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MWV Episode 94 - TWiM #99: Careers in Biodefense
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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

Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift to Prevent AIDS

Federal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it.

If broadly followed, the advice could transform AIDS prevention in the United States — from relianc... 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

Regular coffee drinkers have 'cleaner' arteries

Drinking a few cups of coffee a day may help people avoid clogged arteries - a known risk factor for heart disease - Korean researchers believe.

Click "source" to read more. Read More

Study examines therapeutic bacteria’s ability to prevent obesity

A probiotic that prevents obesity could be on the horizon.

Bacteria that produce a therapeutic compound in the gut inhibit weight gain, insulin resistance and other adverse effects of a high-fat diet in mice, Vanderbilt University investigators have discovered.

“Of course it’s hard to spec... Read More

Ebola Patient’s Journey Shows How Global Travel Spreads Disease

The arrival in the United States of a Liberian man infected with the Ebola virus shows how easily the disease can travel and how thin the procedures are, relying heavily on the honesty of travelers and the diligence of airport workers. Some experts say that the system, given its inherent weaknes... Read More

Herbivore drool defeats fungal defence

A report in Biology Letters shows that the drool of herbivores might help defeat the toxic fungal defences of the plants they graze on.

Grazing or cutting some plants induces a noxious chemical to be produced which deters hungry plant-eaters from revisiting them. The chemicals, called alkaloi... Read More

Bacteria become “genomic tape recorders”

Engineered E. coli can store long-term memories of chemical exposure, other events in their DNA.

MIT engineers have transformed the genome of the bacterium E. coli into a long-term storage device for memory. They envision that this stable, erasable, and easy-to-retrieve memory will be well su... Read More

Nasal bacteria may be predictor of skin infections

Bacteria found in the nose may be a key indicator for future development of skin and soft-tissue infections in remote areas of the body, researchers say. The nose is the primary S. aureus reservoir in humans and nearly 80% of the time, an individual's colonizing strain is the same strain that ca... 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

Slaying bacteria with their own weapons

A chemist at Washington University in St. Louis is studying siderophores, iron chelating molecules released by bacteria during an infection, with the thought of using them to design personalized antibiotic therapy that would avoid the rapid evolution of resistance that plagues antibiotic drug di... 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

TWiP 84: Bigfoot

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel consider the delivery of anti-trypanosome nanobodies to the tsetse fly via a bacterial symbiont, and present a new case study.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

MERS mystery: Virus found in camels

(CNN) -- Evidence is mounting against camels as leading suspects in a deadly mystery that's claimed more than 100 lives in the Middle East. The biological supervillain is the virus causing MERS-coV, short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a type of coronavirus. Since the first documented cas... 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

'Lonely' bacteria increase risk of antibiotic resistance

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that 'lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

The study, published today in Nature Communications and jointly funded by The Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences... Read More

Bacteria are as individual as people.

Bacteria are as individual as people, according to new research by Professor Peter Young and his team in the Department of Biology at the University of York. Bacteria are essential to health, agriculture and the environment, and new research tools are starting to shed more light on them.

The ... 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

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

4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life on Earth Forever

This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions o... Read More
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