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Study finds that microbes influence B-cell development in the gut

Gut bacteria exert a dramatic, systemic effect on the development of the immune system's B-lymphocytes, according to a new mouse study by researchers at Boston Children's Hospital. While influences of gut bacteria on T-lymphocytes have been noted before, this is the first time that researchers h... Read More

Social Media, Course Syllabi, and Blowing Off Steam...

In this post from my blog, I discuss the recent interest in snarky-funny academic hashtags on Twitter, such as #overlyhonestsyllabi. Just like students, educators need to blow off some steam (especially as classes approach!). But it is also important to remember our educational goals, and matc... Read More

New test system identifies 193 different yeasts and bacteria known to cause illness (FDA Press Release)

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More

Quest For The Missing Bacteria

A Michigan State University scientist will use a $1.9 million grant from the National Science Foundation and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (United Kingdom) to solve the mystery of the missing bacteria.
The bacteria, discovered in a German charcoal pit in the 1990s, ... Read More

MWV Episode 76 - Jeffrey Almond - Vaccine Development

Dr. Jeffrey Almond began his career as an academic virologist studying influenza. Eventually Jeffrey started his own lab and began studying picornaviruses working on an oral polio vaccine strain.


Following twenty ... Read More

Doctors Fined for Implanting Fecal Bacteria into Patients’ Brains

A hospital was fined after a pair of neurosurgeons implanted fecal bacteria into the brains of patients during operations without proper authorization. A few things jump out at us here. 1) They did WHAT!?! 2) There’s proper authorization for putting poop in people’s brains!?! 3) Ewwwwwww.

The... Read More

Can bacteria use pain to tamp down the immune system?

Nothing gets our attention like pain.

But pain is more than the body’s miniature cattle prod to get us to heed a wound, rest a swollen ankle, or stop eating chili peppers. Pain may be the language between animals and microbes.

Far from being a product of an inflamed immune system, aggravat... Read More

Arab revolutions: Ignoring a potential catastrophe

Recent conflicts in Egypt, Iraq, Libya, Pakistan, Syria, Tunisia, Yemen, and elsewhere in the Middle East may have sufficiently destabilised national and international public health control measures to a point where several tropical diseases have either emerged and are sickening large population... Read More

New Explanation for Key Step in Anthrax Infection Proposed

A new hypothesis concerning a crucial step in the anthrax infection process has been advanced by scientists at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute for Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) at Fort Detrick, Md.

The research teams have... Read More

Infection During Newborn's First Week of Life Associated With Bacterial Infection in the Mother

Infection during a newborn's first 7 days of life is associated with bacterial infection or colonization in the mother. Early-onset neonatal infection, defined as infection in the first 7 days of life, is associated with maternal infection and colonization, a systematic review and meta-analysis ... Read More

TWiM #62: Breaking bad and protein chain mail



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Michael Schmidt


Vincent a... Read More

TWiM 62 Letters

Robert writes:
In TWIM #60 @1:06:23 Michael Schmidt suggests that glucose for fermentation from biomass is a necessary step in production of fuel ethanol. Fuel ethanol and other low molecular weight compounds can also be produced by autotrophic anaerobic fermentation of ... Read More

Target 2 forms of iron to control cystic fibrosis lung infection

The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa needs iron to establish and maintain a biofilm in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and therapies have been proposed to deprive the bacteria of this necessary element. However, these techniques may not work, according to a new study published in mBio®, t... Read More

Plankton may spread oyster herpes virus

Plankton may be spreading a herpes-like virus that has been devastating Pacific oyster farms across the world, newly published research has found.

Veterinary scientist Dr Richard Whittington, of the University of Sydney, and colleagues, report their findings on Pacific Oyster Mortality Syndro... Read More

Officials Warn Of Dangers Of Tick-Borne Powassan Virus

A Poughkeepsie high school senior died suddenly, after he was bitten by a tick and contracted a severe virus.

As CBS 2’s Jennifer McLogan reported, Joseph Elone’s family said doctors had been treating their son for a summer cold – until he collapsed on the front lawn.

Elone, 17, was actual... Read More

Bacterial toxins cause deadly heart disease

University of Iowa researchers have discovered what causes the lethal effects of staphylococcal infectiveendocarditis—aserious bacterial infection of heart valves that kills approximately 20,000 Americans each year.

According to the UI study, the culprits are superantigens—toxins produced in ... Read More

Bacteria and Fungi Together: A Biofuel Dream Team?

A group of researchers enlist fungi and E. coli to make the first biofuel of its kind. It is an obvious idea—in fact, it’s how nature disposes of trees after they die. Yet before researchers at the University of Michigan tried it, no one had paired bacterium with fungus to make cellulosic biofue... Read More

A Salmonella Warning for Vegetarians

Contaminated meat and poultry are the usual suspects in salmonella food poisoning, and increasingly the bacteria is cropping up in produce. Now scientists have traced a large outbreak of salmonella to an unusual source: tempeh, the popular meat substitute.

The outbreak sickened nearly 100 peo... Read More

Why our colons are happy homes for bacteria

Biologists have figured out how it’s possible for some beneficial gut bacteria to reside and thrive in the ever-changing gastrointestinal tract.

The human body is full of tiny microorganisms—hundreds to thousands of species of bacteria collectively called the microbiome—which are believed to ... Read More

Bacterial Predators Feast on “Superbugs”

Scientists are turning to predatory bacteria to defeat drug-resistant infections. Microbiologists led by Daniel Kadouri, now at Rutgers University, lately have focused on two such predators—Micavibrio aeruginosavorus, which latches onto a germ and sucks out its innards, and Bdellovibrio bacterio... Read More

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