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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Rust preserves fossils from early Earth

Since life originated on Earth between 3.8 and 3.9 Ga ago, microorganisms have significantly shaped and influenced the chemistry of Earth’s surface and subsurface environments. Reconstructing the evolution of early microbial life depends mainly on finding organic and mineral remnants of microbia... Read More

Newly discovered hormone mimics the effects of exercise

Scientists have discovered a new hormone that fights the weight gain caused by a high-fat Western diet and normalizes the metabolism -- effects commonly associated with exercising. When tested in mice, the hormone blocked the negative health effects of eating a high-fat diet. Read More

Caring for People Infected with Ebola: Stories from the Frontlines


Call for Stories
Caring for People Infected with Ebola: Stories from the Frontlines
Narrative Inquiry in Bioethics will publish a collection of personal stories from individuals who have been at the frontlines of healthcare for Ebola patients—whether as healthcare workers, family caregivers,... Read More

Ocean acidification slows algae growth in the Southern Ocean

In a recent study, scientists at the Alfred Wegener Institute, Helmholtz Centre for Polar and Marine Research (AWI), demonstrate for the first time that ocean acidification could have negative impacts on diatoms in the Southern Ocean. In laboratory tests they were able to observe that under chan... Read More

Parasitism runs deep in malaria's family tree

The ancestors of a large family of parasites—including those that cause malaria—were equipped to become parasites much earlier in their lineage than previously assumed, according to University of British Columbia (UBC) research.

The work, published in PNAS, traces the emergence of parasitism ... Read More

The deadly, new "Bourbon virus" was just discovered in the US

A mysterious illness that seems to have killed a farmer in Kansas has led to the discovery of a new virus last week: the Bourbon virus.

The farmer had been working on his field last spring when he got several tick bites, including one that appeared to be attached to his shoulder. A few days l... Read More

First detailed microscopy evidence of bacteria at the lower size limit of life

Scientists have captured the first detailed microscopy images of ultra-small bacteria that are believed to be about as small as life can get. The existence of ultra-small bacteria has been debated for two decades, but there hasn't been a comprehensive electron microscopy and DNA-based descriptio... Read More

An aggressive form of HIV uncovered in Cuba

Engaging in unprotected sex with multiple partners increases the risk of contracting multiple strains of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. Once inside a host, these strains can recombine into a new variant of the virus. One such recombinant variant observed in patients in Cuba appears to be much ... Read More

Molecule hijacks enzyme to boost alcohol metabolism

An experimental compound empowers an enzyme to help process acetaldehyde, a toxic metabolite of alcohol, according to new research supported by the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism (NIAAA). The findings, now online in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS), ... Read More

Attention, All Scientists: Do Improv

Martha Furie stormed into the room and huffily sat down in a chair.

“Well, you know, I’ve been working really hard, studying Lyme disease,” she said, her voice tinged with disdain, to the woman sitting in the next chair. “It’s been a long process. It’s hard to talk about it.”

The other wom... Read More

Energetic immune cells are vital for fighting disease

A good immune system relies on a key ‘energy producing’ protein in immune cells to develop immunity to vaccines and disease, an international team of scientists has found.

The protein, called HuR (human antigen R) is critical for controlling metabolism in B cells, which make antibodies that a... Read More

Retracing the Roots of Fungal Symbioses

Mycorrhizal fungi live in the roots of host plants, where they exchange sugars that plants produce by photosynthesis for mineral nutrients that fungi absorb from the soil. They include some of the most conspicuous forest mushrooms, including the iconic, flaming red “fly agaric,” Amanita muscaria... Read More

Michael Goldberg, Thirty Years The ASM's Executive Director

You must have heard it said that no one is indispensable to an institution. Maybe so, but such truths come in degrees. Every so often someone comes along who makes a genuine difference in how an organization functions. I turn here to Michael Goldberg, who thirty years ago began a most distinguis... Read More

Ultracold-Resistant Chemical on Titan Could Allow It to Harbor Life

Computer simulations reveal that a compound found on Saturn’s largest moon may be able to form a freeze-resistant, flexible membrane that could encapsulate cells or organelles

Click "source" to read more. Read More

Modified E. coli spin fibres as tough as spider silk

Spider silk is stronger than steel and tougher than Kevlar, but efforts to spin our own have so far failed to match the real thing. Now a German research group has come up with artificial fibres that equal its toughness, which could lead to safer airbags.

His team spliced spider genes into E.... Read More

Q&A: Seth Mnookin on vaccination and public health

Seth Mnookin, an assistant professor of science writing and associate director of MIT's Graduate Program in Science Writing, is the author of "The Panic Virus: The True Story Behind the Vaccine-Autism Controversy", an acclaimed book that examines how inaccurate scientific reports linking vaccine... Read More

A Pill That Mimics the Immune System

The human body doesn’t like outsiders. When a foreign pathogen or substance, say an unwanted virus, finds its way into our blood streams we produce antibodies that the neutralize the threat. These “Y”-shaped proteins are made by a class of white blood cells called plasma cells and bind to molecu... Read More

Link identified between virus recognition, destruction in bacterial immune system

An immune system that helps bacteria combat viruses is yielding unlikely results such as the ability to edit genome sequences and potentially correct mutations that cause human disease.

University of Georgia researchers Michael and Rebecca Terns were among the first to begin to study the bact... Read More
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