The figure for the number of prokaryotic cells on the planet, roughly 5x1030, is considerably greater than that of the estimated number of stars in the firmaments (3x1023). These two numbers have one thing in common: they both grew hugely and rather suddenly in recent human history.
Click "s... Read More
I just finished listening to TWiV 152, in which you spent quite some time discussing the death of Steve Jobs the past week. Though this mention is certainly well-deserved, I thought it was an oversight not to make any mention of the outstanding immunol... Read More
This episode: Bacteria and salt water combine forces to produce hydrogen gas for fuel!
Are there environments where there are abundant bacteria and no phages? Sounds like one of our Talmudic Questions, but this one has a specific answer, and that answer is Yes. That environment was found within a cystic fibrosis (CF) lung.
This story comes from a pair of papers recently publish... Read More
Vincent and Dickson discuss t... Read More
Hi Dr.'s Racaniello and Despommier,
After listening to your podcast on Onchocerca volvulus I decided to contact you in hopes of enlisting your expertise. I am a PhD student of biology at Northern Arizona University and while my research is ... Read More
this recent publication struck me as being interesting and relevant, however I'm not sure I have the background to completely understand it -- as wondering if... Read More
Jim Pipas writes:
1. Geographic Breakdown. The data can be broken down by location if you download Table S2. It is in the last column. We didn't discuss the data by location because for this paper we took a single sample from each site. Thus, this is a snapshot of vir... Read More
This episode: Viruses take over caterpillars' behavior!
There is an excellent question in the comments to “Are all virus particles infectious?“: if the particle-to-PFU ratio for a virus stock is 10,000:1, and I infect 1,000,000 cells with 10,000 particles, how many plaques would I expect to observe? Answering this question provides insight into the p... Read More
On the Small Things Considered blog, Michael Schmidt, Professor and Vice Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina, reviews a recent paper entitled "Precise Manipulation of Chromosomes in Vivo Enables Genome-Wide Codon Replacement" by Church and colleagu... Read More
I have heard recently that some types of herpes virus may protect us from bacterial infections. This made me remember of myxomavirus, viral oncotherapy and how tumor cells have a compromised immune response. Do you think it is possi... Read More
This episode: Bacteria extend little hairs that could help clean up radioactive contamination!
Recent research has suggested a new method of flu prevention and treatment: the administration of granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) to the lungs of mice significantly reduced flu symptoms and prevented mortality after a lethal dose of influenza virus. GM-CSF helps the bod... Read More
El Dr. José Antonio Castillo, obtuvo su doctorado en la Universidad de Chile y luego realizo una estancia postdoctoral en el Departamento de Genética Molecular y Biología Celular, de la Un... Read More