Scientists from Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan) found a species of bacteria that can grow on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and treat it as the energy and carbon source, providing a biologic way to break down plastics. Read More
This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More
A benefit of the voluminous wealth of research produced is that it allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants – we can take advantage of established facts, tools, and datasets. This may mean using a mutant library to find genes in your organism that are important for the process you study; ac... Read More
The TWiM team explores microbes in snowblower vents on the ocean floor, and cleavage of antibody molecules by a Mycoplasma protease.
Image (right): Photograph of the ‘Subway’ snowblower vent on the sea floor at Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Visible are white ‘snow’ in the vent a... Read More
Just discovered this nice episode.
Virus Watch is a new weekly video series that explores the amazing world of viruses. This week: the latest research on Zika virus, including finding virus in Brazilian monkeys, dengue antibodies helping Zika virus infection, and brain organoids to study how Zika virus causes microcephaly. Read More
This episode: Gut bacteria make it possible for coffee berry borer beetles to live entirely on caffeine-rich food!
(6.9 MB, 7.5 minutes)
While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More
The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."
Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More
Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.
Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More
Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More
It has been speculated that the development of neurological disease and fetal abnormalities after Zika virus infection may be due to the presence of antibodies against other flaviruses that enhance disease. In support of this hypothesis, it has been shown that antibodies to dengue virus enhance... Read More
Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Jon Telling.
Jon Telling of Bristol University in Bristol, United Kingdom talks with Jeff Fox about his findings suggesting that the grinding of glaciers over rocks can liberate hydrogen, which, in turn, drives the growth of methanogens within microb... Read More
“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More
Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More
Zika virus RNA has been detected in New World monkeys from the Northeast region of Brazil. This finding suggests that primates may serve as a reservoir host for the virus, as occurs in Africa. Read More
This episode: Bacterial spores can survive atmospheric entry on an artificial meteorite!
(10.7 MB, 11.25 minutes)
One of the most dangerous places for an infection to occur is in the bloodstream. Septicemia, when microbes are present in the blood, not only allows bacteria access to other internal organs through the highway of our circulatory system, but also can cause a massive inflammatory response, leadin... Read More