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BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

The Science of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The science behind the transformation from plants to milk to cheese is amazing. In fact, cheese has much in common with wine and beer: They result from fermentation by microorganisms; they are “value-added” products where processing greatly increases the value; and they reflect local climate and... Read More

TWiM 64 Letters

Tim writes:


Vincent and friends,


While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More

BacterioFiles 174 - Synthetic Cells Sense and Send Signals

This episode: Bacteria with engineered circuits can detect and keep a record of stuff in their environment, like in the gut!


(14.6 MB, 15.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Ten years of virology blog

Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More

BacterioFiles 165 - Bacillus Biofilms Balk Bilks

This episode: Interview with Jordi van Gestel: cheaters in bacterial communities don't always succeed!


(13.1 MB, 14.25 minutes)


Read More

New vaccines against an old disease: brucellosis

Brucellosis is a worldwide extended infectious disease of livestock (sheep, goats, cattle, cows, pigs, …) and remains one of the most common zoonotic infections, with more tan 500,000 new human cases worldwide every year. Control and eradication of brucellosis requires the use of animal vaccines... Read More

TWiV 294: Smallpox and anthrax and flu, oh my!

The TWiV team reviews the discovery of old vials of smallpox virus at NIH, anthrax and influenza mishaps at CDC, the baby who was not cured of HIV, Cambridge Working Group, and sacking of NSABB members.


Hosts:  Read More

First Look at How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections

The bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus) is a common source of infections that occur after surgeries involving prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. The grape-shaped microorganism adheres to medical equipment, and if it gets inside the body, it can cause a serious and even life-t... Read More

Unnecessary TB deaths to be thing of the past thanks to new mobile drug resistance test device

Thousands of deaths from tuberculosis (or TB), an infectious bacterial disease, could be prevented using a new hand-held device that is being developed to detect potentially fatal drug resistance in less than 15 minutes.

Currently neither the TB infection itself, nor those people with strains... Read More

Human Interferon Kills Resistant H7N9 Influenza - ICAAC 2013

During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More

TWiV 285: Hokies go viral

Vincent meets up with XJ Meng and Sarah McDonald at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to talk about their work on viruses of swine and rotaviruses.


Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

Your Ethnicity Determines the Species of Bacteria that Live in Your Mouth

In recent years, scientists have found out all sorts of remarkable things about a group of creatures that are entirely invisible to the naked eye: the trillions of bacteria that colonize every surface of our bodies.

These organisms—collectively known as the microbiome—deeply affect our health... Read More

Meet the Germs That Infect Your Water

It's natural to expect that the water coming out of our taps is safe without worry of gastrointestinal or other infectious disease. Yet every year there are dozens of outbreaks linked to drinking water in the United States alone. In the majority of cases, a failure of proper water treatment is t... Read More

A Simple Tree Branch Can Become a Backyard Water Filter

For people in too many developing countries, clean water is often a luxury. Chlorine treatments are too expensive for small villages, boiling requires a hefty investment in fuel, and UV radiation demands regular high-tech maintenance. But now, scientists say that a simple, inexpensive water filt... Read More

New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs to Cure us

It seems that nearly every day, scientists connect another medical condition to atypical gut bacteria populations. Researchers have claimed that gut bacteria play a role not just in digestive health but even in basic brain function and mental health. Certain bacteria are so clearly good for us t... Read More

TWiP 74 letters


voxsciurorum writes:


Dear water-based life forms:


It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.


I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More

Oral bacteria resulting from poor dental hygiene shows a potential association with Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers examined samples from the brains of patients with and without dementia and found lipopolysaccharide, a component of Porphyromonas gingivalis, an oral bacterium, in four out of 10 Alzheimer’s disease brain samples.

“This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacte... Read More

TWiP 67 letters


CN writes:


Greetings Profs,


After having listened to your discussions on Plasmodium (TWiP 64), I explored papers on treatment options that are actually available. After having read some papers, I realized that one of the main roadblocks are the hypnozoite... Read More

Concrete-Dissolving Bacteria Are Destroying Our Nation's Sewers

Underground in places nobody likes to look, bacteria are doing terrible things to our sewage pipes. The concrete pipes that carry our waste are literally dissolving away, forcing engineers into a messy, expensive battle against tiny microbes.

"The veins of our cities are in serious trouble, a... Read More

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