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Diagnostic guidelines for bloodstream infections aim to shorten time to accurate therapy

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

Zika virus

The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from?
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

Polio in Nigeria

Polio returns to Nigeria after two years - but it turns out it had never gone away.
Read More

Rubella virus and birth defects

Amidst the fear surrounding Zika virus, remember that there are over 100,000 children born each year with birth defects caused by infection with rubella virus.

Rubella virus is a member of the Togaviridae family, which also includes chikungunya virus. The genome is a 9.7 kilobase, positive st... Read More

Will you share? Social versus selfish mechanisms affect selective conditions

The previous post mentioned the onset of antibiotic resistance as one of the scarier, if less sensationalist, outbreaks of our time. We generally discuss antibiotic resistance in medically relevant microbes (on this blog and in the news), where resistance means the ability of disease-causing mic... Read More

TWiM 134 Letters

Nathan writes:
Dear Vincent, Elio, Michele & Michael,
Thank you all for the wonderful podcast!  It’s a great gift to humanity and science communication.  It would be great if you could discuss the really interesting paper by Din et al recen... Read More

TWiV 407: Tar Heels go viral, part two

In the second of two shows recorded at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill, Vincent meets up with faculty members to talk about how they got into science, their research on RNA viruses, and what they would be doing if they were not scientists.

Host:  Read More

Interview with Dr. Amy Apprill

Amy Apprill is a researcher of Marine Microbiology. Her work focuses on the relation of Bacteria and Archaea to the health and ecology of marine animals. Her interest is on how animal associated microbes reflect the alterations in the surrounding marine environment that may be related to climate... Read More

Anti-Vax = Anti-Facts (Please Share)

"Hivi and his team of viruses (Ebola, Pox,..etc) believe they can win the battle, but the Virologists (who are real famous professors) beat them. However, new viruses pop-up, it will be a long battle. This makes the story very interesting and ever so engaging."

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

Researchers hope hybrid compounds can sensitize and inhibit malaria parasites in one blow

Because of its safety, efficacy, and affordability, chloroquine remains the treatment of choice for all Plasmodium species, except in regions with chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum. Chloroquine-resistant protists are treated with combination therapy, which includes artemisinin-derived molecule... Read More

HIV gets the zinc finger

Because all animal viruses initiate infection by binding to a receptor on the cell surface, this step has long been considered a prime target for antiviral therapy. Unfortunately, drugs that block virus attachment to cells have never shown much promise. Another approach, which is to ablate the r... Read More

Ferreting out an improved Ebola animal model

We’ve previously covered the importance of diagnostics in disease control and treatment. This is vital to controlling disease progression and transmission, but epidemiology studies can’t always show how a disease progresses or transmits. This is where scientists need a well-characterized animal ... Read More

MMP #15: A Scientific Roadmap for Antibiotic Discovery

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Carolyn Shore and Ruben Tommasi.

Carolyn Shore of Pew Charitable Trusts in Washington, D.C., and Ruben Tommasi of Entasis Therapeutics in Waltham, Massachusetts, talk with Jeff Fox about what’s needed to identify and develop new antimicrobial agents... Read More

MWV 105 - Understanding the Pathogenesis of the Emerging Zika Virus

Dr. Michael Diamond, 2016 Elizabeth O. King Lecturer, has worked for the past two decades investigating how viruses work, with a goal of defining basic principles of pathogenesis and host immune restriction. His talk in this podcast focuses on how his laboratory has studied three emerging mos... Read More

MMP #13: Redetermining the ratio of microbial to human cells – correcting the widely held view that this ratio is 10 to 1

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Ron Milo and Shai Fuchs.

Ron Milo of Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, talk with Jeff Fox about their efforts, with Ron Sender at Weizmann, to redetermine the ratio... Read More

Cyclic-di-GMP takes center stage

How does a single-celled organism ‘know’ how to respond to its environmental conditions? Understanding microbial cell signaling is one way to determine how bacteria will react in a particular setting. In the past decade, researchers have revealed a significant role for cyclic-di-GMP in bacterial... Read More

Getting closer to understanding Zika virus, one genome at a time

Several papers published in Genome Announcements recently describe the sequences of new Zika virus isolates. Scientists have known the genomic sequence of at least one Zika virus isolate since 2007, but continue to publish newly isolated strains. What is the importance of these additional sequen... Read More

TWiM #135: Unruly individuals and their unruly friends

How critical illness alters the microbiome, and the consequences of a sewage spill into an aquatic environment, from the TWiM team.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio... Read More

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