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Healthy Lung Microbes Keep Mice Breathing Easy

Like humans, mice start life with sterile lungs that soon get colonized by microbes, which appear to protect the lung tissue from an asthma-like reaction in the presence of dust mites.

Human cells are outnumbered ten-to-one by the microbes that thrive in and on us. Now a study finds that the ... Read More

Poison-breathing bacteria

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive. Researchers from the University of Georgia discovered the bacteria on a recent field expedition to Mono Lake in Calif... Read More

TWiM 83 Letters

Matt writes:


Hello TWiM team,

It was great seeing some of you at ASM last week in Boston either in passing between sessions or at the live TWiV episode. I have a few questions about the ASM meeting:
What was something that you all took away from ASM th... Read More

Two new weapons in the battle against bacteria

Proteases are vital proteins that serve for order within cells. They break apart other proteins, ensuring that these are properly synthesized and decomposed. Proteases are also responsible for the pathogenic effects of many kinds of bacteria. Now chemists at the Technische Universitaet Muenchen ... Read More

Swirling and whirling: the movement of spherical bacteria

Research on bacterial movement tends to focus on the rod-shaped bacteria. With the aid of small waving flagella, each bacterial cell can push itself in the direction it wishes to go. They can also move in groups, forming large swarms that ripple and slide their way across Petri dishes. Spherical... Read More

Lab-on-a-Chip Tracks Down 'Most Wanted' Microbe

A diagnostic tool that’s about the size of a credit card has identified a highly prized gut microbe.

The microbe contains interesting genetic sequences, but it has proven challenging to culture in the lab.

Researchers used the device, called SlipChip, to isolate microbes from a patient’s g... 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

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria ac... Read More

Soil microbiomes can set plant flowering time

Scientists grew Boechera stricta plants in soil inoculated with microbes from natural B. stricta habitats to study the flowering time phenotype.

The technique researchers employed to isolate soil microbes to study their effect on a single plant phenotype can potentially be applied to other st... Read More

Rising star uses paper to tackle food-borne diseases

A University of Alberta researcher’s star is rising thanks to her idea to detect deadly pathogens such as E. coli using a paper device only slightly larger than a postage stamp.

Frédérique Deiss, a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science, is working on ways to help detect food- and wat... Read More

The truth behind the '5-Second Rule': When in doubt, throw it out

The burger patty that slides off the plate, the ice cream treat that plops on the picnic table, the hot dog that rolls off the grill – conventional wisdom has it that you have five seconds to pick it up before it is contaminated.

Fact or folklore?

“A dropped item is immediately contaminate... Read More

Human Sweat's Filthy Attributes Stop Bacteria-Fighting Brass

Human sweat is actually much dirtier and bacteria-filled than we initially thought. Scientists have found that sweaty hands can reduce the effect that brass objects have of fighting bacteria. Brass objects can be found in hospitals and schools and sweat can fight off its abilities just an hour a... Read More

Researchers map gene differences in yellow fever, malaria mosquitoes, to help prevent disease

Virginia Tech entomologists have developed a chromosome map for about half of the genome of the mosquito Aedes agypti, the major carrier of dengue fever and yellow fever.

With the map, researchers can compare the chromosome organization and evolution between this mosquito and the major carri... 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

New chip lets scientists listen in on bacteria

Researchers at Columbia University are turning that optics-based imaging approach on its head, instead developing a chip based on integrated circuit technology that lets them not only electrochemically image bacteria, but listen in on them as well.

Click on 'source' to read more. Read More

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity in each drop of seawater

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological... Read More

Diet Affects Men’s and Women’s Gut Microbes Differently

The microbes living in the guts of males and females react differently to diet, even when the diets are identical, according to a study by scientists from The University of Texas at Austin and six other institutions published this week in the journal Nature Communications. These results suggest ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

Multiple protocol breaches behind anthrax exposure at U.S. federal labs

The safety breach at a government lab that may have exposed 84 workers to live anthrax centered on a pivotal lapse in procedure: researchers working with the bacteria waited 24 hours to be sure they had killed the pathogens, half the time required by a new scientific protocol.

The lab designe... Read More

New life form discovered at MSU, named after Bully

Some Mississippi State University students have discovered – and named – a new life form, a previously unknown organism discovered on campus in a mud puddle last September.

The newly classified organism – Ptolemeba bulliensis, a unicellular microscopic protest – was scooped from a courtyard b... Read More

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