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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Phage diffusion on a bacterial lawn: not all plaques are created equal

Like us, bacteria have their own microbial attackers, in the form of bacteria-specific viruses called bacteriophage, or phage. These phage come in a variety of flavors but can be broadly categorized into virulent, which immediately begin to replicate and lyse (burst) the infected cell quickly, a... Read More

TWiP 107: Parasites leave a bad taste in my gut

The TWiPtastic trio solves the case of the Surfer from Switzerland, and reveal how taste-chemosensory tuft cells in the gut regulate immune responses to parasites.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello,&n... Read More

BacterioFiles 247 - Animalcule Acetate Ameliorates Asthma

This episode: Feeding mice high-fiber diets reduces their risk of allergic airway disease, even across generations!


(12.1 MB, 13.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

TWiV 384: Agent 003, a view to a fish kill

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and  Read More

MMP #11: Reexamining the emergence of land plants based on an analysis of the cell walls of charophycean green algae.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Øjvind Moestrup, Peter Ulvskov, and Jesper Harholt.


Øjvind Moestrup and Peter Ulvskov, both at the University of Copenhagen and Jesper Harholt at Carlsberg Laboratory, also in Copenhagen, Denmark, talk with Jeff Fox about their hypothesis about terr... Read More

Structure and genome of Zika virus

Group: Group IV ((+) ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Zika virus

Structure of Zika Virus
•The virion is approximately 40 nm in diameter with surface projections that measure roughly 5-10 nm.
•Nucleocapsid is 25-30 nm in diameter surrounded by a host-membrane derive... Read More

A virus-like particle vaccine against RSV is safe and effective in mice

Pneumonia remains a serious worldwide problem, especially among the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Over 900,000 children die each year due to the disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b bein... Read More

TWiM #125: A minimal cell operating system

A deep sequencing study of commercially available probiotics, and design and synthesis of a minimal bacterial genome are the topics tackled by Vincent, Michael, and Michele on this episode of TWiM.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Read More

TWiM 125 Letters

Inspired by William:


Dear TWiMers;
Greetings from Berkeley where miracle March (water-wise) was perhaps half a miracle, but that is definitely better than none. At least we will not run out of water this summer.


I found this quasi-synthetic biology result... Read More

Targeting the gut microbiome to fight heart disease

Is the way to treat heart disease through a person's stomach? According to a new study, the answer is yes. Researchers have found that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause ... Read More

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

BacterioFiles 246 - Prowling Protist Predator Packs

This episode: Amoebas in soil gang up on and eat much larger roundworms!


(10.5 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper
... Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

TWiV 383: A zillion Zika papers and a Brazilian


Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and  Read More

Using citizen science to engage students

Scientists and science educators now recognize the value in explaining what fields don’t understand, in addition to facts supported by years of experimental data. Citizen science projects, which emphasize accessibility of scientific technologies and methods for everyone, allow people without yea... Read More

Nonpathogenic viruses transferred during fecal transplants

Fecal transplants are increasingly being used for refractory Clostridium difficile and other gastrointestinal disorders. While fecal donors are screened for various infectious diseases, it is unclear whether viruses can in fact be transmitted during fecal transplants. Now a new study shows that ... Read More

BacterioFiles 245 - Plant Prokaryotes Produce Protective Plaques

This episode: Bacteria around rice roots help protect plants from arsenic toxicity!


(10.1 MB, 11 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

TWiP 106: Trematode stormtroopers in snail wars

The TWiP triumvirate solves the case of the Missionary in Kenya, and review the finding of a soldier caste in flatworms that parasitize snails.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

A biofilm model that accounts for cell aggregates

Whether you’ve Google-searched “biofilm” to learn more yourself, taken courses covering the subject, or are deeply embedded in biofilm-related research, you’ve probably encountered a model similar to the one below, which represents biofilm maturation. In the current model, a biofilm begins with ... Read More
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