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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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Stanford University Bioengineer Creates Organic Microbe-Powered Video Games

Bioengineer Ingmar Riedel-Kruse of Stanford University has created a series of games where players control organic microbes.

The games, which you can see showcased in the video below, places a collection of single-celled protozoans called paramecia in a thumbnail-sized chamber with electrode-... Read More

How Bacteria in Placenta Could Help Shape Human Health

The placenta is full of microbes, a new study finds, raising questions about how that ecosystem and mothers' oral health influence the risk of pre-term birth.

Even before a baby is born a microbial ecosystem takes up residence in the placenta, creating a microbiome that may help shape the new... Read More

A gut bacterium that attacks dengue and malaria pathogens and their mosquito vectors

Just like those of humans, insect guts are full of microbes, and the microbiota can influence the insect's ability to transmit diseases. A new study reports that a bacterium isolated from the gut of an Aedes mosquito can reduce infection of mosquitoes by malaria parasites and dengue virus. The b... Read More

'Paleo Ale' Brewed From Yeast Found On A 40-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil

A Virginia brewer soon plans to serve a beer made from yeast found hanging out on a 40-million-year-old whale fossil, the blog Symbiartic reports. Depending on your disposition, I imagine you're reacting in one of two ways right now, "Yecchh!" or "Cool!" The beer will be called Bone Dusters Pale... Read More

Mycobacteriophages: Windows into Tuberculosis

Mycobacteriophages are viruses that infect mycobacterial hosts, such as Mycobacterium tuberculosis and Mycobacterium smegmatis. Mycobacteriophages display a remarkable genetic diversity. About 30 distinct types (called clusters, or singletons if they have no relatives) that share little or no nu... Read More

Graphic Warnings: Ebola Posters Keep The Virus On People's Minds

The campaign is called "Kick Back Ebola." But the posters pack a punch.

Sierra Leone has reported over 700 suspected Ebola cases, more than any other country this year. To help stop the outbreak, health workers have put up Ebola awareness signs all over Sierra Leone's seaside capital of Freet... Read More

Bacteria Used to Create Fossil Fuel Alternative

British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves.

"Although we have only produced ... Read More

Antibiotic developed 50 years ago may be the key to fighting ‘superbugs’

Scientists at the University at Buffalo are turning to an old class of antibiotics to fight new superbugs resistant to modern medicine.

A $4.4 million grant from the National Institutes of Health will allow UB researchers to develop new dosing regimens for polymyxin antibiotics.

Developed ... Read More

Antibiotics In Manure Implicated In Human Pathogenic Bacteria In Soil

Researchers have have found that the repeated application of manure contaminated with antibiotics changes the composition of bacteria in the soil.

The focus of the investigation was on sulfadiazine (SDZ), a widely used antibiotic in animal husbandry which enters the soil via manure. The rese... Read More

Algae able to switch quantum coherence on and off

A UNSW-led team of researchers has discovered how algae that survive in very low levels of light are able to switch on and off a weird quantum phenomenon that occurs during photosynthesis.

The function in the algae of this quantum effect, known as coherence, remains a mystery, but it is thoug... Read More

Small microbes almost killed all life on Earth, study suggests

Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study.

These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost... Read More

TWiM #97: There’s gold in them hills

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Ebola’s ‘Fist’: U.Va. Unlocks How Deadly Virus Smashes Into Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered how the deadly Ebola virus punches its way into the cytoplasm of cells. The finding identifies an important target for blocking the infection process of this incurable disease that many fear may be used for bioterror.
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TWiV 282: Tamiflu and tenure too

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Bacterium and Fungus Team Up to Cause Virulent Tooth Decay in Toddlers

Early childhood caries, a highly aggressive and painful form of tooth decay that frequently occurs in preschool children, especially from backgrounds of poverty, may result from a nefarious partnership between a bacterium and a fungus, according to a paper published ahead of print in the journal... Read More

Canadian man in hospital with Ebola-like virus

A man is in hospital in Canada with symptoms of a haemorrhagic fever resembling the Ebola virus, a health official has said.

The man had recently returned from Liberia in the west African region, currently suffering a deadly outbreak of an unidentified haemorrhagic fever.

He is in isolatio... Read More

Love in the lab: Close collaborators

Romance often sparks between colleagues, and scientists are no different. Nature profiles four super-couples who have combined love and the lab.

When physicists Claudia Felser and Stuart Parkin were introduced at a conference on applied magnetics, they felt an immediate attraction. But then, ... Read More

Malnutrition: Starving Children Lack Crucial Gut Bacteria

When children are starving, the bacteria that live in their intestines may determine whether they can be saved, scientists working in Bangladesh are reporting. And they say it may become imperative to find a way to give children bacteria as well as food.

The study, done by researchers from Wa... Read More

Catheter Innovation Destroys Dangerous Biofilms

For the millions of people forced to rely on a plastic tube to eliminate their urine, developing an infection is nearly a 100 percent guarantee after just four weeks. But with the help of a little bubble-blowing, biomedical engineers hope to bring relief to urethras everywhere.

About half of ... 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
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