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Resistance is Not Futile: Joint BioEnergy Institute Researchers Engineer Resistance to Ionic Liquids in Biofuel Microbes

Researchers with the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE)’s Joint BioEnergy Institute (JBEI), a multi-institutional partnership led by Berkeley Lab, have identified the genetic origins of a microbial resistance to ionic liquids and successfully introduced this resistance into a strain of E. coli bact... Read More

By Chance and Necessity: The Role of the Cytoskeleton in the Genesis of Eukaryotes

One of the most exciting and enduring obscurities of biology lies in the early stages of the evolution of “our” eukaryotic cells (Figure 1). The endosymbiotic theory accounts well for the present existence of the mitochondrial and chloroplast organelles of eukaryotes. Although there is evidence ... Read More

Mutant wheat fungus alarms food experts

JOHANNESBURG, 2 April 2014 (IRIN) - Outbreaks of a deadly fungal disease in wheat crops in Germany and Ethiopia in 2013 have had the scientific community buzzing over the threat posed to global food security. Wheat stem rust, also known as wheat black rust, is often referred to as the “polio of... Read More

Oldest Living Things In the World (video)

For nearly a decade, Brooklyn-based artist, photographer, and Guggenheim Fellow Rachel Sussman has been traveling the globe to discover and document its oldest organisms — living things over 2,000 years of age. Her breathtaking photographs and illuminating essays are now collected in The Oldest ... Read More

Stockpiles of Roche Tamiflu drug are waste of money, review finds

Researchers who have fought for years to get full data on Roche's flu medicine Tamiflu said on Thursday that governments who stockpile it are wasting billions of dollars on a drug whose effectiveness is in doubt.

In a review of trial data on Tamiflu, and on GlaxoSmithKline's flu drug Relenza,... Read More

Cancer virus discovery helped by delayed flight

Bad weather and a delayed flight might be a recipe for misery - but in one instance 50 years ago it led to a discovery that has saved countless thousands of lives.

The discovery of the Epstein Barr virus - named after British doctor Anthony Epstein - resulted from his specialist knowledge of ... Read More

Predicting the virulence of MRSA from its genome sequence

Microbial virulence is a complex and often multifactorial phenotype, intricately linked to a pathogen’s evolutionary trajectory. Toxicity, the ability to destroy host cell membranes, and adhesion, the ability to adhere to human tissues, are the major virulence factors of many bacterial pathogens... Read More

Lassa Fever Reported in U.S. Traveler to West Africa

A Minnesota man who returned from a trip to West Africa has been diagnosed with Lassa fever, a severe and sometimes deadly viral disease rarely seen in the United States, health officials said.

The man, who was hospitalized with fever and confusion on March 31, was confirmed to have Lassa fev... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #2

Close up view of the edges of an unknown bacteria swabbed form the bottom of a shoe, possible Bacillus, on TSA exhibiting spreading and rhizoid growth. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface towards the center of the colony and a matte surface towards the edges. Note: transmit... Read More

An immune system for Algernon?

I haven't read it (yet) but heard Daniel Keyes' 1960 short story/1966 novel is a sci-fi masterpiece.

And it's the first place my mind went upon reading about this fascinating breakthrough by researchers at Yale. Read More

Using tobacco to thwart West Nile virus

An international research group led by Arizona State University professor Qiang "Shawn" Chen has developed a new generation of potentially safer and more cost-effective therapeutics against West Nile virus, and other pathogens. The therapeutics, known as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and their de... Read More

Raw Oysters Spike U.S. Rise in Bacterial Infections

Raw oysters, so good with hot sauce, increasingly can carry something even more unsettling to the stomach: A bacteria linked to vomiting, diarrhea and pain.

Infections with vibrio, a saltwater-based bacteria that can pool in shellfish, jumped 75 percent last year from 2006-2008, the U.S. Cent... Read More

Fighting bacteria with weapons from fungi

In order to survive, organisms produce small molecules known as ‘primary metabolites’ which help it to grow, develop and reproduce. Examples include nucleic acid used to make DNA, amino acids to make proteins, and simple sugars. Once the organism is established it will often start to produce ‘se... Read More

Baker's Yeast Gets a Genetic Makeover

The humble baker's yeast has been enlisted to serve the needs of humanity, responsible for beer, wine and bread, among other staples. A domesticated servant for at least millennia, the microscopic fungus has now had one of its chromosomes swapped out by a host of undergraduate students in favor ... Read More

New probiotic improves pig health, reduces manure output

A new probiotic for pigs could mean less manure to manage, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists conducted the first published investigation of the use of bacteria as a probiotic to increase fiber fermentation rates and reduce ... Read More

Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor

Researchers have succeeded in creating a surface on nano-sized cellulose crystals that imitates a biological structure. The surface adsorbs viruses and disables them. The results can prove useful in the development of antiviral ointments and surfaces, for instance.

There are many viral diseas... Read More

Computing with Slime

A future computer might be a lot slimier than the solid silicon devices we have today. In a study published in the journal Materials Today, European researchers reveal details of logic units built using living slime molds, which might act as the building blocks for computing devices and sensors.... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #1

On the first day of Micro class instructors have students do an environmental swab. This sample was subcultured from a student who did the bottom of their shoe. The organism, possible Bacillus sp., was tough to scrap off the agar so subculture was done by taking a small chunk of agar containi... Read More

Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Umeå University, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing ... Read More

Are tiny microbes outwitting us to steal our food?

It's long been know that microbes are to blame for food going off and becoming rotten but in the late 1970's, Dan Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania, and a winner of ecology's version of the Nobel Prize, suggested that making something rotten may be to the advantage of the microbes living ... Read More

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