This episode: Phages hang out in mucus to ambush bacteria!
Download Episode (6.4 MB, 7 minutes)
Researchers said Wednesday they want to create a lab version of a deadly emerging bird flu in order to study a strain that might be more infectious to people. Responding to past concerns about such research, the U.S. government said it will require extra safety measures.
The H7N9 bird flu vir... Read More
Sunscreen has protected millions from cancer in the last few decades since its introduction. With innovations, including water-resistant and spray types, the adoption of sunscreen has reached new heights. But recent reports that the chemicals in sunscreen can themselves turn into cancer-causing ... Read More
A rural Minnesota water company is experimenting with a new way of treating drinking water -- using bacteria to remove the harmful pollutants.
The Lincoln Pipestone Rural Water System has been using expensive reverse osmosis to clean nitrates and nitrites from its well water. But bacteria occ... Read More
Some Saudis are worried that the link between the MERS virus and camels is not clear and that it could affect their livelihood as sellers of camel milk.
Yet the connection between Omani camels and a MERS-like virus has brought attention to the potential hazards of purchasing camel milk that h... Read More
From the Department of Wild Salmon: Over 90 percent of B.C. farmed salmon are testing positive for a recently imported Norwegian virus that causes lesions in the hearts of salmon. Should we be concerned about its effects on wild salmon, one of B.C.’s most valuable natural resources?
So we hav... Read More
Microbes are everywhere—even inside us. But because so many of these bugs won't grow in the lab, scientists have had a tough time figuring out just who they are and how they live. That may soon change. By sequencing the DNA in individual cells, researchers have gotten to know 200 new microbes—an... Read More
By making water boil at much lower temperatures, scientists are using steam generated by the sun as a way sanitize things in places where unclean conditions often lead to disease and death.
Up to 2.5 billion people lack access to proper sanitation. They use "flying toilets" to dispose of excr... Read More
Scientists have identified triggers that turn Streptococcus pneumoniae from harmless colonizer to virulent pathogen.
The bacteria harmlessly colonize the mucous linings of throats and noses in most people, only becoming virulent when they leave those comfortable surroundings and enter the mid... Read More
Researchers have added an antibody to fight rotavirus into the rice genome. A strain of rice genetically engineered to protect against diarrhoeal disease could offer a cost-effective way to protect children in developing countries, according a study published in the Journal of Clinical Investiga... Read More
Anytime a novel virus infects human populations, scientists focus on tracing its origins. And this time their search led to the humped dromedary.
After a Saudi Arabian national died unexpectedly last September, scientists have been tracking the emergence of a new virus, never before seen in p... Read More
Creating an environment that nurtures the trillions of beneficial microbes in our gut and, at the same time, protects us against invasion by food-borne pathogens is a challenge. A study published on August 8 in PLOS Pathogens reveals the role of a key player in this balancing act.
SIGIRR is a... Read More
By tracking the previously unknown movements of a set of specialized cells, Whitehead Institute scientists are shedding new light on how the immune system mounts a successful defense against hostile, ever-changing invaders.
Central to the immune response is the activity inside structures know... Read More
Dear Vincent and Dickson,
Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More
Two species of bacteria living on the ocean floor have teamed up in a unique symbiotic relationship to form a critical link in the Earth’s nitrogen cycle, reports a research team that includes two University of California, Davis, microbiologists.
The scientists, led by researchers affiliated ... Read More
Imagine a friend of a friend brings his family to stay with you — his family of tiny survivalists. For weeks or months you all live quietly side by side with no problems. You share meals. Your kids play together.
Then one day you get sick — maybe felled by a bad cold or the flu. Suddenly cert... Read More
A group of virologists lead by Yoshihiro Kawaoka and Ron Fouchier have sent a letter to Nature and Science outlining the experiments they propose to carry out with influenza H7N9 virus. Avian influenza H7N9 virus has caused over 130 human infections in China with 43 fatalities. The source of the... Read More