Are Phages Overlooked Mediators of Health and Disease?
Are Phages Overlooked Mediators of Health and Disease?
Bacteria-infecting viruses affect the composition and behavior of microbes in the mammalian gut—and perhaps influence human biology.
Are Phages Overlooked Mediators of Health and Disease?
Are Phages Overlooked Mediators of Health and Disease?

Bacteria-infecting viruses affect the composition and behavior of microbes in the mammalian gut—and perhaps influence human biology.

Bacteria-infecting viruses affect the composition and behavior of microbes in the mammalian gut—and perhaps influence human biology.

phage
Infographic: Trans-kingdom Interactions in the Gut
Infographic: Trans-kingdom Interactions in the Gut
Catherine Offord | Feb 1, 2021
Phages interact with bacteria and eukaryotic cells in ways that researchers suspect influence mammalian health.
Retrons Help Bacteria Defend Themselves from Phages: Study
Retrons Help Bacteria Defend Themselves from Phages: Study
Catherine Offord | Feb 1, 2021
The mysterious DNA sequences appear to help bacterial cells spot when they’ve been infected with viruses—and prompt those cells to self-destruct.
Distinct Microbiome and Metabolites Linked with Depression
Distinct Microbiome and Metabolites Linked with Depression
Rachael Moeller Gorman | Dec 9, 2020
The gastrointestinal tracts of people with major depressive disorder harbor a signature composition of viruses, bacteria, and their metabolic products, according to the most comprehensive genomic and metabolomic analysis in depression to date.
Genetically Modified Viral Cocktail Treats Deadly Bacteria in Teen
Genetically Modified Viral Cocktail Treats Deadly Bacteria in Teen
Ashley Yeager | May 8, 2019
Tweaking the genomes of two phages and combining them with a third phage helped to clear a persistent Mycobacterium infection in the patient.
CRISPR Is Overcome When Viruses Gang Up on Bacteria
CRISPR Is Overcome When Viruses Gang Up on Bacteria
Kerry Grens | Jul 19, 2018
Phages that die during bacterial invasion help other viruses defeat the microbes’ immune responses.
Researchers Discover 10 New Immune Systems in Bacteria
Researchers Discover 10 New Immune Systems in Bacteria
Jim Daley | Jan 25, 2018
The findings more than double the number of known defense mechanisms, piquing the interests of molecular biology tool developers.
Bacteriophages to the Rescue
Bacteriophages to the Rescue
Emily Monosson | Jul 16, 2017
Phage therapy is but one example of using biological entities to reduce our reliance on antibiotics and other failing chemical solutions.
Book Excerpt from <em>Natural Defense</em>
Book Excerpt from Natural Defense
Emily Monosson | Jul 16, 2017
In Chapter 3, “The Enemy of Our Enemy Is Our Friend: Infecting the Infection,” author Emily Monosson makes the case for bacteriophage therapy in the treatment of infectious disease.
Ancient Protein Helps <em>E. coli</em> Thwart Viral Attack
Ancient Protein Helps E. coli Thwart Viral Attack
Ashley Yeager | May 9, 2017
When engineered to use a four-billion-year-old version of the protein thioredoxin, the bacteria can stall bacteriophage replication, a new study shows.
More Anti-CRISPR Proteins to Block Cas9
More Anti-CRISPR Proteins to Block Cas9
Kerry Grens | Dec 29, 2016
The latest CRISPR deactivators to be discovered turn off the Streptococcus pyogenes Cas9 widely used in genome editing.
Keeping CRISPR in Check
Keeping CRISPR in Check
Anna Azvolinsky | Dec 14, 2016
In bacteriophage genomes, researchers find three anti-CRISPR proteins that naturally inhibit CRISPR-Cas9 in one bacterial species and can do the same in human cells. 
Phages Carry Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Phages Carry Antibiotic Resistance Genes
Abby Olena | Dec 7, 2016
Researchers find evidence of antibiotic resistance genes in the DNA of viruses that infect bacteria.
Black Widow Secrets in Phage Genome
Black Widow Secrets in Phage Genome
Jef Akst | Oct 12, 2016
In the DNA of the WO phage, which infects arthropod-inhabiting Wolbachia, researchers find sequences related to a black widow spider’s toxin and other animal genes.
Protein or Perish
Protein or Perish
Ruth Williams | Aug 31, 2016
A bacteriophage must evolve certain variants of a protein or die.
CRISPR Antidotes Galore
CRISPR Antidotes Galore
Anna Azvolinsky | Jun 13, 2016
Anti-CRISPR proteins are prevalent in phage genomes and bacterial mobile genetic elements, researchers show.
Timothy Lu: Niche Perfect
Timothy Lu: Niche Perfect
Kerry Grens | May 1, 2016
Associate Professor, Departments of Electrical Engineering & Computer Science and Biological Engineering, MIT. Age: 35
Lu on Syn Bio
Lu on Syn Bio
The Scientist Staff | Apr 30, 2016
MIT researcher and Scientist to Watch Timothy Lu talks about the value of cross-disciplinary approaches in bringing synthetic biology into the clinic.