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New smart drug targets and reduces site-specific inflammation

BEER-SHEVA, Israel...July 22, 2015 - Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) and University of Colorado researchers have developed a dynamic "smart" drug that targets inflammation in a site-specific manner and could enhance the body's natural ability to fight infection and reduce side effects. Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Seth Bordenstein (Including Current News!)

This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More

Expression of a single gene lets scientists easily grow hepatitis C virus in the lab

Worldwide, 185 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Since the late 1980s, when scientists discovered the virus that causes the infection, they have struggled to find ways to grow it in human cells in the lab -- an essential part of learning how the virus works and developing new effective tr... Read More

Felinine Plays a Role in the Chasing and Fighting between Cats and Mice

A recent study found that mice may be controlled to be brave in the fight with their biggest enemy cats after smelling a chemical emitted by them and existed in their urine. Read More

Study finds state policies influence vaccination, disease outbreak rates

Athens, Ga. - Lax state vaccination laws contribute to lower immunization rates and increased outbreaks of preventable diseases--like whooping cough and measles--according to a new study from the University of Georgia. Read More

Honoring the Memory of Another

The late Edward Leadbetter had a huge impact on my life as an academic, and a microbiologist. In this post, I try to give some appreciation to what he meant to me. Read More

Breastfeeding May Bring Children with More Risk for Toxic Chemicals

BOC Sciences-It has been long considered that breastfeeding would much better than formula milk in various aspects like the variety of nutrition and etc. However recent research found that breastfeeding may expose children to a series of industrial chemical substances that can pose harm to the i... Read More

Synthetic DNA vaccine against MERS induces immunity in animal study

PHILADELPHIA - A novel synthetic DNA vaccine can, for the first time, induce protective immunity against the Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) coronavirus in animal species, reported researchers from the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania. Read More

Toilet waste provides knowledge about diseases' global transmission routes

Current international disease surveillance systems are mainly based on reports made by doctors after treatment of infected patients. As a consequence, disease-causing microorganisms and resistance bacteria have time to spread and make large population groups sick before they are detected. Read More

The next anti-tuberculosis drug may already be in your local pharmacy

Testing thousands of approved drugs, EPFL scientists have identified an unlikely anti-tuberculosis drug: the over-the-counter antacid lansoprazole (Prevacid®). Read More

Antiviral compound protects nonhuman primates against Marburg virus

An experimental drug that protected monkeys from the deadly Marburg virus appears to have potential for treating people who have been exposed to the virus, according to a study published in the July 23 edition of The New England Journal of Medicine. Marburg virus is closely related to Ebola viru... Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Hey Yogurt-Maker, Where'd You Get Those Microbes?

This week is Yogurt Week on NPR it seems with a collection of stories about the microbes involved in yogurt manufacturing.

"Yogurt is a truly living food. The bacteria that transform milk into this thick and sour food also provide a sense of mystique.

For Atanas Valev, they carry the tas... Read More

TWiV 351: The dengue code

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

BacterioFiles 216 - Probiotic Promotes Peanut Permissiveness

This episode: Kate Franz and Matt Woodruff from Audiommunity join me to talk about a clinical trial of peanut immunotherapy with probiotics to treat peanut allergies!


(29 MB, 31.75 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Liver damage in hepatitis C patients significantly underestimated, says Henry Ford study

DETROIT - The number of hepatitis C patients suffering from advanced liver damage may be grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed, according to a study led by researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More

BacterioFiles 219 - Fungi Facilitate Photosynthetic Fuels

This episode: Fungi can act like sticky nets to help harvest algae for biofuels!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

Cystic Fibrosis Microorganisms Survive on Little to No Oxygen

Washington, DC – July 28, 2015 – Microbes contributing to cystic fibrosis (CF) are able to survive in saliva and mucus that is chemically heterogeneous, including significant portions that are largely devoid of oxygen, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access jou... Read More

Following Maternal Transmission, Group B Strep Mutates to Sicken Infants

Washington, DC - August 18, 2015 - Group B streptococcus, a mostly benign inhabitant of healthy adults, is one of the world’s leading causes of neonatal sepsis and meningitis. A team of French investigators has now shown that such cases might occur when the microbe mutates within the infant foll... Read More

BacterioFiles 206 - Mollusc Maneuvers Microbe Machines to Macerate Maples

This episode: When digesting wood, shipworms outsource their microbial symbionts from gut to gills!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper<... Read More

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