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Rethinking The Origin of Species: Discover Magazine Features The Speciation Microbiome Project

From Discover: "Scientists have long known of the important roles played by the microbes on and in our bodies — our microbiomes. These little guys outnumber our own cells 10 to 1, and they help regulate everything from the energy we get out of food to the health of our immune systems. Now, scien... Read More

Scientists Finally Catch On to Social Media

In 2011, Emmanuel Nnaemeka Nnadi needed help to sequence some drug-resistant fungal pathogens. A PhD student studying microbiology in Nigeria, he did not have the expertise and equipment he needed. So he turned to ResearchGate, a free social-networking site for academics, and fired off a few e-m... Read More

New discovery: Microbes can create dripstones

According to new research humble, microscopic organisms can create dripstones in caves. This illustrates how biological life can influence the formation of Earth’s geology - and the same may be happening right now on other planets in space.

According to traditional textbooks dripstones are cr... Read More

BacterioFiles 180 - Phage Functions Fight Fortifications

This episode: Some phages can fight back against bacterial defenses with recently discovered genes!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper Read More

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal ... Read More

Pictures Considered #19. The Basal End of Bacterial Flagella

The end of bacterial flagella that is near the cell is a marvel of mechanical miniaturization — a molecular wheel that turns, just like the axle of a car. The assembly consists of a stator, the part that holds it in place, and a rotor, the part that turns. The rotor is a beautifully complex str... Read More

NIH Scientists Establish New Monkey Model of Severe MERS-CoV Disease (press release)

National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists have found that Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) infection in marmosets closely mimics the severe pneumonia experienced by people infected with MERS-CoV, giving scientists the best animal model yet for testing potential treatm... Read More

A Symbiont Betrays Its Host

It came as a surprise to me recently to realize how much is known about the immune responses of plants and, moreover, how much there is to know. There is, I found, detailed molecular information about how our botanical cousins defend themselves against the onslaught of infectious agents. Perhaps... Read More

Farmers Fight Poisonous Wheat Fungus with Cleaning and Waiting

Dave Wiechert of Nashville, Illinois, does good business most years cleaning seed for farmers in preparation for planting season. But this year, Wiechert is doing big business after harvest: cleaning fungus off wheat so farmers can sell it.

The "head scab" fungus can produce vomitoxin, a chem... Read More

C. difficile Vaccine Proves Safe, 100 Percent Effective In Animal Models

An experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of animal models against the highly infectious and virulent bacterium, Clostridium difficile, which causes an intestinal disease that kills approximately 30,000 Americans annually. The research is published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity.
... Read More

Native bacteria block Wolbachia from being passed to mosquito progeny

Native bacteria living inside mosquitoes prevent the insects from passing Wolbachia bacteria -- which can make the mosquitoes resistant to the malaria parasite -- to their offspring, according to a team of researchers.

The team found that Asaia, a type of bacteria that occurs naturally in Ano... Read More

The Discoverability Challenge – How Can We Make Research Data Easier to Find and Use?

Enhancing the discoverability of public health and epidemiology research data is a key to ensuring that it gets more widely used. This was the topic of a recent workshop hosted by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where researchers and data experts explored the findings of a re... Read More

Polio: mutated virus breaches vaccine protection

Thanks to effective vaccination, polio is considered nearly eradicated. Each year only a few hundred people are stricken worldwide. However, scientists are reporting alarming findings: a mutated virus that was able to resist the vaccine protection to a considerable extent was found in victims of... Read More

A Tale of Two Strategies

Bacteria are for the most part gregarious organisms, living predominantly in dense communities consisting of multiple strains. In fact, the majority of infectious bacteria occur as multi-layered structures called biofilms, many of which are composed of multiple types of bacteria. As one can imag... Read More

Early antibiotic exposure leads to lifelong metabolic disturbances in mice

Antibiotic exposure during a critical window of early development disrupts the bacterial landscape of the gut, home to trillions of diverse microbes, and permanently reprograms the body’s metabolism, setting up a predisposition to obesity, according to a new study. Moreover, the research shows t... Read More

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and viruses and my ice bucket challenge

Many people have a new awareness of the disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge initiated by the ALS Association. Fewer might know that retroviruses have been proposed to play a role in the development of the disease. Read More

Oddly Microbial: Selfish Genes*

Evolution is largely driven by conflict, not collaboration, according to cell evolutionist Harmit Malik at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center (FHCRC). Mammalian cells are contentious places, he explains, populated by alien and host genomic sequences fighting for dominance. "In the compet... Read More

Like cling wrap, new biomaterial can coat tricky burn wounds and block out infection

Wrapping wound dressings around fingers and toes can be tricky, but for burn victims, guarding them against infection is critical. Today, scientists are reporting the development of novel, ultrathin coatings called nanosheets that can cling to the body’s most difficult-to-protect contours and ke... Read More

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria ac... Read More

Vaccines can cut the spread of meningitis by nearly 40 per cent

Investigators at the University of Southampton have discovered that two new vaccines can prevent the transmission of meningitis bacteria from person to person.

The vaccines do this by reducing ‘carriage’ of the responsible bacteria in the nose and throats of the population.

Meningitis is... Read More
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