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Oral Bacteria Create a ‘Fingerprint’ in Your Mouth

The bacteria in the human mouth – particularly those nestled under the gums – are as powerful as a fingerprint at identifying a person’s ethnicity, new research shows.

Scientists identified a total of almost 400 different species of microbes in the mouths of 100 study participants belonging t... Read More

Changing influenza virus neuraminidase into a receptor binding protein

The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of the influenza virus particle serve distinct functions during infection. The HA binds sialic acid-containing cellular receptors and mediates fusion of the viral and cell membranes, while the NA removes sialic acids from glycoproteins.... Read More

Host genetics can contribute to lung damage in severe tuberculosis

A third of the global population is infected with the bacterial pathogen that causes tuberculosis. Most carriers control the infection and are asymptomatic, but severe forms of the disease kill over a million people every year. A new article now identifies a factor made by the host that exacerba... Read More

Want to Get the Flu? Catching the Influenza Virus Infection On Purpose

Most people try to avoid catching the flu by taking precautions such as washing their hands often, avoiding people who are already sick, or getting a flu shot.
However, scientist are giving volunteers the flu on purpose by squirting the virus up their nose, all in the name of science.
Why woul... Read More

Chamois had pneumonia: Cause of death established

In spring 2010, nearly a third of the chamois living in a region of northern Austria suddenly died of unexplained causes. Concerned hunters and foresters sent the carcasses to the University of Veterinary Medicine, Vienna for analysis. Extensive investigations have now revealed that the animals ... Read More

New Research Gives Clues of Antibiotic Use and Resistance in U.S. Children's Hospitals

Two studies published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology show antibiotic resistance patterns for children have held stable over a seven-year period and surgical patients in U.S. children's hospitals account for 43 percent of all antibiotic use in children's hosp... Read More

Wild sheep show benefits of putting up with parasites

In the first evidence that natural selection favors an individual's infection tolerance, researchers from Princeton University and the University of Edinburgh have found that an animal's ability to endure an internal parasite strongly influences its reproductive success. Reported in the journal ... Read More

Scientists think mysterious virus could be a signal of a weak immune system

Genomic analysis of transplant patients finds an opportunistic microorganism whose elevated presence could be used an indicator in treatment.

More than 260,000 Americans are alive today thanks to transplant operations that have replaced their failing kidneys, hearts, lungs or livers with hea... Read More

Dengue Fever Makes Inroads into the U.S.

The mosquito-borne infection is cropping up in Florida, but mysteriously not in similar regions in the nation.

Most Americans lose little sleep over dengue fever. The mosquito-borne infection is a leading killer in the tropics and subtropics, but it’s been a long-held belief that ubiquitous a... Read More

Salt-Tolerant Bacteria Improve Crop Yields

Uzbek microbiologist Dilfuza Egamberdieva hopes to apply her new agricultural technique soon in Uzbekistan to boost the yield of economically important crops such as wheat, cotton, tomato and cucumber. She presented her work at this year's TWAS General Meeting.

Egamberdieva, group leader at t... Read More

Why Scientists Are Trying Viruses To Beat Back Bacteria

Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.

Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-d... Read More

Farmers Fight Poisonous Wheat Fungus with Cleaning and Waiting

Dave Wiechert of Nashville, Illinois, does good business most years cleaning seed for farmers in preparation for planting season. But this year, Wiechert is doing big business after harvest: cleaning fungus off wheat so farmers can sell it.

The "head scab" fungus can produce vomitoxin, a chem... Read More

A Symbiont Betrays Its Host

It came as a surprise to me recently to realize how much is known about the immune responses of plants and, moreover, how much there is to know. There is, I found, detailed molecular information about how our botanical cousins defend themselves against the onslaught of infectious agents. Perhaps... Read More

Penn Research Develops ‘Onion’ Vesicles for Drug Delivery

One of the defining features of cells is their membranes. Each cell’s repository of DNA and protein-making machinery must be kept stable and secure from invaders and toxins. Scientists have attempted to replicate these properties, but, despite decades of research, even the most basic membrane st... Read More

Pictures Considered #19. The Basal End of Bacterial Flagella

The end of bacterial flagella that is near the cell is a marvel of mechanical miniaturization — a molecular wheel that turns, just like the axle of a car. The assembly consists of a stator, the part that holds it in place, and a rotor, the part that turns. The rotor is a beautifully complex str... Read More

Microbiology and Peep Science at Easter?

Easter in the United States has become a holiday pretty much about high fructose corn syrup. To that end, here is a description of "Peep Science," using those sugary creatures that inhabit this time of year. In addition is a video that links "Peep Science" and microbiology! Read More

Ocean microbes display a hidden talent: releasing countless tiny lipid-filled sacs

In the search for a renewable energy source, systems using algae look like a good bet. Algae can grow quickly and in high concentrations in areas unsuitable for agriculture; and as they grow, they accumulate large quantities of lipids, carbon-containing molecules that can be extracted and conver... Read More

On Finding Jewels in the Junk

In prokaryotes, it only takes a small jazz band to get the music grooving: piano and a rhythm section suffice. The promoter region of a gene is a tiny stage on which RNA polymerase (p) and few transcription factors (dr, b) improvise on a tune, i.e. they initiate or skip transcription. By contras... Read More

Artificial Cells and Salad Dressing

A University of California, Riverside assistant professor of engineering is among a group of researchers that have made important discoveries regarding the behavior of a synthetic molecular oscillator, which could serve as a timekeeping device to control artificial cells. Read More

Strict Diet Suspends Development, Doubles Lifespan of Worms

The centuries-long search for the fountain of youth has yielded only a few promising leads, one of which entails an extreme, emaciating diet. A new study of the tiny nematode worm C. elegans begins to explain this marvel of calorie restriction and hints at an easier way to achieve longevity.

... Read More

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