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Tending the Body’s Microbial Garden

For a century, doctors have waged war against bacteria, using antibiotics as their weapons. But that relationship is changing as scientists become more familiar with the 100 trillion microbes that call us home — collectively known as the microbiome.

“I would like to lose the language of warfa... Read More

Grow Your Own Computer?

There may be a new wave of computer technology on the way thanks to scientists at the University of Leeds and Japan’s University of Agriculture and Technology: Growing your own computer.

Magnet-making bacteria may be used to create the next generation of hard drives, making them much smaller ... Read More

Microbiologist Uses Viruses to Fight Bacteria

After a decade of research, ContraFect Corporation, a small biotech company based in Yonkers, N.Y., is preparing to test bacteriophages—viruses that infect and destroy bacteria—in people as a potential alternative to overused antibiotics for treating and preventing bacterial infections. The firs... Read More

US Students Need New Way of Learning Science

American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.

After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a rad... Read More

Antarctic lake could reveal new life

Russian scientists said overnight a probe to a pristine lake deep under the ice of Antarctica could bring revelations on the evolution of the planet Earth and possibly even new life forms.

A Russian team drilled down to the surface of Lake Vostok, which is believed to have been covered by ice... Read More

Expert Panel To Give Controversial Bird Flu Research A Second Look

Two controversial studies on bird flu will once again be reviewed by an expert committee that advises the government on what to do with biological research that could pose potential dangers.

The move is just the latest development in a fierce ongoing debate about genetically altered flu virus... Read More

Sheets of virus generate electricity when squished

Squishing a stack of virus sheets generates enough electricity to power a small liquid crystal display. With increased power output, these virus films might one day use the beating of your heart to power a pacemaker, the researchers behind them say.

Piezoelectric materials build up charge whe... Read More

The Rise of Genomic Superspreaders

One hundred million years ago the earth’s climate was much warmer than today and vast inland seas stretched across entire continents. The land was dominated by charismatic megafauna that would one day serve as inspiration for Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s novel The Lost World. This period is commonly... Read More

Milestones in the Effort to Eradicate Polio [Timeline]

Advances in the 1950s and 1960s, including unprecedented cooperation between Soviet and U.S. scientists, allowed polio to be eradicated throughout the Americas by 1994 and all of Europe in 1998. Eliminating the crippling scourge has been more difficult, however, in some parts of Africa and Asia.... Read More

NSABB Members React to Request for Second Look at H5N1 Flu Studies

Members of a U.S. government biosecurity advisory board are offering a range of reactions to the news that they are being asked to take a second look at two controversial flu studies. Some have not previously spoken publicly about the issue, which has sparked a global debate about biosecurity ve... Read More

Millions of diabetics could die of tuberculosis

A third of the world’s human population is infected with a dormant tuberculosis bacteria, primarily people living in developing countries. The bacteria presents a lifelong TB risk. Recent research out of the University of Copenhagen demonstrates that the risk of tuberculosis breaking out is four... Read More

A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as part of a C... Read More

Drug Combo Cuts Malaria Risk in HIV Patients

Treatment with lopinavir/ritonavir (Kaletra) reduced the risk that HIV-infected children would become co-infected with malaria, researchers said here.

Compared with treatment based on non-nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NNRTIs), therapy with the protease inhibitor-based combinati... Read More

Cells on the move

Cells on the move reach forward with lamellipodia and filopodia, cytoplasmic sheets and rods supported by branched networks or tight bundles of actin filaments. Cells without functional lamellipodia are still highly motile but lose their ability to stay on track, report researchers at the Stower... Read More

Natural Intestinal Flora Strengthens Immune System

Signals from natural intestinal bacteria are necessary for an effective immune response to various viral or bacterial germs. This was the result of experiments by a research team led by Prof. Dr. Andreas Diefenbach and Stephanie Ganal at the Institute of Medical Microbiology and Hygiene of the F... Read More

Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.

Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More

Blogs by the American Society for Microbiology

Small Things Considered


The purpose of Small Things Considered is to share appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this pla... Read More

Orchestrating change: Protein signaling between soybean root hairs, bacteria reveals core cellular processes

Understanding what happens to a soybean root hair system infected by symbiotic, nitrogen-fixing soil bacteria, Bradyrhizobium japonicum, could go a long way toward using this symbiosis to redesign plants and improve crop yields, benefitting both food and biofuel production. Because of their exte... Read More

Nikon's Small World 2012 - Sonderia sp. (a ciliate that preys upon various algae, diatoms, and cyanobacteria) (400x)

Nikon's Small World 2012 Photomicrography Competition

Dr. Diana Lipscomb
George Washington University
Department of Biological Sciences
Washington, District of Columbia, USA

Subject Matter:
Sonderia sp. (a ciliate that preys upon various algae, diatoms, and cyanobacteria) (400x)

Tec... Read More

Influenza H5N1 is not lethal in ferrets after airborne transmission

Ron Fouchier has discussed his influenza H5N1 transmission experiments in ferrets at an ASM Biodefense Conference, clarifying several assumptions about the transmissibility of the virus in this animal model. Read More

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