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Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature

A team of scientists based at San Diego State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of South Florida have analyzed all sequence data available in public databases from complete genomes and environmental community genomes, and found out that jumping genes (known as transposase... Read More

TWiV 246: Pandora, pandemics, and privacy

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, Read More

TWiV 252: Who read the last email?

Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, Read More

BacterioFiles 214 - Cable-Chlorophyte Coop Conducts Current

This episode: Cable bacteria and algae set up electric grid in sediments!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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

TWiV 361: Zombie viruses on the loose

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

Mycobacteria Make Spores?

Guest blogger for Small Things Considered Peter Setlow, Professor of Molecular, Microbial and Structural Biology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, CT, has an eye-opening post about a recent paper, Read More

How To Prevent Other People’s Mistakes from Affecting Your Work

Chances are, in the course of your scientific career, you will encounter a common problem in research: losing time due to someone else’s mistake. Whether the problem is an incorrect strain or plasmid given to you by another lab, incorrectly made buffers or media from within your own lab, or, in ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 42 - Beneficial Bowel Bugs

This episode: Helpful gut bacteria communicate with the immune system!


Unable to embed Rapid1Pixelout audio player. Please double check that:  1)You have the latest version of Adobe Flash Player.  2)This web page does not have any fatal Javascript errors.  3)The audio-player.js file of Rapid1Pixelout has been included.

Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

Don’t Panic—Ebola Isn’t Heading For You

An outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever that began in early July 2012 has involved at least 36 individuals and 16 deaths. So far the disease has been confined to a rural region west of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The subject of Richard Preston’s scary The Hot Zone, Ebola virus is newsworthy b... Read More

TWiV 294: Smallpox and anthrax and flu, oh my!

The TWiV team reviews the discovery of old vials of smallpox virus at NIH, anthrax and influenza mishaps at CDC, the baby who was not cured of HIV, Cambridge Working Group, and sacking of NSABB members.


Hosts:  Read More

TWiM #122: Mayonii, microRNAs and the microbiome

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michele Swanson, and Michael Schmidt.


Vincent, Michele, and Michael reveal the discovery of a new species of the spirochaete that causes Lyme disease, and fecal microRNAs that shape the gut microbiome. Read More

Audio interview with Jeffrey Brinker--A Quorum of One: Solitary Bacterial Cell Does Its Own Sensing

Materials scientist Jeffrey Brinker and his collaborators at Sandia National Laboratory in Albuquerque, N.M., have confined individual Staphylococcus aureus cells in vessels that consist of porous silica nanostructures. These structures isolate the cells physically and chemically from other cell... Read More

SketchyMicro teaches Klebsiella, Serratia and Enterobacter in a really memorable way!

SketchyMicro is a unique and effective way to learn high-yield medical microbiology for the USMLE Step 1.

They take all of the microorganisms, infectious diseases, and random facts that you need to memorize for USMLE Step 1, and weave them into easy-to-remember sketches.

They narrate as th... Read More

Interview with Tom Shenk about mBio, ASM's new open access journal

Tom Shenk is not only ASM’s Publications Board Chairman and a Princeton Professor, he’s also an instigator and a mastermind (in the well-intentioned and insightful senses of the words). After all, he was one of the original forces behind starting up mBio and his ideas and work continue to drive ... Read More

TWiV 358: Virology and proteomics with Ileana Cristea

Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guest: Ileana Cristea


Vincent meets up with Ileana at Princeton University to talk abou... Read More

TWiP 69 letters


Richard writes:


Hi Vincent and Dickson,


I enjoy TWIP, and often recommend it to my students. I'm a parasitologist, primarily a Leishmaniac, but I have learnt a lot from TWIP. I find it both more educational and entertaining than Car Talk.


The disc... Read More

TWiV 357: Mistletoe and the Tree of Life

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Magic in Solution: An Introduction and Brief History of PCR

If you missed the opportunity to hear Carl Wittwer talk about the history of PCR and his invention of the LightCycler, the video is now available on line.

The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a fundamental tool in molecular research and clinical testing. Our presenter, Carl Witter, ... Read More
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