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How Weak Immune Systems Escort a Deadly Fungus Into the Brain

A pervasive fungus, passed along by pigeon droppings, can kill HIV patients by using a Trojan Horse strategy to invade their brains. Pigeon droppings and vulnerable immune systems can be a deadly combination. Fortunately, scientists are starting to figure out how different strains of a yeast tha... 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

Longer Screening Intervals Possible With HPV-Based Tests

A new study from Karolinska Institutet in Sweden finds that testing for human papilloma virus (HPV) allows for longer time between screening tests when compared to cytology-based testing. The study is published in the scientific journal British Medical Journal (BMJ).

Cervical screening progra... Read More

Where Biology and Art Work Together in the Classroom

In this blog entry, I describe how working with the artist Katie McKissick ("Beatrice the Biologist") helped improve my freshman biology course. The intersection of biology and art benefits both! Read More

2014 ICAAC Awards Now Accepting Nominations

Help ASM honor deserving colleagues and young investigators by nominating for the Cubist-ICAAC and ICAAC Young Investigator Awards. The Cubist-ICAAC Award recognizes an outstanding scientist who is active in antimicrobial research, while the ICAAC Young Investigator Awards honor a superb young r... Read More

New Method of Wormlike Motion Lets Gels Wiggle through Water

Next time you spot an earthworm sliding through fresh dirt, take a closer look. What you’re seeing is an organic movement called peristaltic locomotion that has been meticulously refined by nature.

Jarod Gregory, an undergraduate student in the University of Cincinnati's College of Engineeri... Read More

The Comeback Of Polio Is A Public Health Emergency

It is, says the World Health Organization, "an extraordinary event." Polio is spreading to a degree that constitutes a public health emergency.

The global drive to wipe out the virus had driven the number of polio cases down from 300,000 in the late 1980s to just 417 cases last year. The Worl... Read More

Model Virus Structure Shows Why There's No Cure for the Common Cold

Rhinovirus C is believed to be responsible for up to half of all childhood colds, and is a serious complicating factor for respiratory conditions such as asthma. Together with rhinoviruses A and B, the recently discovered virus is responsible for millions of illnesses yearly at an estimated annu... Read More

Tracking potato famine pathogen to its home may aid $6 billion global fight

The cause of potato late blight and the Great Irish Famine of the 1840s has been tracked to a pretty, alpine valley in central Mexico, which is ringed by mountains and now known to be the ancestral home of one of the most costly and deadly plant diseases in human history.

Research published t... Read More

How deadly lassa virus infects cells

The Lassa virus, endemic to West Africa, uses an unexpected two-step process to enter cells, research has shown. The results suggest that the mechanism by which Lassa virus causes infection is more complicated than previously known, and could lead to new approaches for preventing the disease.

... Read More

MRSA declines are sustained in veterans hospitals nationwide

Five years after implementing a national initiative to reduce methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) rates in Veterans Affairs (VA) medical centers, MRSA cases have continued to decline, according to a study in the November issue of the American Journal of Infection Control, the offi... Read More

Indigenous groups more vulnerable in the fight against flu

Researchers at the University of Melbourne have discovered that some Indigenous groups will be more susceptible to the effects of the new strain of influenza (H7N9) currently found in China.

Research indicated that some Indigenous people such as in Alaska and Australia displayed limited immun... Read More

New Research Suggests Saharan Dust is Key to the Formation of Bahamas’ Great Bank

A new study suggests that Saharan dust played a major role in the formation of the Bahamas islands. Researchers from the University of Miami (UM) Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science showed that iron-rich Saharan dust provides the nutrients necessary for specialized bacteria to pr... Read More

Frog-Killing Fungus Meets Its Match in Hidden World of Tiny Predators

As I reported in a feature story in Scientific American last December , some fungi have been behaving badly of late, attacking bats, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and people with gusto, driving many species to extinction and others to the brink. It’s all quite depressing. But today in Scientific... Read More

Stanford biologists help solve fungi mysteries

A new genetic analysis revealing the previously unknown biodiversity and distribution of thousands of fungi in North America might also reveal a previously underappreciated contributor to climate change. Pine forests are chock full of wild animals and plant life, but there's an invisible machine... 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

New Drug Candidate Found for Fungal Lung Infections

On a molecular level, you have more in common with shower curtain mold or the mushrooms on your pizza than you might think. Humans and fungi share similar proteins, a biological bond that makes curing fungal infections difficult and expensive. Current costs to treat these stubborn infections can... Read More

Who cheats and who eats? An evolutionary conundrum.

Say what you will about our other vices, human beings did not invent cheating. Microbes have been doing it for billions of years. You see, for microbes, cheating can sometimes be an evolutionary advantage. And this can cause it to get out of hand really quickly.

Click source link above to rea... Read More

Increasing toxicity of algal blooms tied to nutrient enrichment and climate change

Nutrient enrichment and climate change are posing yet another concern of growing importance – an apparent increase in the toxicity of some algal blooms in freshwater lakes and estuaries around the world, which threatens aquatic organisms, ecosystem health and human drinking water safety.

As t... Read More

This “Drinkable Book” Filters Water for Four Years. Wait, What?

If you think books are old tech, you may be dismissing them too soon. The latest application for the folio design is a collection of water filters that are long-lasting and also provide information about consuming unsafe water. The humanitarian group WaterisLife and the ad agency DDB have teamed... Read More

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