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Using Bacteria to Turn Sand Dunes into Architecture

Architecture student Magnus Larsson details his bold plan to transform the harsh Sahara desert using bacteria and a surprising construction material: the sand itself. Read More

Evolution of a DNA Sequence Over Time

One of the basic requirements of evolution is variation in a population upon which selection can act. One of the sources of variation is mutation in DNA. These changes may or may not be reflected in the ensuing amino acid sequence of a protein. This exercise explores the additive effects of m... Read More

TWiV 227: Lacks security and bad poultry

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, Read More

Spread of koala retrovirus in Australia

The Koala retrovirus (KoRV) continues to spread within Australia, according to results of a new analysis of a larger sample size from a wider geographical range than was previously studied. Read More

Whooping cough predicted to double in 20 years, new vaccination strategies will be needed

A new paper in PLoS recommends two vaccination strategies to better prevent whooping cough.

"In the absence of adolescent or adult vaccination, pertussis incidence among adults is predicted to more than double in 20 years. Implementing an adult program in addition to childhood and adolescent... Read More

TWiV 291: Ft. Collins abuzz with virologists

Vincent, Rich, and Kathy and their guests Clodagh and Ron recorded this episode at the 33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Virology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.


Hosts: ... Read More

XMRV not detected in seminal plasma

How XMRV, the new human retrovirus associated with prostate cancer and chronic fatigue syndrome, might be transmitted among humans is unknown. The finding that the virus can be detected in prostate cancer cells, and in prostatic secretions of men with prostate cancer suggests that it could be se... Read More

BacterioFiles 208 - Discovering Dietary Dwellers

This episode: Dr. Angela Zivkovic discusses the microbes present in our food!


(21.6 MB, 23.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


Read More

TWiP 54 Letters

Tommy writes:


Hi Vincent and Dickson,


I was listening to the new episode of TWiP (episode 52) and one of your listeners wrote in asking about tree parasites. While plant parasite is not my main field of research, I have written about one such pa... Read More

UCLA Pioneering Microbiology Educator and Author Discusses Innovative Teaching Methods

In this monthly interview series, meet Erin Sanders-Lorenz, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA , co-author of the new book, "I, Microbiologist: A Discovery-based Course in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution" and a lea... Read More

BacterioFiles 183 - Simplex-Sick Stem Cell Salve

This episode: Cancer-killing viruses could work even better when loaded into stem cells!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

TWiP 49 Letters

Jim writes:


Professors, you've discussed this idea before, but I thought you'd enjoy this nice summary from Nature:

http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v491/n7423/... Read More

BacterioFiles 201 - Plastic-Producing Prokaryote Process

This episode: Bacteria from wastewater treatment sludge can produce lots of biodegradable plastic!


(7.1 MB, 7.75 minutes)


Show notes: 
Jour... Read More

The risks and benefits of influenza H5N1 research

Both Nature and the New York Times have weighed in on the resumption of influenza H5N1 research. In an editorial from 23 January 2013, Nature opines that “Experiments that make deadly pathogens more dangerous demand the utmost scrutiny”. They call for a quantitative risk-benefit analysis of H5N1... Read More

TWiV 276: Ramblers go viral

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 Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

Could a plant virus have found a way to infect humans?

It has always been assumed that plant viruses cannot infect animals, and vice versa, but plant viruses are known to be abundant in human faeces.

Now Didier Raoult at the University of the Mediterranean in Marseille, France, and his team think a pepper virus is making people sick, too.

They... Read More

TWiP 74 letters


voxsciurorum writes:


Dear water-based life forms:


It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.


I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 27 - Ingenious Influenza Immunizations

This episode: Flu vaccine made by bacteria!


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Read More

Thirty years in my laboratory at Columbia University

Thirty years ago this month I arrived in the Department of Microbiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) to start my own laboratory. Thirty is not only a multiple of ten (which we tend to celebrate), but also a long time to be at one place. It’s clearly time to r... Read More

TWiV 125 Letters

Todd writes:


Hey Docs!


I'm a computer programmer who listens to podcasts on my long commute. The highest science education that I've had was college Chemistry. As an Electrical Engineer the science classes we took tended to not be biology oriented, so while so... Read More

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