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BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

No further evidence of novel coronavirus

There is no evidence for further spread among humans of a novel coronavirus recently isolated from two individuals with severe respiratory illness. This conclusion has been drawn after scrutinizing the travels (figure) and contacts of a Qatari adult who was transferred to intensive care in Londo... Read More

Larry Brilliant Speaks About Bird Flu at Google

A candid conversation with Larry Brilliant about pandemic bird flu (H5N1), the risks we face, the uncertainties, and to talk about the accuracy and inaccuracies in the mass media. This talk was presented in May of 2006, but it's interesting to watch in light of the current media environment arou... Read More

TWiP 48 Letters

Ruth writes:

Dear Dick Despommier


My name is Ruth
I am a listener of twip and recently I decided to look into your vertical farming that you mention on the podcast.


While I was watching a video of you explaining vertical farming you mentioned soil-less g... Read More

El podcast del Microbio: Virus Respiratorio Sincitial





























En este episodio de "El podcast del microbio" presentamos los últimos datos sobre la epidemiología del Virus Respiratorio Sincitial (SRV)... Read More

A short-short science fiction story about microbes...

From my microbiology-associated blog, where I discuss teaching and research in microbiology at a small liberal arts institution. Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 69 - Plants' Prokaryotic Partners

This episode: Plants open up their roots to let bacteria in!



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Read More

BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

TWiV 253: I don't know anything about sorghum

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

Safely Processing Sprouts - Educational Video

The California Department of Public Health, Food and Drug Branch and the U.S. Food and Drug Administration Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition jointly developed this video in cooperation with the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention, university researchers, and industry representati... Read More

Google Flu Trends

Each week, millions of users around the world search for health information online. Google has found a close relationship between how many people search for flu-related topics and how many people actually have flu symptoms. Of course, not every person who searches for "flu" is actually sick, but... Read More

Make Your Own Van Leewenhoek Microscope

A recent guest post on the Small Things Considered blog by ... Read More

TWiV 78 letters

Michael writes:


Hi guys really like the show even though some of it (not much) goes over my head. I also listen to twip and hope there will be a matching number of episodes to rival twiv.  My name is Michael and I was talking to my dad the other day and he mentioned that he t... Read More

TWiV 113 Letters

Trevor writes:

Hi Vince, Dick, Alan and Rich,


My name is Trevor Stewart, a PhD student at the University of Toronto (in my final year!!) in Physics. I've been listening to TWIV (and TWIP) since last Xmas when my twin brother (who is a graduate student studying mass-s... Read More

Renew your Knowledge of Microbiology

Enjoy this scientific spring scavenger hunt and find the answers to these 10 questions on the history of microbiology. The birth of microbiology revolved around many key discoveries beginning around the mid to late 1600’s. These discoveries were at the cutting edge of science at the time and th... Read More

Deep sequencing reveals viral vaccine contaminants

Use of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix in the US has been temporarily suspended because the vaccine was found to be contaminated with porcine circovirus 1 DNA. The discovery was made in the laboratory of Dr. Eric Delwart, who has provided insight into what was found in Rotarix, and why he was anal... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 148 - Engineered Escherichia Enzyme Enhances Environmentalism

This episode: Engineered bacteria could help capture CO2 and convert it into a solid form for storage!


(7.3 MB, 8 minutes)


E. coli engineered to produce the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which converts carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and then to calcium carbonate,... Read More

Notable Bacteria



  • Bacillus anthracis causes anthrax, a deadly disease in cattle and a potential bioweapon against humans




  • .Brucella abortus causes breeding losses in livestock.




  • Cyanobacteria (formerly known as blue-green algae) live in water, where they prod... Read More

When Your Partner is NOT a Scientist

A recent article published by The Scientist called Power Couples gave advice and examples for scientist couples who have successfully balanced their life at home and in the lab. It was interesting from the perspective of how two very busy and career motivated people work together to have it al... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 150 - Morels Make Mycelial Motorways

This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


Read More

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