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Watching an Endosymbiont Becoming an Organelle?

Ah, endosymbiosis and the origin of eukaryotic cells… Wasn't this one of the grandest of all the grand events in Biology? In its ability to boggle the mind, it comes in second only to the origin of life. This, one of the most decisive events in evolution, had a unique character. Instead of new t... Read More

Self-Assembly For Me

I have the grating feeling that the subject of self-assembly of complex biological structures may not always amass the level of respect it deserves. I reckon that its importance is generally appreciated but, as topics go, it tends at times to be set aside. Yet, this is one of the most magnificen... Read More

New Tracking Technologies Aim to Prevent Sloppy Handling at U.S. Biolabs

Two months after safety breaches at federal labs first set off a public furor, top health officials are auditioning new checks on worker safety including specialized time-lapse cameras and digital worksheets to track crucial steps such as bacterium inactivation. The goal: to prevent future debac... Read More

TWiP 77 letters

Andy writes:


Dear Professors,


I have been following TWIP for several years. I am a software engineer and parasitology is only an avocation. As an undergraduate in the early 80's I discovered my love of history of science and ecology, although I continued the p... Read More

BacterioFiles 183 - Simplex-Sick Stem Cell Salve

This episode: Cancer-killing viruses could work even better when loaded into stem cells!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

Ebola genomes sequenced

Speedy analysis reveals mutations, insights into outbreak, along with clues to origin, spread.

Responding rapidly to the deadly outbreak of Ebola virus disease (EVD) in West Africa, a team of researchers from the Broad Institute and Harvard University, working with the Sierra Leone Ministry o... Read More

Motorcycling to Ebola Treatment Could Spread the Infection

Ambulances are scarce in areas of west Africa roiled by the Ebola outbreak, so when ill patients and their families need to go to the clinic they often turn to the next best thing—a motorcycle taxi. An ill passenger will wrap her arms around the driver’s waist and away they will go—sometimes dri... Read More

DIY Droplet Lens, finalist, 2014 Eureka Prize for Innovative Use of Technology

The traditional light microscope is bulky and expensive. Dr Tri Phan and Dr Steve Lee from the Garvan Institute of Medical Research and Australian National University used gravity to manufacture high-performance polymer lenses. These can be seamlessly integrated with 3D printing and mini-LEDs to... Read More

Fact or Fiction?: The Ebola Virus Will Go Airborne

Could Ebola go airborne? That’s the fear set off last week by a New York Times op-ed entitled “What We’re Afraid to Say about Ebola” from Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota. Although clinicians readily agree that th... Read More

White House Unveils Strategy to Combat Antibiotic Resistance

Antibiotic resistance poses a dire threat in hospitals and communities. To help limit such risk, health care professionals should begin sequencing the DNA of offending bacteria, the White House’s council of science advisors said in a new report. Armed with genome-sequencing technology that enabl... Read More

Scientists Call for Investigation of Mysterious Cloud-like Collections in Cells

About 50 years ago, electron microscopy revealed the presence of tiny blob-like structures that form inside cells, move around and disappear. But scientists still don’t know what they do — even though these shifting cloud-like collections of proteins are believed to be crucial to the life of a c... Read More

How NASA's Microbe Detection Technology Speed Up Tissue Transplants

What do the Curiosity rover and a bone allograft have in common? They both have got to be super duper clean.

That’s why AlloSource, a Colorado-based nonprofit that specializes in human tissue donation, has signed a Space Act Agreement with NASA and its Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL), to make... Read More

Scientists develop ‘electronic nose’ for rapid detection of C-diff infection

A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C-diff, that causes diarrhoea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester.

Using a mass spectrometer, the research team has demonstrated that it is possible to ident... Read More

A new way to diagnose malaria

Using magnetic fields, technique can detect parasite’s waste products in infected blood cells.

Over the past several decades, malaria diagnosis has changed very little. After taking a blood sample from a patient, a technician smears the blood across a glass slide, stains it with a special dye... Read More

Healthy humans make nice homes for viruses

The same viruses that make us sick can take up residence in and on the human body without provoking a sneeze, cough or other troublesome symptom, according to new research. On average, healthy individuals carry about five types of viruses on their bodies, the researchers report. The study is the... Read More

"Immortal" Cells from Henrietta Lacks Lead to Updated Rules on Genomic Data Sharing

Scientists who work on genomics and are funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) must post their data online so that others can build on the information, the agency has said in an update to its guidelines.

The change, which expands the remit of an earlier data-sharing policy, is ... Read More

Ebola outbreak “out of all proportion” and severity cannot be predicted

A mathematical model that replicates Ebola outbreaks can no longer be used to ascertain the eventual scale of the current epidemic, finds research conducted by the University of Warwick.

Dr Thomas House, of the University’s Warwick Mathematics Institute, developed a model that incorporated da... Read More

TWiV 303: Borna this way

The TWiV team discusses transmission of Ebola virus, and inhibition of Borna disease virus replication by viral DNA in the ground squirrel genome.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Drug-Resistant Bacteria Hang Out in Hog Workers

Careful what you sniff. Especially if you work at an industrial hog farm. Because a small study finds that drug-resistant bacteria may hang out in the noses of some workers even after four days away from work following exposure. Almost half of the tested workers continued to harbor drug-resistan... Read More

New Insights on an Ancient Plague Could Improve Treatments for Infections

Dangerous new pathogens such as the Ebola virus invoke scary scenarios of deadly epidemics, but even ancient scourges such as the bubonic plague are still providing researchers with new insights on how the body responds to infections.

In a study published online Sept. 18, 2014, in the journal... Read More
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