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TWiM 102 Letters

Dave writes:


TWIM Comrades--
I first want to compliment you on one of my most listened to podcasts, and one that I actually know what is being presented most of the time.


Now about the term Talmudic.
Do we need a name that is a legal commentary on th... Read More

Tiny vibrations could reveal extraterrestrial life

Motion is a trait of all life, but detecting the tiny movements of microorganisms requires incredible sensitivity. Now, Swiss scientists say they have developed an extremely sensitive yet simple motion detector that can be built using existing technology.

If a bacterium is alive, it will inev... Read More

Visiting biosafety level-4 laboratories

Experiments with the most dangerous human viruses, such as Ebola virus and Lassa virus, are carried out in biosafety level 4 (BSL-4) laboratories. Since visiting the Northeast Infectious Diseases Laboratory BSL-4 and releasing the documentary video Threading the NEIDL, I was given the opportunit... Read More

Gut bacteria that protect against food allergies identified

Common gut bacteria prevent sensitization to allergens in a mouse model for peanut allergy, paving the way for probiotic therapies to treat food allergies.

The presence of Clostridia, a common class of gut bacteria, protects against food allergies, a new study in mice finds. By inducing immun... Read More

Unknown funji and bacterias

Exposed for 3 minutes outdoors in the gymnasium of the Inter American University of Puerto Rico. Medium used for fungi PDA. Culture medium used for bacteria TSA. Incubated at 37 degrees for 48 hours. Read More

Emerging diseases likely to be more harmful in similar species

When viruses such as influenza and Ebola jump from one species to another, their ability to cause harm can change dramatically, but research from the University of Cambridge shows that it may be possible to predict the virus's virulence by looking at how deadly it is in closely-related species Read More

Immune cells support good gut bacteria in fight against harmful bacteria

An immune cell protein, ID2, is critical for the maintenance of healthy gut microbiota and helps these good bacteria fight off harmful bacteria, report scientists from the University of Chicago. The study, published in Immunity on April 21, suggests that novel therapeutics or microbiota transpla... Read More

In Hunt For New Antibiotics, Scientists Look At Bacteria In Insects' Stomachs

Pampering leafcutter ants with fragrant rose petals and fresh oranges may seem an unlikely way to rescue modern medicine, but scientists at a lab in eastern England think it's well worth trying.

As the world cries out for new antibiotics, researchers at the John Innes Center (JIC) in Norwich ... Read More

Among gut microbes, strains, not just species, matter

A large community of microorganisms calls the human digestive tract home. This dynamic conglomerate of microscopic life forms - the gut microbiome - is vital to how people metabolize various nutrients in their food, how their immune systems react to infection, and how they respond to various med... Read More

TWiV 338: Coyotes have sushi

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler


Guest:  Read More

Scientists Hit Antibiotic Pay Dirt Growing Finicky Bacteria In Lab

Scientists say they have discovered a natural compound from bacteria that may prove to be a potent new antibiotic. This news comes at a time when many current antibiotics are losing their oomph — germs become resistant to them.

The new compound is especially intriguing because it appears that... Read More

Tobacco plant may be key to Ebola drugs

In the world of health and medicine, the word tobacco usually brings to mind cancer, emphysema and heart disease. But in recent years the plant's tarnished reputation is getting a makeover from the development of pharmaceuticals through an effective, swift and cost-cutting technique that has bee... Read More

Yeast Coaxed To Make Morphine

Genetically manipulated yeast can produce morphine, which could help get around the problems with poppy crops, which include climate, disease and war. Karen Hopkin reports.

Yeast. They already participate in producing some of the most popular pain-killing substances around: beer and wine. Now... Read More

Viruses take down massive algal blooms, with big implications for climate

Humans are increasingly dependent on algae to suck up climate-warming carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and sink it to the bottom of the ocean. Now, by using a combination of satellite imagery and laboratory experiments, researchers have evidence showing that viruses infecting those algae are d... Read More

Land of the bacteria-eaters

For hospital workers an outbreak of harmful bacteria in the wards is a nightmare, but what gives bacteria nightmares?

Perhaps the prospect of being eaten alive by a kind of viral parasite called a bacteriophage (bacteria eater): unlike antibiotics, which some bacteria have evolved a resistanc... Read More

Rubella Has Been Eliminated From the Americas, Health Officials Say

Rubella, a disease with terrible consequences for unborn children, has finally been eliminated from the Americas, a scientific panel set up by global health authorities announced Wednesday. Read More

TWiV 336: Brought to you by the letters H, N, P, and Eye

 Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Alan Dove, Rich Condit, and Kathy Spindler


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The TWiVsters explore mutations in the interferon pathway associated with severe influenza in a child... Read More

A virus that melts sea stars

Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs (photo credit). In the past year millions of sea stars in the west coast waters of North America have melted into piles of slime and ossicles. Sea star associated densovirus might be the caus... Read More

Do cheaters have an evolutionary advantage?

Anyone who has crawled along in the left lane while other drivers raced up the right lane, which was clearly marked “lane ends, merge left,” has experienced social cheating, a maddening and fascinating behavior common to many species.

Although it won’t help with road rage, scientists are begi... Read More

TWiM 101 Letters

Eric writes:


Dear TWIMers,


I am a retired computer programmer and also a free market libertarian. I listened to a recent podcast where the subject of mandatory hand washing by food workers was tossed around. I would like to present a few more of the free marke... Read More

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