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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Jessica Green: Good germs make healthy buildings. TEDtalks (video)

Our bodies and homes are covered in microbes -- some good for us, some bad for us, and some just along for the ride. As we learn more about the germs and microbes who share our living spaces, TED Fellow Jessica Green asks: Can we design buildings that encourage happy, healthy microbial environme... Read More

Coral reef symbiosis: Paying rent with sugar and fat

Scientists have revealed how coral-dwelling microalgae harvest nutrients from the surrounding seawater and shuttle them out to their coral hosts, sustaining a fragile ecosystem that is under threat.

Coral reefs are the jungles of the oceans, home to some of the planet's most fertile fishing g... Read More

Airport screening misses half of disease cases but could be improved

Scientists have shown that airport screening for disease will often miss half or more of infected travelers, but can be improved by customizing to pathogens. The findings are published in the journal eLife.

They present options for policy makers; for example whether resources would be better ... Read More

First results from Ebola vaccine trial show acceptable safety profile

The first results from a trial of a candidate Ebola vaccine at Oxford University suggest the vaccine has an acceptable safety profile at the doses tested, and is able to generate an immune response.

'The vaccine was well tolerated. Its safety profile is pretty much as we had hoped,' said Prof... Read More

In a warmer world, ticks that spread disease are arriving earlier, expanding their ranges

In the northeastern United States, warmer spring temperatures are leading to shifts in the emergence of the blacklegged ticks that carry Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens. At the same time, milder weather is allowing ticks to spread into new geographic regions. Findings were published ... Read More

Tuberculosis: Exclusive Clips From “The Forgotten Plague”

Measles and Ebola have dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but there are plenty of other infectious diseases lurking among us. One is tuberculosis, which, in various times through its long history, was also known as the captain of death, the white plague, and consumption.

Tomorrow, PBS’... Read More

A newly discovered bacterial family may become a weapon in the fight against malaria

A new family of bacteria that are common in malaria mosquitoes has been described by researchers at Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Uppsala University in Sweden, Justus-Liebig-Universität Giessen, Germany, and the Veterinärmedizinische Universität, Austria. Now, attempts ar... Read More

Bacteria's hidden traffic control

Not unlike an urban restaurant, the success of a bacterial cell depends on three things: localization, localization and localization. But the complete set of controls by which bacteria control the movement of proteins and other essential biological materials globally within the confines of their... Read More

This Vitamin might protect kids from Malaria

Vitamin A may protect children against malaria, especially during the rainy season when infected mosquitos flourish, a study suggests.

“Our research found that children who received vitamin A supplementation were less likely to become infected with malaria,” she said. “Now we need to test vit... Read More

Canned fruit safer than the frozen variety

Canned fruit is often safer than the frozen variety according to University of NSW Associate Professor Julian Cox, an expert in food microbiology.

"The heat treatment used to make canned products shelf stable in ambient temperatures is much more than sufficient to kill micro-organisms includi... Read More

More infectious diseases emerging because of climate change

The appearance of infectious diseases in new places and new hosts, such as West Nile virus and Ebola, is a predictable result of climate change, says a noted zoologist affiliated with the Harold W. Manter Laboratory of Parasitology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

In an article publishe... Read More

TWiP 83 letters


Robin writes:


Malaria: shaking chills & fever (followed by sweats, not specifically mentioned in this case), is a characteristic of malaria that is unforgettable once one has had it (I had malaria four times).


Thick blood smears is de rigueur.
So... Read More

Could Proteins from Frog Skin Be Source of New Class of Antibiotics?

With minor tinkering, a peptide—a tiny protein—from the skin of a frog could be fashioned into a novel antibiotic that would lack the toxic byproducts of some more conventional drugs. More importantly, such peptides would represent a new class of antibiotics, at a time when new classes are so... Read More

Your Soap Has Bacteria In It, But It Still Gets You Clean

Bacteria are everywhere on your skin, hair and eyelashes, to name a few of their homes. Bacteria are even in your soap, the very thing you thought washed all the bacteria away.

As long as the bacteria keep their numbers small, there's nothing wrong with them living in soap. But every once in ... Read More

Gorilla Origins of the Last Two AIDS Virus Lineages Confirmed

Two of the four known groups of human AIDS viruses (HIV-1 groups O and P) have originated in western lowland gorillas, according to an international team of scientists from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, the University of Montpellier, the University of Edinbur... Read More

Bacterial Armor Holds Clues for Self-Assembling Nanostructures

Imagine thousands of copies of a single protein organizing into a coat of chainmail armor that protects the wearer from harsh and ever-changing environmental conditions. That is the case for many microorganisms. In a new study, researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Lawrence Berk... Read More

Mosquitoes ramp up immune defenses after sucking blood

If you were about to enter a crowded subway during flu season, packed with people sneezing and coughing, wouldn't it be helpful if your immune system recognized the potentially risky situation and bolstered its defenses upon stepping into the train?

After ingesting a meal of blood, mosquitoes... Read More

Global Fund Needed to Fight Dangerous Superbugs

A global fund should be created to speed development of much-needed new antibiotics to counter the growing threat of drug-resistant superbugs, a British-government backed review said on Thursday.

The review, headed by the leading economist and former Goldman Sachs chief Jim O'Neill, said far ... Read More

Key to blocking influenza virus may lie in a cell’s own machinery

Viruses are masters of outsourcing, entrusting their fundamental function – reproduction – to the host cells they infect. But it turns out this highly economical approach also creates vulnerability.

Researchers at Rockefeller University and their collaborators have found an unexpected way the... Read More

Measles in the brain: Fusion gone awry

The entry of enveloped viruses into cells begins when the membrane that surrounds these virus particles fuse with a cell membrane. The process of virus-cell fusion must be tightly regulated, to make sure it happens in the right cells. The fusion activity of measles viruses isolated from the brai... Read More
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