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Ebola Outbreak 2014 2015 by Dr. Fauci

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Engineering the Human Microbiome Shows Promise for Treating Disease

In the not too distant future each of us will be able to colonize our gut with genetically modified “smart” bacteria that detect and stamp out disease at the earliest possible moment. This scenario may sound like the premise for a sci-fi flick, but it is a very real possibility. Microbiome engin... Read More

Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

Click "source" to watch this fantastic video conversation.

Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our phy... Read More

TWiP 83 letters


Robin writes:


Malaria: shaking chills & fever (followed by sweats, not specifically mentioned in this case), is a characteristic of malaria that is unforgettable once one has had it (I had malaria four times).


Thick blood smears is de rigueur.
So... Read More

Revealed: how bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes. The rese... Read More

Antibacterial Fabrics Kill Dangerous Germs In A Matter Of Minutes

Up to 1 in 25 patients with hospital-acquired infections. It may be that standard hand-washing and sterilization procedures in hospitals aren't enough, which is where these new fabrics that can kill bacteria come in.

University researchers in Australia have shown how cotton fabrics impregnate... Read More

Bacteria are more promiscuous than expected, since plasmids invade unexpectedly diverse fraction of soil bacteria

Conjugal plasmids provide microbes with full complements of new genes. Conjugal plasmid transfer is deemed responsible for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance among microbes. While broad host range plasmids are known to confer transfer abilities to diverse hosts in pure culture, the extent... Read More

Chagas disease - a new public health threat for Americans?

Chagas disease - a parasitic infection that can cause severe heart disease and death if not caught and treated early - affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. Now, new research suggests it is increasingly being seen in the southern US and poses an emerging potential public... Read More

Breastfeeding helps children grow friendly gut bacteria

The presence of lactic acid bacteria in intestinal flora is important for the healthy development of the immune system in children's early years. Now, a Danish study that tracked over 300 children in their first 3 years of life, found that longer breastfeeding encouraged lactic acid bacteria to ... Read More

9 Amazing and Gross Things Scientists Discovered About Microbes This Year

We can’t see them, but they are all around us. On us. In us. Our personal microbes—not to mention those in the environment around us—have us outnumbered by orders of magnitude, but scientists are only beginning to understand how they influence our health and other aspects of our lives. It’s an i... Read More

Mosquito-borne virus chikungunya worries CDC

A debilitating, mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya has made its way to North Carolina, health officials say. It's the state's first reported case of the virus.
The patient was likely infected in the Caribbean, according to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. Chikungunya is prim... Read More

TWiV 322: Postcards from the edge of the membrane

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex

Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike... Read More

DNA Sequencing Diagnoses Boy's Mysterious Bacterial Disease

For the first time, doctors have used DNA-sequencing technology to diagnose and treat a boy in an emergency. It's a big step for DNA sequencing—that the technology is able to work so quickly, and to help a patient directly. As useful as DNA sequencing is for research and genetic counseling, befo... 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

Summer Research, Undergraduate Students, Lab Themed Desserts, and Bdellovibrio!

In this blog post, I discuss our Summer Research Program's "Lab Themed Dessert" competion, for which one of my students created a cake "sculpture" of Bdellovibrio attacking and invading E. coli. It was tasty, informative, and fun! My student clearly thought about Bdellovibrio a LOT during the ... Read More

Acute flaccid paralysis of unknown etiology in California

In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More

Antibiotics may help Salmonella spread in infected animals, scientists learn

Some people infected with pathogens spread their germs to others while remaining symptom-free themselves. Now, investigators at the Stanford University School of Medicine believe they may know why.

When the scientists gave oral antibiotics to mice infected with Salmonella typhimurium, a bacte... Read More

New antibiotic in mushroom that grows on horse dung

Researchers from the Institute of Microbiology at ETH Zurich have discovered a new protein with antibiotic properties in a mushroom that grows on horse dung. Researchers are now exploring the various potential applications.

Microbiologists and molecular biologists at ETH Zurich and the Univer... Read More

Meet Dr. Armpit, Changing Body Odor With Bacteria

Here’s an undeniable fact: In samples collected from seven of New York’s subway platforms, scientists discovered that we're surrounded in plumes of microbes wafting off other people’s skin. Here’s another undeniable fact: Those bacteria colonize all of our glands and follicles and the entire epi... Read More

ICAAC 2014 - Each Day in Hospital Increases Resistance Risk

For patients who acquire an infection while in the hospital, each day of hospitalization increases the risk that the infection will be caused by a drug-resistant ... Read More

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