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TWiP 52 Letters

Jason writes:


Hi Drs. Despommier and Racaniello,


This week you wondered why the immune-activating receptor for Toxoplasma gondii, TLR11, is present in mice but not in humans. You noted that it looks like there's no selective pressure keeping it around in us an... Read More

TWiM 61 Letters

Nate writes:


Hi my name is Nate. I am a senior in high school aspiring to become a microbiologist. I heard about this podcast through a class I took on biotechnology and have been listening for about 2 months. I really enjoy it and the other two shows... Read More

Eurobarometer on antimicrobial resistance highlights areas for action

On 9 April 2010, the European Commission published the results of a Eurobarometer on antimicrobial resistance (AMR) which demonstrate the need for further progress on the issue in the European Union (EU) [1]. The report highlights public attitudes towards the use of antibiotics which are of conc... Read More

Bonnie Bassler on the secret, social lives of bacteria

This recent talk at TED by Bonnie Bassler on bacterial communication (aka quorum sensing) was a viral hit among the science geeks on Twitter. It is a very educational and well thought out presentation that is great for personal viewing or showing in the classroom. It's a must watch! Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 31 - Bacterial Biofertilizer

This episode: Bacteria as fertilizer!


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Do We Need a Climate Solution for Indoors?

We typically spend close to 90 percent of our time inside - at school, work and home. While outdoor air quality is very important, so too is the quality of the air we breathe at home and the office. Yet most of us know very little about the condition of our indoor climate.  The chemicals ... Read More

HAART has potential to diminish mother-to-child HIV transmission in cost-effective manner

A new paper publish in PLoS One concludes that programs that optimize adherence to highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) through direct observation in pregnancy have the potential to diminish mother-to-child HIV transmission in a highly cost-effective manner. Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

New Diagnostic Fast and Effective at Finding TB in Elephants: Benefits for Pachyderms and Public Health

A serological test is highly accurate at finding tuberculosis infection in elephants, and can determine such infection years before culture, according to a study in the August Clinical and Vaccine Immunology (click source to download the .pdf of the journal article). The issue is critical not on... Read More

The Invention of PCR

Few technical breakthroughs have changed the face of their field like the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Gene cloning, sequencing of complex genomes, DNA fingerprinting and DNA-based diagnostics are just some of the techniques that were either inefficient, crude or plain impossible before PCR.... Read More

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

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
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BacterioFiles Micro Edition 149 - Psychrobacter Survives Siberian Schisms

This episode: Cold-loving bacteria can repair surprising amounts of DNA damage even sub-zero temperatures!


(9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)


Bacteria isolated from the Siberian arctic permafrost are exposed to a lot of radiation over thousands of years, but somehow they are able to repair... Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 195. Vida en Atacama (Life in Atacama desert)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº195 summarize the article by Wierzchos et al published in Geobiology about the microorganisms tha... Read More

CSI Las Vegas. Beware with Aureobasidium

Video fragment of the episode "Let the seller beware" from CSI Las Vegas (third season). The presence of the fungus Aureobasidium pullulans in a crime scene helps Grissom and his boys to resolve the case. Here we can found some of the science behind that TV episode
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TWiM 58 Letters

Daniel writes:


Dear Vincent and his fellow TWIMsters,

Hello, my name is Daniel, I am a first year graduate student at Michigan State. I would like to thank you all for making a great podcast. I recently caught up to the most current episodes by having my o... Read More

HIV cure could be all in the 'mix'

Current HIV treatments do not eradicate HIV from host cells but rather inhibit virus replication and delay the onset of AIDS. However, a new research published in BioMed Central's open access journal, AIDS Research & Therapy describes an innovative approach to eliminate HIV in host by targeted ... Read More

TWiV 226: Taking the viral A train with Terry Dermody

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson Despommier, and Read More

Microbe magazine--Audio interview with Anna Skalka

Anna Skalka of Fox Chase Cancer Center in Philadelphia, Pa., discusses research into the ages of various virus families with Jeffrey Fox of Microbe magazine Read More

Sanctuary chimps show high rates of drug-resistant staph

Chimpanzees from African sanctuaries carry drug-resistant, human-associated strains of the bacteria Staphlyococcus aureus, a pathogen that the infected chimpanzees could spread to endangered wild ape populations if they were reintroduced to their natural habitat, a new study shows.

The study ... Read More
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