In this month's episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and I discuss the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. In this study of Amazonian butterflies, the authors show that distinct patterns are a consequence of enhancer shuffling. Enhancers are DNA sequences that control trans... Read More
Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More
Microbial communities are essential drivers of soil functional processes such as nitrification and heterotrophic respiration. Although there is initial evidence revealing the importance of soil type in shaping microbial communities, there has been no in-depth, comprehensive survey to robustly es... Read More
Need the perfect holiday gift for the microbiologist in your life? We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome microbiology related gift ideas. It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things, only with more bacteria! Check it out and show your microbe-lovers how much you care this holiday season.... Read More
This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.
In this study we attemp... Read More
This one is a bit more tricky; both Giardia and Cryptosporidium are possible. The symptoms are more those of Cryptosporidium, so that would be my semi-educated guess. Most of that education comes through you, with some help of some CDC... Read More
The TWiP troika solve the case of the Female from the Bronx, and reveal how feeding on different plants affects mosquito capacity to transmit malaria.
Exposure to reactive oxygen species, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to UV light – all of these are dangerous because of their potential to alter DNA sequences. Changes in DNA can affect a protein coding sequence, potentially influencing its function, but changes in regulatory regions c... Read More
You've probably gone a few days without showering -- maybe a week. But let's say you don't bathe for days on end -- as in you use no soap, no water, no nothing.
What would happen?
Click "source" to find out. 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
The latest Zika virus news from the ConTWiVstadors, including a case of female to male transmission, risk of infection at the 2016 summer Olympics, a DNA vaccine, antibody-dependent enhancement by dengue antibodies, and sites of replication in the placenta.
Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be the easiest way to make a buck. That’s the primary motivation for camouflaging within an already-established brand: Sunbucks, McDowell’s, and Mountain Lightening all rely on brand recognition – of a brand that isn’t their own. W... Read More
Many components of our oral hygiene regimens are meant to keep cariogenic bacteria at bay: sodium fluoride in ACT interferes with electron transport and ATP synthesis, the essential oils in Listerine have antiseptic effects, and abrasives – small, insoluble particles in toothpaste – help remove ... Read More
The TWiV team takes on an experimental plant-based poliovirus vaccine, contradictory findings on the efficacy of Flumist, waning protection conferred by Zostavax, and a new adjuvanted subunit zoster vaccine.
Hosts: Read More
In the year 2000, Kathleen Alexander, DVM, PhD, now a professor, at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, was working as a government veterinarian in Botswana, when a sickly banded mongoose wandered onto the grounds where she worked. When the mamm... Read More
The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More
There’s no way to avoid the news of a growing concern for drug-resistant infections. In both life-threatening and relatively superficial infections, the ability to successfully treat microbial infections with antimicrobials is decreasing. Our only recourse is to use the drugs we have carefully w... Read More
New Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) in Spanish about Pandemics and new viral infections.
An online open course about basic concepts of viruses and pandemics. We answer questions as what is a virus?, how a virus multiplies inside a cell?, what is a pandemic?, why appear new influenza virus ... Read More
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., scientist Stacey Schultz-Cherry has been studying the impact of obesity on influenza severity.
“We saw during the 2009 flu pandemic that there’s an epidemiological link between people getting severe flu and being obese,” says Schultz... Read More
Each Fall, I teach a freshman writing class about symbioses and parasitism. I was very lucky to get some pretty famous people to "Skype" or "Google Hang Out" in to visit my class. Last Fall, one of my "tele-speakers" was the fabulous science writer and very funny fellow Ed Yong. The students ... Read More