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U.S. Ebola researchers plead for access to virus samples

Scientists across the United States say they cannot obtain samples of Ebola, complicating efforts to understand how the virus is mutating and develop new drugs, vaccines and diagnostics.

The problems reflect growing caution by regulators and transport companies about handling Ebola as well as... Read More

Pre-symptomatic markers for hemorrhagic viruses like Ebola identified

It is possible to distinguish between different hemorrhagic fevers, including Marburg (Ebola cousin) and Lassa before the person becomes symptomatic, new research has found. This study will allow for the development of better diagnostics, especially during the early stages of disease, when treat... Read More

BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons

This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!


(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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Microbiome Studies Contaminated By Sequencing Supplies

Non-sterile lab reagents and DNA extraction kits add their own assortment of DNA to microbiome samples.

In this age of cheap DNA technology, scientists are sequencing every sample they can get their hands on. They've ID'd the microbes in mosquito guts, coral mucus and frog skin; in polar ice;... Read More

GW Researcher Adapting Breakthrough Technologies to Combat Parasitic Worm Infections

Recent breakthroughs may pave the way for vaccines and new drugs for those infected by parasitic helminths. These flatworms, including tapeworms that cause hydatid diseases and neurocysticercosis, liver flukes, and blood flukes (schistosomes), infect more than 300 million people and cause approx... Read More

Using microscopic bugs to save the bees

For decades, honeybees have been battling a deadly disease that kills off their babies (larvae) and leads to hive collapse. It’s called American Foulbrood and its effects are so devastating and infectious, it often requires infected hives to be burned to the ground.

Treating Foulbrood is comp... Read More

Targeting key cells for a dengue virus infection model

Dengue virus infects hundreds of millions of people living in tropical countries every year. Transmitted via mosquito bites, the virus typically causes fever, but may also lead to potentially fatal organ failure. The development of mouse models of dengue virus infection could hasten an effective... Read More

Ebola and the Vast Viral Universe

Behind the hellish Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa lies an agent that fittingly embodies the mad contradictions of a nightmare. It is alive yet dead, simple yet complex, mindless yet prophetic, seemingly able to anticipate our every move.

For scientists who study the evolution and behavio... Read More

MHT positive or negative

On the left is test isolate and on right side is positive control. Imipenem MIC by etest method was 0.75 ug/ml. How to interpret this modified hodge test; positive or negative? Read More

New study reveals why some people may be immune to HIV-1

Natural genetic variation in a protective antiviral enzyme holds promise for new therapies.

Doctors have long been mystified as to why HIV-1 rapidly sickens some individuals, while in others the virus has difficulties gaining a foothold. Now, a study of genetic variation in HIV-1 and in the c... Read More

HIV virulence depends on where virus inserts itself in host DNA

The human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) can insert itself at different locations in the DNA of its human host – and this specific integration site determines how quickly the disease progresses, report researchers at KU Leuven’s Laboratory for Molecular Virology and Gene Therapy. Their study was p... Read More

Crowdsourcing To Solve Microbe Mysteries

Scientists hope to unlock the secrets of millions of marine microbes from waters as far apart as Sydney’s Botany Bay and the Amazon River in Brazil, with the help of an international team of volunteers sharing their spare computer capacity to create a research “supercomputer”.

The project, co... Read More

MWV Episode 92 - Ebola: On the Front Lines

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has sickened over 14,000 people and has killed over 5,100. Health workers from around the world are attempting to halt this deadly disease. On November 19th, the American Society for Microbiology featured two of these health workers, Dr. Joseph ... Read More

Virus Sleuths Chip Away At Ebola Mysteries

Vincent Racaniello, who studies viruses at Columbia University, says Ebola has recently become his obsession.

"I find myself reading incessantly about Ebola when I should be doing other things," says Racaniello, host of the online show This Week in Virology, which has devoted several recent p... Read More

Nocardia asteroides on Gram stain

Presence of Gram-positive, partially acid-fast rods, which have grown in branching chains resembling fungal hyphae. (Gram stain; original magnification, ×100). Image courtesy MicrobeWorld user Kyriakos Zaragkoulias, Specialty Registrar (StR) in Medical Microbiology at General Hospital of Thessal... Read More

This Device Diagnoses Hundreds of Diseases Using a Single Drop of Blood

The digital health revolution is still stuck.

Tech giants are jumping into the fray with fitness offerings like Apple Health and Google Fit, but there’s still not much in the way of, well, actual medicine. The Fitbits and Jawbones of the world measure users’ steps and heart rate, but they don... Read More

Ebola Exacerbates West Africa’s Poverty Crisis

The virus spreading in Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone has led to food shortages and neglect of other devastating tropical illnesses.

When Ebola came to Dorcas's home on the outskirts of Freetown in Sierra Leone, the virus spared no one. Her mother brought it home from the clinic where she w... Read More

Legionella outbreaks of Alcoy may have multiple sources

A genomic analysis has been carried out of Legionella pneumophila strains of 13 legionellosis outbreaks produced in Alcoy during the period from 1999 to 2010. Legionella pneumophila is a strictly environmental pathogen, an opportunistic bacterium that inhabits aquatic and soil environments, spre... Read More

New paper identifies virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast

Museum biological collections are the records of life on Earth and as such, they are frequently used to investigate serious environmental issues. When public health officials were concerned about the levels of mercury in fish and birds, for example, scientists studied museum specimens to assess ... Read More

Unknown Fungal Contaminant/View 1

Unknown airborne fungal isolated contaminant found on BEA. BEA plate was incubated for 2 months at 4 degrees C once fungal growth was seen. Spore formation can be seen throughout the circular colony. The single colony covered ¼ of the plate. Read More

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