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Study Shows How Staph Toxin Disarms the Immune System

Researchers at NYU Langone Medical Center have discovered a new mechanism by which the deadly Staphylococcus aureus bacteria attack and kill off immune cells. Their findings, published today in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, explain a critical survival tactic of a pathogen that causes more ski... Read More

Extensively drug-resistant tuberculosis hovers threateningly at Australia’s door

Hello dear TWIM'ers!

Firstly I would like to apologize in advance for my poor English skills since my native language is Portuguese. This past few years much has been the attention towards drug resistant bacteria. I am aware that a couple of your podcast touched this subject, but a few weeks ... 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

'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

Re-sensitizing Resistant Bacteria

Researchers use a protein-lipid complex found in human breast milk to increase the activity of otherwise-ineffective antibiotics against drug-resistant pathogens. A protein-lipid complex that naturally occurs in human breast milk can increase the sensitivity of methicillin-resistant Staphylococc... Read More

Amazon Virus Moves Quicker than Dengue

An Amazon virus that causes symptoms similar to those of dengue had part of its action mechanism unraveled by researchers from UFRJ (Federal University of Rio de Janeiro).

Click "source" to read more. 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

Bacteria in space!

Where humans travel, bacteria will follow. If people are in space for any amount of time, bacteria are sure to thrive there so it’s good to know that there are already researchers looking at how the environment within spaceships affects bacterial populations. Work done on planktonic colonies of ... Read More

Salmonella Infection Mitigates Asthma

Researchers from Germany have identified the mechanism by which Salmonella infections can reduce the incidence of asthma in mice. The research, which appears ahead of print in the journal Infection and Immunity, opens up new avenues of research that could lead to treatments.

Incidence of alle... Read More

Researchers Find Rising Incidence of Patients Admitted With Infections Resistant To Common Antibiotics

The emergence of community-acquired infections, such as urinary tract infections (UTI), due to strains resistant to common antibiotics are on the rise, according to Rhode Island Hospital researchers. The study is published online in the journal Antimicrobial Resistance and Infection Control.

... Read More

TWiP 58 letters

Trudy writes:


Dear Vincent and Dickson,


Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More

Gut Bacteria Play Key Role in Vaccination

The bacteria that live in the human gut may play an important role in immune response to vaccines and infection by wild-type enteric organisms, according to two recent studies resulting from a collaborative effort between the University of Maryland School of Medicine Institute for Genome Science... Read More

TWiV 242: I want my MMTV



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier Read More

TB bacteria mask their identity to intrude into deeper regions of lungs

TB-causing bacteria appear to mask their identity to avoid recognition by infection-killing cells in the upper airways. The bacteria call up more permissive white blood cells in the deeper regions of the lungs and hitch a ride inside them to get into the host’s body.

These findings are report... Read More

Fla. dolphins harbor potentially deadly bacteria

One in every three bottlenose dolphin tested in the Indian River Lagoon on Florida's Atlantic coast has antibodies to a bacteria that can make them more vulnerable to other deadly infections, according to a new study.

The finding comes as researchers struggle to figure out what has caused a r... Read More

New Research on Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria, Pressure Ulcers, Severe Alcoholic Hepatitis, and More

Two million people suffer antibiotic-resistant infections yearly, and 23,000 die each year as a result. Most of these infections occur in the community, but deaths usually occur in healthcare settings. Cost estimates vary but may be as high as $20 billion in excess direct healthcare costs.

C... Read More

Arctic Bacteria Thrives at Mars Temps

One of the things that makes it extremely hard for life to flourish in foreboding places like Mars and the moons of Saturn is the punishing cold. Without the benefit of a blanket-like atmosphere, these celestial bodies have average temperatures well below freezing. Now, researchers from McGill U... Read More

Decades-old question: Is antibacterial soap safe?

It's a chemical that's been in U.S. households for more than 40 years, from the body wash in your bathroom shower to the knives on your kitchen counter to the bedding in your baby's basinet.

But federal health regulators are just now deciding whether triclosan — the germ-killing ingredient fo... Read More

TB or not TB: that is the question.

Tuberculosis (TB) represents a serious public health problem: 8.7 million cases in 2001 and over 1.4 million deaths per year. In 2006, extensively drug-resistant (XDR) tuberculosis has been confirmed in 84 countries, heralding the possibility of virtually untreatable tuberculosis. The emergence ... Read More

Soap Compound Could Make It Easier For Staph Bacteria To Colonize In Your Nose

A common ingredient in antibacterial soap can be found in some people's noses, and the presence of this ingredient could be promoting the colonization of Staph bacteria, according to a small new study in the journal mBio.

Researchers from the University of Michigan found triclosan in the nasa... Read More

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