Dear Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michelle,
I've just recently finished TWiM number 133 and wanted to comment about the use of the term "secondary metabolite" throughout the episode and often in the primary literature. Michael pointed out that a se... Read More
Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More
From the EIDA2Z conference at Boston University, Vincent, Alan and Paul meet up with Ralph Baric, Felix Drexler, Marion Koopmans, and Stacey Schultz-Cherry to talk about discovering, understanding, protecting, and collaborating on emerging infectious diseases.
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This episode: Spherical cyanobacterium Synechocystis acts like a tiny eyeball in sensing light, allowing cells to move closer to light sources!
(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)
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The TWiPniks docs solve the case of the Female from Peru with Epistaxis, and discuss the effect of community deworming on immunosuppression.
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
Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Emma Wilson.
Emma H. Wilson of the University of California, Riverside, talks with Jeff Fox about efforts, with her collaborators to determine more precisely how Toxoplasma gondii parasites disrupt the mammalian brain—in this case, the brains of mice... Read More
The Namib Desert is different than other deserts: it has an unusual geographic feature that differentiates it from most others. This desert (map, right) is where you can find ‘fairy circles,’ or circular areas absent of growth in an already plant-scarce environment. These deadened circles are su... Read More
We’ve had a whirlwind of amazing talks, poster sessions, and networking sessions so far at ASM Microbe 2016. In our previous two Dispatches from ASM Microbe, we’ve covered microbiomes, for which research ranges from extremely basic (Which microbes are present? How do we quantify them?) to clinic... Read More
Despite increasing awareness of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a public health risk, there has been relatively little understood about its mechanisms of pathogenesis.
The bacterium, estimated to be the third most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in the United States in a recent study, c... Read More
Today it is well known that viruses may contain DNA (poxvirus, mimivirus) or RNA (influenza virus, Zika virus), but for many years it was thought that genomes were only made of DNA. The surprise at finding only RNA in a virus is plainly evident in a 1953 letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor to J... Read More
While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More
Not long after the appearance of an outbreak of viral disease, first scientists, and then newswriters, blame it all on mutation of the virus. It happened during the Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa, and now it’s happening with Zika virus.
The latest example is by parasitologist Peter Hotez,... Read More
The multi-dimensional TWiV-brane brings you the entries in the haiku/limerick contest, and explain how a giant virus infects a host within another host (it has to do with predators!).
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Gruesome, ghastly, grisly. These are the words that popped into my head when I googled images of diabetic foot ulcers—one of the most common chronic wounds creating a silent and costly epidemic in healthcare.
Perhaps even more shocking is the mortality rate connected to these open wounds, wh... Read More
Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.
Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More
This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More
One of the important tasks of Public Health England’s Mycology Reference Laboratory is to identify any newly emerging fungal pathogens that could become a public health risk. In recent months, the lab had tracked several clusters of Candida auris infections in British hospitals. The multidrug-re... Read More
This episode: Cyanobacteria in biocrusts produce pigments that heat their surroundings up to 10 degrees hotter!
(7 MB, 7.6 minutes)