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Celebrity portraits grown out stars' own bacteria

Well-known faces including Stephen Fry and Carol Vorderman are helping make art out of science by taking part in an experiment to grow portraits using their own bacteria.

The celebrities teamed up with American microbiologist and photographer Zachary Copfer to make the images by contributing ... Read More

S. aureus on MSA Plate

For my medical microbiology course at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania we were asked to take a sample from our nose. Using a sterile cotton swab, a sample was taken from a nostril and then spread onto the Mannitol Salt Agar plate supplied. The plate was incubated at 37 degrees Celsius, then e... Read More

Introducing the Thanatomicrobiome

In a healthy adult human body, most internal organs such as the brain, spleen, liver, and heart are devoid of microorganisms because the immune system keeps them in check. After human host death, however, the immune system falters and microorganisms proliferate throughout the body beginning in ... Read More

MWV Episode 84 - Cultures Magazine Launch Event

Watch highlights from the Cultures Magazine Launch Event held on January 23, 2014 at American Society for Microbiology headquarters in Washington, D.C.  


Cultures is a free, online, open-source publication available for viewing at www.asm.org... Read More

The Microbes Living in Our Bodies Were Probably Once Evil Pathogens

Like pretty much all multi-cellular organisms, humans enjoy the benefits of helpful bacteria. (As you may have heard, there are more bacteria in the human body than cells.) These mutualistic microbes live within the body of a larger organism, and, like any good long-term houseguest, help out the... Read More

The Science of Cheese Is Weirder Than You Think

The science behind the transformation from plants to milk to cheese is amazing. In fact, cheese has much in common with wine and beer: They result from fermentation by microorganisms; they are “value-added” products where processing greatly increases the value; and they reflect local climate and... Read More

Death toll from H1N1 rises as strain returns, with ‘young invincibles’ most affected

The H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 global pandemic is back. State health officials from across the country say the resurgence is resulting in a dramatic rise in flu deaths in young and middle-aged adults and in children this season.

While the reported death tolls so far are only a fracti... Read More

First Real-Time Flu Forecast Successful

Scientists were able to reliably predict the timing of the 2012-2013 influenza season up to nine weeks in advance of its peak. The first large-scale demonstration of the flu forecasting system by scientists at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health was carried out in 108 cities ac... Read More

Making the world a better place, one bird at a time!

ASM Global Video Challenge submission!

Hello ASM! I am a microbiology graduate student in the Runstadler Lab at MIT. We are an interdisciplinary group of scientists comprising biochemists, ecologists, computer scientists, veterinarians, and microbiologists. Together, our lab studies all aspec... Read More

TWiP 74 letters


voxsciurorum writes:


Dear water-based life forms:


It is 24 degrees in Overland Park, Kansas and I am looking at a slide labeled "Giardia lamblia", part of a museum exhibit on water and human (over) use of water.


I see a greenish lump. I don't know... Read More

TWiP 67 letters


CN writes:


Greetings Profs,


After having listened to your discussions on Plasmodium (TWiP 64), I explored papers on treatment options that are actually available. After having read some papers, I realized that one of the main roadblocks are the hypnozoite... Read More

TWiV 285: Hokies go viral

Vincent meets up with XJ Meng and Sarah McDonald at Virginia Tech in Blacksburg to talk about their work on viruses of swine and rotaviruses.


Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guests: Read More

Ten years of virology blog

Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More

BacterioFiles 171 - Segments Select Specific Strains

This episode: Ahmed Gomaa and I discuss how to keep some microbes and get rid of others using bacteria's own immune system!


(15.1 MB, 16.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Unnecessary TB deaths to be thing of the past thanks to new mobile drug resistance test device

Thousands of deaths from tuberculosis (or TB), an infectious bacterial disease, could be prevented using a new hand-held device that is being developed to detect potentially fatal drug resistance in less than 15 minutes.

Currently neither the TB infection itself, nor those people with strains... Read More

Meet the Germs That Infect Your Water

It's natural to expect that the water coming out of our taps is safe without worry of gastrointestinal or other infectious disease. Yet every year there are dozens of outbreaks linked to drinking water in the United States alone. In the majority of cases, a failure of proper water treatment is t... Read More

TWiM 73 Letters

Mark writes:


Hello Team TWiM,


I’ve followed with interest your coverage of Michael’s research into use of copper to fight hospital infection. Of all the interesting papers covered in 2013, I think the one most actionable is episode 55, The Copper Room. His res... Read More

Your Ethnicity Determines the Species of Bacteria that Live in Your Mouth

In recent years, scientists have found out all sorts of remarkable things about a group of creatures that are entirely invisible to the naked eye: the trillions of bacteria that colonize every surface of our bodies.

These organisms—collectively known as the microbiome—deeply affect our health... Read More

First Look at How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections

The bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus) is a common source of infections that occur after surgeries involving prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. The grape-shaped microorganism adheres to medical equipment, and if it gets inside the body, it can cause a serious and even life-t... Read More

A Simple Tree Branch Can Become a Backyard Water Filter

For people in too many developing countries, clean water is often a luxury. Chlorine treatments are too expensive for small villages, boiling requires a hefty investment in fuel, and UV radiation demands regular high-tech maintenance. But now, scientists say that a simple, inexpensive water filt... Read More

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