well-being, but neuroscientists have generally been sceptical. Now there is hard evidence linking conditions such as autism and depression to the gut’s microbial residents, known as t... Read More

"Bioleaching" bugs present viable mining method

Salt and acid-tolerant bacteria with the potential to be used in mining processing have been uncovered in the Wheatbelt.

The bugs were found during a "bio-prospecting" survey near Merredin and are likely to become more important in WA in coming decades as high-grade ore runs out.
CSIRO envir... Read More

New drug could make vaccines more effective in the elderly

Oxford University scientists have developed a new method of boosting the ageing immune system using a naturally occurring chemical compound.

Early tests in mice carried out by the research team have shown that the compound restores the immune system's inbuilt 'memory', enabling the body to mo... Read More

Our wine owes a debt to ancient viruses

Next time you pour a glass of wine, raise a toast to the 30-milion-year-old viruses that have contributed to the genetic make-up of modern grapes.

A team of UQ-led plant scientists has discovered that the Pinot Noir grape variety owes a significant part of its genetic heritage to ancient plan... Read More

Pre-symptomatic markers for hemorrhagic viruses like Ebola identified

It is possible to distinguish between different hemorrhagic fevers, including Marburg (Ebola cousin) and Lassa before the person becomes symptomatic, new research has found. This study will allow for the development of better diagnostics, especially during the early stages of disease, when treat... Read More

Biochemistry detective work: algae at night

Photosynthesis is probably the most well-known aspect of plant biochemistry. It enables plants, algae, and select bacteria to transform the energy from sunlight during the daytime into chemical energy in the form of sugars and starches (as well as oils and proteins), and it involves taking in ca... Read More

BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons

This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!


(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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