Why not eat locusts? Assuming you can find any fuel to cook em, and apart from deficiency illnesses, I've always wondered why people didn't hunker down and harvest them for emergency food. Did original peoples endure swarms by eating them? Did Euro food ... Read More
The TWiV gang reviews ten fascinating, compelling, and riveting virology stories from 2014.
A controversy that has been brewing for several years in the world of influenza research may ignite again with the publication last week of a new paper that’s worth a read. I haven’t to date written about the controversy, which centers on what’s called “gain of function” research. In the case of... Read More
The Ebola virus currently poses the greatest threat to the survival of great apes, conservationists have warned, after killing an estimated third of the world's gorillas and chimpanzees since the 1990s.
The unprecedented current Ebola epidemic in West Africa has killed some 8,641 people, acco... Read More
A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.
The latest find, described online Monday ... Read More
This is fun, and although I'm sure someone will gripe about Dicksons enthusiastic response to the crayfish, it made my life easier. I think it's Paragonimus kellicoti. As for eating raw crayfish; how drunk... Read More
The day we knew would come is finally here. The first locally acquired case of the tropical disease chikungunya was reported in the U.S. today.
The mosquito-borne viral disease first debuted in the Western Hemisphere last year and has since sprawled across the Caribbean, with cases in Puerto ... Read More
Since the worst Ebola outbreak on record ignited last December in West Africa, scientists have been racing to develop drugs and vaccines to combat the virus. Several experimental drugs have been given to patients, and a new study details how scientists think one of those drugs might neutralize t... Read More
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
In the largest longitudinal study of the microbiome to date, researchers from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), and the DIABIMMUNE Study Group have identified a connection between changes in gut microbiota and the onset of type 1 diabetes (T1D). The st... Read More
Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug an... Read More
The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research. "When people think about food-borne pathogens, normally they list bacteria, viruses, and maybe parasites. Fungal pathogen... Read More
This episode: When digesting wood, shipworms outsource their microbial symbionts from gut to gills!
(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)
More than 15 million people in the United States live with food allergies that impact every meal they eat. For some, accidentally ingesting a snack that their body deems taboo can ignite a violent biological response. Every three minutes someone is rushed to the emergency room due to a food alle... Read More
Eighty-six years after the discovery of penicillin, docs are running out of antibiotics to treat serious infections like Clostridium difficile and gonorrhea, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. At the same time, the discovery of new "wonder drugs" has slowed, and microbi... Read More
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
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
Since the 1950s farmers have fed antibiotic growth promoters (AGPs) to livestock. Overusing these substances can create superbugs, pathogens that are resistant to multiple drugs and could be passed along to humans. Mindful of that, companies such as Perdue Farms have stopped using the drugs to m... Read More