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Gut bacteria from a worm can degrade plastic

Plastic is well-known for sticking around in the environment for years without breaking down, contributing significantly to litter and landfills. But scientists have now discovered that bacteria from the guts of a worm known to munch on food packaging can degrade polyethylene, the most common pl... Read More

Tool to edit DNA revolutionizing research in Boston area

It is a fascinating quirk of nature: Simple bacteria have an immune system with a memory, which allows them to destroy invading viruses they have encountered in the past.

The phenomenon is more than just a scientific curiosity. In just two years, scientists have discovered how to repurpose th... Read More

Video Microscope Reveals Movement in "Stock-Still" Objects

The first microscopes, in the 1500s and 1600s, transformed glass panes that looked completely transparent into a universe teeming with bacteria, cells, pollen and intricate crystals. These visionary aids were the first devices to show people that there were cells within a drop of blood. Since th... Read More

Getting a Knit Bacteriophage From a Former Student!

A former student dropped by my lab this morning, and brought me a gift: a knit bacteriophage! Many times, as educators, we hear what we haven't done well, or could do better. Sometimes, like today, we get a priceless "thank you" from a former student. Read More

Scientists Discover First ‘Virological Penicillin’

Chinese researchers have discovered what they say is the first ‘virological penicillin’ – MIR2911, a molecule found naturally in a Chinese herb called honeysuckle.

Honeysuckle (Lonicera japonica) is a well-known Chinese herb. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, it has been used to effectively tr... Read More

A possible alternative to antibiotics

Scientists from the University of Bern have developed a novel substance for the treatment of severe bacterial infections without antibiotics, which would prevent the development of antibiotic resistance.

Ever since the development of penicillin almost 90 years ago, antibiotics have remained t... Read More

Nicely Aged

Resurrecting ancient beers and wines is a subtle alchemy, but Patrick McGovern knows all the tricks. He directs the Biomolecular Archaeology Project for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Many of his ancient brews are sold by Dogfish Head brewery i... Read More

TWiV 322: Postcards from the edge of the membrane

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

Vitamin A supplementation may cause the immune system to 'forget' past infections

Although vitamin A supplementation can have profound health benefits when someone is deficient, new evidence is emerging to show that vitamin A supplementation above and beyond normal levels may have negative health consequences. A new research report published in the July 2015 issue of the Jour... Read More

Common Parasite Could Manipulate Our Behavior

Look what the cat dragged in! The parasite Toxoplasma gondii, a common protozoan transmitted by cats, can effect mammalian brain cells in strange ways. In rodents, the parasite has been shown to inhibit fear and actually attract them to the smell of cat urine. Humans can be infected through c... Read More

ICAAC 2014 - Tests for Rapid Detection of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Rapid detection of antibiotic resistance is vital in assessing the appropriate antibiotic therapy for an infection. Participants will present data on two new inex... Read More

Positive clinical results indicate vaccine candidate is highly efficacious against bacterial diarrhea

New results from a safety and immunogenicity study, which included a challenge phase to test efficacy, indicate that a live attenuated enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (ETEC) vaccine candidate, given in combination with a novel adjuvant, provided significant protection against disease. This repr... Read More

TWiV 330: A swinging gate

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Cholera Bacteria Spear Their Prey to Grab Genes

The bacteria that cause cholera grab genes from other organisms in a particularly predatory and precise way, new research finds: They spear neighboring cells with a kind of poison-tipped spike.

Bacteria often grab genes from other organisms and incorporate that DNA into their own genomes. But... Read More

How a bacterial cell recognizes its own DNA

It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system - in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system - from single-celled to human - the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between "foreign"... Read More

Frozen Poop Pills Fight Life-Threatening Infections

Fecal transplants can be life-saving for people with stubborn bacterial infections, but they're not for the faint of heart. So doctors have come up with a way to make them more palatable – the frozen poop pill.

People infected with Clostridium difficile suffer debilitating diarrhea, but the b... Read More

Footage From 1976 Documents Discovery of Ebola Virus

In 1976, a group of health workers took a pair of film cameras to what was then known as Zaire and documented their discovery of a new, deadly virus.

Today we know that virus as Ebola.

A 27-year-old Belgian microbiologist named Peter Piot and his colleagues were the first to scientifically... Read More

Mapping the Bacteria in the NYC Subway (video)

For more than a year, Cornell University's Christopher Mason and his team of researchers have been identifying bacteria in the New York City subway system. And some of the findings might surprise you. Photo: Katie Orlinsky for The Wall Street Journal
Read More

Thames study: rivers can be a source antibiotic resistance

Rivers and streams could be a major source of antibiotic resistance in the environment.

The discovery comes following a study on the Thames river by scientists at the University of Warwick’s School of Life Sciences and the University of Exeter Medical School.

The study found that greater n... Read More

Scientists find way to trap, kill malaria parasite

Scientists may be able to entomb the malaria parasite in a prison of its own making, researchers report. As it invades a red blood cell, the malaria parasite takes part of the host cell's membrane to build a protective compartment. The parasite then starts a series of major renovations that tran... Read More
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