Monday, November 30, 2015

BacterioFiles 240 - Water Worms Make (carbon) Monoxide Meals

This episode: Marine worms and their microbial symbionts can live on the toxic gas carbon monoxide!

Reminder: this is the last episode for at least a few weeks while I am wrapping up my PhD. See you again when I'm done!


Download Episode (11.1 MB, 12.1 minutes)

Show notes:
Journal Paper

Other interesting stories:
  • Salt-loving extremophiles eat carbon monoxide at Mars-level concentrations (paper)
  • Better biotech processes by microbial cooperation (paper)
  • Different ways to engineer microbes to produce propane
  • Not all organisms share exactly the same genetic code
  • Queen bees have different microbes than other bees (paper)

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, November 23, 2015

    BacterioFiles 239 - Familial Pheromones Fight faecalis

    Just to let you know, I'm trying to finish up my dissertation and graduate in the next few months, so after episode 240, I will be putting the show on hold, at least for a few weeks (but not forever). I'll be sure to bring back some good content after I am done feeling so crunched for time though.

    This episode: Gut bacteria kill their drug-resistant pathogenic cousins of the same species via pheromone signaling!


    Download Episode (10.4 MB, 11.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial compound could inhibit biofilms but not their builders
  • Microbial engineering could free us from petroleum products
  • Studying the immune regulation roles of mouse gut microbes (paper)
  • Finding useful cold- and warm-adapted algae by season (paper)
  • Powerful swimming microbe creates crystals of cells

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, November 16, 2015

    BacterioFiles 238 - Forcing Fungal Familiarization

    This episode: Of genes that are similar in yeast and humans, almost half of the yeast versions are functional when replaced with the human version!


    Download Episode (7.9 MB, 8.5 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Turning algae from harmful blooms into useful products
  • Intercropping enriches microbes that help crop yields (paper)
  • Bacteria store energy in magnetic particles that other bacteria later take
  • Certain gut microbes are characteristic of traditional (non-urban) lifestyles (paper)
  • More study into how microbes make tasty foods

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, November 9, 2015

    BacterioFiles 237 - Proving Protist Predation Parentage

    This episode: Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, a predatory bacterium that feeds on Chlorella algae, is currently lost from science, but its genome has been sequenced and interpreted anyway, to reveal a surprising family history!


    Download Episode (9.4 MB, 10.25 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Appetite-suppressing bacteria could treat obesity
  • Skin bacteria could save frogs from deadly fungus
  • Developing yeast that produce lots of biofuel lipids
  • Vineyard soil microbiome affects vine microbes (and thus, wine)
  • Microbes could make super-sensitive bioelectromechanical sensors

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, November 2, 2015

    BacterioFiles 236 - Film Formation Favors Fossilization

    Brine shrimp
    Credit: Xavier on Flicker
    This episode: Gut microbes' activity in decaying brine shrimp help promote fossilization of their soft parts!


    Download Episode (8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Paywalled news item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Baboon friends have more closely related gut communities
  • Lichens are awesome
  • Plants depend on bacteria when producing defensive chemicals
  • Using bacterial communication signal to modify gut microbe communities
  • Deinococcus could be useful biotech species (review)

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, October 26, 2015

    BacterioFiles 235 - Dust DNA Detectives with Dr. Dunn

    Rob Dunn, NC State University
    This episode: I talk with Dr. Rob Dunn about his team's research into determining where a dust sample comes from based on the microbes present in it!


    Download Episode (12.6 MB, 13.7 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper
    The Dunn lab
    Books

    Other interesting stories:
  • Certain gut bacteria could help animals feed on new foods (paper)
  • Potential for engineering our own microbiome
  • Bacteria could help clean up radioactivity at Fukushima
  • Bacteria could make better fruit fly traps (paper)
  • Acid-resistant bacterium could help with stomach infections (paper)

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, October 19, 2015

    BacterioFiles 234 - Phone, Floor Phylum Forensics

    This episode: Learning things about people's identity and movements from microbial communities on their phones and shoes!


    Download Episode (5.4 MB, 5.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item 1/News item 2/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacteria that live in the deepest part of the ocean
  • Gut bacteria, birth conditions, and weight are related (paper)
  • Bee microbiomes stay pretty constant
  • Early gut bacteria associated with food allergy risk
  • Gut bacteria could relate to ability to control blood sugar

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, October 12, 2015

    BacterioFiles 233 - Messy Microbes Maintain Mouse Microbiota

    This episode: Mice in less sanitary conditions have more diverse gut communities and perhaps less allergy!

    Download Episode (8.15 MB, 8.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Fertilizer leads to less-helpful soil bacteria
  • Sponge bacteria help corals get phosphorus
  • Another way to use microbial electricity to produce hydrogen
  • Soap has bacteria too
  • Corals are eating plastic; is it harmful?

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, October 5, 2015

    BacterioFiles 232 - Exploring Enzymes' Element Effects

    This episode: Bacteria can convert soluble uranium to an insoluble form, and distinguish between different isotopes!

    Download Episode (8.2 MB, 8.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacteria could help degrade environmental chemical contaminant (paper)
  • Phage could treat dental infections
  • Bacteria and grass together clean up soil
  • Mutant E. coli keeps getting longer without dividing
  • Algae could produce malaria vaccine

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, September 21, 2015

    Monday, September 7, 2015

    BacterioFiles 228 - Bacteria Beat Bat Blight

    Inhibition assay, bacterial colonies
    on fungal lawn. Hoyt et al. 2015
    This episode: Bacteria isolated from bats' skin inhibits the growth of bat-killing fungus!

    Download Episode (7 MB, 7.6 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:

  • Bacteria could produce useful emulsifiers (paper)
  • Fast-growing cyanobacteria could be good for producing things
  • Making yeast produce more useful proteins such as insulin
  • Microalga could be good biofuel oil producer
  • Microbes might've helped create large gold deposits

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, August 31, 2015

    BacterioFiles 227 - Microbe Menaces Meningitis

    This episode: Colonizing ourselves with friendly bacteria could drive out more risky ones, such as those that cause meningitis!

    Download Episode (9.8 MB, 10.6 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial vapors inhibit deadly plant pathogen (paper)
  • Finding phages to fight tomato disease (paper)
  • Immune system is important for maintaining gut community health
  • Even the same species can have diversity in the gut
  • Using bacterial power to generate clean water and electricity

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, August 24, 2015

    Monday, August 17, 2015

    BacterioFiles 225 - Implanting Internal Invader Immunity

    This episode: Don't have immunity? Create your own! Scientists engineer cells to destroy their HIV infections using the bacterial immune system!

    Download Episode (14.5 MB, 15.8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Insect bacteria produce small RNAs to communicate with hosts (paper)
  • Yeast can make lots of useful things
  • Engineering E. coli to better tolerate biofuels it produces (paper)
  • Pathogens can resist phage infection, but often at a cost (paper)
  • Microbes can survive on space vessels and cause problems away from Earth

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, August 10, 2015

    BacterioFiles 224 - Super Small Cells

    Ultramicrobacterium.
    Fig 3 Luef et al 2015
    This episode: Scientists discover what seem to be ultra-small bacteria, possibly smaller than the theoretical minimum size!

    Download Episode (12.3 MB, 13.4 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item 1/News items 2/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacteria could produce good biofuels from renewable resources (paper)
  • Studying quorum sensing by 3D-printing bacterial biofilms (paper)
  • Marine algae could be good source of nutrients alternative to fish oil
  • Caterpillar mind-control virus seems to manipulate response to light
  • 9 cool things about microbes

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, August 3, 2015

    BacterioFiles 223 - Fecal Fusions Forecast Fatness

    This episode: Sampling microbial populations in sewage from cities could reveal differences in the human populations, such as prevalence of obesity!

    Download Episode (9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial communities could be evidence about sexual crimes
  • Bacteria around plants could fight plant diseases (paper)
  • Microbes can greatly affect mouse gut's protective mucus layer
  • Cyanobacteria could survive on Mars and produce breathable oxygen
  • Garbage in Yellowstone permitted hot spring microbial rainbow

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, July 27, 2015

    BacterioFiles 222 - Cells Store Solar Sparks

    The setup. Torella et al. 2015
    This episode: Bacteria engineered to produce liquid fuel can eat carbon dioxide and hydrogen from solar-powered water-splitting!

    Download Episode (11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Some bugs need their vitamin-producing microbes, but kill them to harvest the vitamins
  • How specific gut microbes influence immune system (paper)
  • Bacteria used to produce various food ingredients
  • Bacteria could produce polyester beads that bind specific proteins (paper)
  • Rainforest bacteria could help plants grow better in poorer soil (paper)

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, July 13, 2015

    BacterioFiles 221 - Co-culture Close Contact, Cats, and Cockerels

    More related than some bacteria
    This episode: More distantly related bacteria can help each other grow (and produce lots of hydrogen) by temporarily fusing with each other!

    Download Episode (12.7 MB, 13.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper
    Bacterial close contact
    Note: I said C. acetobutylicum was used in WWII to make acetone for bombs, but it was actually World War I, used to make cordite, a replacement for gunpowder.

    Other interesting stories:
  • Gut microbes can affect brain's defensive barrier in mice
  • Getting E. coli to produce higher amounts of nice-smelling biofuel compounds
  • Using fungi to control avocado-damaging pests
  • Bacterial proteins used to modify human cells' immune signaling (paper)
  • Worm gut bacteria could help degrade plastic waste

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, July 6, 2015

    Monday, June 29, 2015

    Monday, June 22, 2015

    BacterioFiles 218 - Parasitoids Pass Protective Prokaryotes

    Such a cute parasitoid
    Arrows indicate Wolbachia
    Ahmed et al. 2015
    This episode: Parasitoid wasps spread helpful bacterial symbionts between their whitefly prey!

    Download Episode (10.9 MB, 11.9 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Making magnetic bacteria do a dance (w/ video)
  • Viruses have influenced evolution and genetics of plants, including wine grapes
  • Deep-sea fungus produces potentially useful chemicals (paper)
  • Effective genetic modification of fungi could lead to useful biotech processes
  • Microbe-shaped (though not microbe-flavored) popsicles

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, June 15, 2015

    Sunday, June 7, 2015

    BacterioFiles Special - ASM2015

    Here's my summary of ASM2015, an exciting weekend full of science.

    Download Episode (11.5 MB, 12.5 minutes)


    The convention center in NOLA

    Bird in a bayou

    Not solid ground

    Your host

    Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    Thursday, May 28, 2015

    ASM2015 General Meeting Next Week

    No full episode next week; BacterioFiles will be at ASM2015! But I will try to have some conference content to share nevertheless.

    Monday, May 25, 2015

    Monday, May 11, 2015

    Monday, April 27, 2015

    BacterioFiles 212 - Ghosts Get Good Guarding

    Left: Not a ghost
    Right: A ghost
    Hjelm et al. 2015
    This episode: Bacterial ghosts could make good vaccines for different things!

    Download Episode (9.8 MB, 10.7 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • What would happen if all microbes suddenly disappeared?
  • Probiotics help protect children and pregnant women from heavy metal toxicity
  • Using virus-like particles to kill harmful algae (paper)
  • Yeast make nice beer scent to attract fruit flies
  • Algae-powered electric Grand Prix cars

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, April 13, 2015

    BacterioFiles 210 - Archaea Acquired Alternative Abilities

    This episode: Genes taken from bacteria may have been important for the evolution of distinct groups of archaea!

    Download Episode (7.4 MB, 8 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Bacterial signals could tell cancer cells to stop causing problems
  • (Sulfite-free) wine could have helpful bacteria
  • Probiotic prevents chickens from carrying human pathogen (paper)
  • Plants keep helpful bacteria in their seeds
  • Bacteria are helping break down drugs in waterways

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, April 6, 2015

    Monday, March 23, 2015

    BacterioFiles 207 - Microbe Messages Mire Malaria Movement

    Green fluorescence shows α-gal expression
    Yilmaz et al. 2014
    This episode: Gut microbes may induce an immune response that protects against malaria!

    Download Episode (10.2 MB, 11.2 minutes)

    Show notes:
    News item/Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Gut bacteria help immune responses even in the lungs (of mice)
  • Conductive bacteria can encase themselves in uranium
  • Discovering and prepping bacteria to degrade environmental pollutants
  • Using bacteria to reduce arsenic toxicity in rice
  • Soil fungi protect potatoes from parasites

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.

    Monday, March 16, 2015

    BacterioFiles 206 - Mollusc Maneuvers Microbe Machines to Macerate Maples

    Shipworm, in or out of wood.
    O'Connor et al, 2014.
    This episode: When digesting wood, shipworms outsource their microbial symbionts from gut to gills!

    Download Episode (9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)

    Show notes:
    Journal Paper

    Other interesting stories:
  • Swimming alga Euglena could help treat iron overdose (paper)
  • Bacteria in bees could produce useful antimicrobials
  • Tough bacteria could help make nuclear waste storage safer
  • Learning about ancient cultures from their fossilized feces (paper)
  • Using phages to make wastewater treatment better

  • Post questions or comments here or email to bacteriofiles@gmail.com. Thanks for listening!

    Subscribe at iTunes, check out the show at TwitterMicrobeWorld, or Facebook

    This show features music from Mevio's podsafe Music Alley.