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TWiP 83: Hidden costs of infection

Vincent, Dickson, and Daniel present a new case study, and discuss the effect of chronic malaria infection on wild warbler life span and telomere degradation.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

BacterioFiles 203 - P. putida Promotes Plant Pollutant Purification

This episode: Bacteria living in plants could help plants clean up cancer-causing pollutants!


(6.9 MB, 7.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item<... Read More

TWiV 325: Wildcats go viral

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Rollie Clem and Lorena Passarelli


{audio... Read More

Jessica Green: Good germs make healthy buildings. TEDtalks (video)

Our bodies and homes are covered in microbes -- some good for us, some bad for us, and some just along for the ride. As we learn more about the germs and microbes who share our living spaces, TED Fellow Jessica Green asks: Can we design buildings that encourage happy, healthy microbial environme... 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

Your Soap Has Bacteria In It, But It Still Gets You Clean

Bacteria are everywhere on your skin, hair and eyelashes, to name a few of their homes. Bacteria are even in your soap, the very thing you thought washed all the bacteria away.

As long as the bacteria keep their numbers small, there's nothing wrong with them living in soap. But every once in ... Read More

Why drinking blood doesn’t make mosquitoes sick.

While it’s easy to think about mosquitoes as a mere portal for shuttling malaria and other diseases from one person to another, the insects have their own immune response to infection.

After sucking down a blood meal, mosquitoes ramp up production of immune system proteins to fight off potent... Read More

Bacteria exchange food via nanotubes

Bacteria typically thrive in communities where colonies of many different species collaborate and support each other's growth and exchange nutrients.

However, it has not been clear whether they do this only by releasing the metabolites into the cell environment for their neighbors to pick up,... Read More

Research Shows Asian Herb Holds Promise as Treatment for Ebola Virus Disease

New research that focuses on the mechanism by which Ebola virus infects a cell and the discovery of a promising drug therapy candidate is being published February 27, 2015, in the journal Science. Dr. Robert Davey, scientist and Ewing Halsell Scholar in the Department of Immunology and Virology ... Read More

Were early seas transformed by sponge microbiome?

If ever there was proof of the power of small things, surely this is it. Last year, came the suggestion that sponges transformed Earth's deep oceans 750 million years ago, turning them into an oxygen-rich haven for life. Now it seems tiny bacteria living inside the sponges also played a part in ... Read More

Long-term nitrogen fertilizer use disrupts plant-microbe mutualisms

When exposed to nitrogen fertilizer over a period of years, nitrogen-fixing bacteria called rhizobia evolve to become less beneficial to legumes – the plants they normally serve, researchers report in a new study.

These findings, reported in the journal Evolution, may be of little interest to... Read More

Study: Reusable Plastic Produce Containers Harbor Bacteria Even After Being Cleaned, Sanitized

Reusable plastic containers used to transport large amounts of fruits and vegetables to grocery stores can continue to harbor potentially harmful bacteria directly on their surfaces, even after undergoing industry-standard cleaning and sanitizing, according to a new study conducted by researcher... Read More

Unusual Bacteria Discovered in Deepest Ocean Trench

Researchers from Japan discovered microscopic bacteria thrive in the canyon called Challenger Deep, which is the lowest point on Earth's surface and the deepest part of the Mariana Trench, the team reports Feb. 23 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. In particular, the... Read More

Were early seas transformed by sponge microbiome?

If ever there was proof of the power of small things, surely this is it. Last year, came the suggestion that sponges transformed Earth's deep oceans 750 million years ago, turning them into an oxygen-rich haven for life. Now it seems tiny bacteria living inside the sponges also played a part in ... Read More

Small Loop in Human Prion Protein Prevents Chronic Wasting Disease

Chronic wasting disease (CWD) — an infectious disease caused by prions — affects North American elk and deer, but has not been observed in humans. Using a mouse model that expresses an altered form of the normal human prion protein, researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Me... Read More

Swine flu claims 800 lives across India, Ahmedabad prohibits mass gatherings

Killer swine flu attacks India. It’s H1N1, the same strain which was responsible for 1918 Spanish and 2009 flu pandemic that was the deadliest natural disasters in human history. More than 11,000 cases have been reported in India. The death toll has risen to more than 700. Number of death and in... Read More

U.N. experts warn of 'critical knowledge gaps' on Saudi MERS virus

Saudi Arabia has not done enough to investigate and control a deadly new MERS virus that has killed hundreds of people there and remains in many ways a mystery, United Nations health experts said on Monday.

Cases of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) are surging again, but Saudi health o... Read More

Gerbils and Silk Road to blame for plague

Most would choose the cuddly gerbil over the much-maligned rat. But the latter's bad reputation may not be fully deserved. Central Asian rodents, not rats, prospering under warm variations in climate, could have been to blame for the arrival of the Black Death in Europe in 1347 and for repeated ... Read More

Too much of a good thing: Extra genes make bacteria lethal

We, as most animals, host many different beneficial bacteria. Being beneficial to the host often pays off for the bacteria, as success of the host determines the survival and spread of the microbe. But if bacteria grow too much they may become deadly. In a new study published in the latest editi... Read More

Malaria transmission linked to mosquitoes’ sexual biology

Sexual biology may be the key to uncovering why Anopheles mosquitoes are unique in their ability to transmit malaria to humans, according to researchers at Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health and University of Perugia, Italy. Through analysis of 16 Anopheles genomes, they found that these... Read More
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