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Cellphone-sized device quickly detects the Ebola virus

The worst of the recent Ebola epidemic is over, but the threat of future outbreaks lingers. Monitoring the virus requires laboratories with trained personnel, which limits how rapidly tests can be done. Now scientists report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry a handheld instrument that detects... Read More

Researcher pioneers bacterial infection treatment using novel target: Vesicles

Bacterial infection takes hold in the body when a pathogenic microorganism delivers toxins to healthy cells. One way bacteria accomplish this is by releasing vesicles, which act as tiny envelopes transporting toxins and other virulence factors to host cells. These toxins allow the bacteria to "m... Read More

BacterioFiles 278 - Fungal Family Friends and Foes

This episode: Some fungi change from making plants sick to being helpful to plants! How do plants react to them?


(8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)


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How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

Zika virus shrinks and destroys testicles in mice

Most of the research to understand the effects of Zika infections has focused on pregnant women and birth defects. But new study in mice that focuses on the male reproductive system raises serious concerns about its effects on men.

Three weeks after male mice were infected with Zika, their te... Read More

Microbial Conversations: A free ASM public science event @ the MIT Museum THIS SATURDAY, June 18!

Whether you're in town for ASM Microbe 2016 and looking for something to do with friends or family, or you're local to the Boston-area, come out to our "Microbial Conversations" public science event at the MIT Museum! Join us for short, sharp conversations about a variety of topics in microbiolo... Read More

Your viruses could reveal your travel history, and more

The genomes of two distinct strains of the virus that causes the common lip cold sore, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), have been identified within an individual person -- an achievement that could be useful to forensic scientists for tracing a person's history. The research also opens the d... Read More

A Microbial Death Star

Star Wars – an epic story of war between the forces of good and evil in a galaxy far, far away. The Death Star – the ultimate weapon of destruction. The story is science fiction, but it could be considered an analogy for the constant battle between our immune system and microbial pathogens. Beli... Read More

Deep sea microbes may be key to oceans’ climate change feedback

Microbes are hardly the poster-children of climate change, but they have far more impact than polar bears on Earth’s carbon cycle – and therefore on our climate. A new study published Friday in Science Advances finds that seabed bacteria and archaea (which look like bacteria but have very differ... Read More

UNC scientists named to European Union-funded global Zika research consortium

Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, and Stefan Metz, PhD, a post-doc in de Silva's lab, make up one of only two U.S. teams to be named to the European Union-funded worldwide initiative. Sponsored by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme, the consortium is inve... Read More

Enhanced virus transduction may lead to more effective gene therapy

A benefit of the voluminous wealth of research produced is that it allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants – we can take advantage of established facts, tools, and datasets. This may mean using a mutant library to find genes in your organism that are important for the process you study; ac... Read More

Microbe-rich environment associated with lower rates of asthma

A new cross-sectional study comparing the asthma and environmental profiles of children aged 7-14 years, from Amish households in Indiana, and Hutterite households in South Dakota found that:
1. Dust extracts from Amish households were found to have higher concentrations of endotoxins and alle... Read More

A Microbial Ocean Feast: Who Ate What?

Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More

And they're off! An overview of ASM resources on Olympic-related infectious disease reports

The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics 2016 will be held this Friday, marking the onset of two weeks of competition between the world’s best athletes. The world has been focused on Brazil and its preparedness – not only for the infrastructure required for the games, but also for any potent... Read More

BacterioFiles 271 - Dictyostelium Delivers DNA Deathtraps

This episode: Slime molds have special cells that capture and kill bacteria using traps made of DNA!


(11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)


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TWiV 411: Chicken runs

The TWiVeroos examine a reverse spillover of Newcastle disease virus vaccines into wild birds, and identification of a protein cell receptor for murine noroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Two birds with one stone: E. faecium cotransfers drug resistance determinants by homologous recombination

The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecium is a member of the ESKAPE pathogens for which drug resistance has been a growing problem. How E. faecium becomes drug resistant has been a long-standing question, and is the focus of a new study now available in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemothera... Read More

April Showers Bring May Flowers - But Microbes Keep them Growing

Just as humans have a complex relationship with microorganisms, some make us sick while others aid our health, plants too coexist with a mixture of mostly helpful but sometimes harmful microbes.

While geosmin may overwhelm our noses, plants are able to detect a number of compounds produced b... Read More

Boston subway system covered in microbes, but they're not harmful

As part of its Microbiology of the Built Environment initiative, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation started funding projects a few years ago that touched on the interaction of microbiology with architecture, buildings or, in the case of Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, an associate professor of computationa... Read More

Demystifying secondary bacterial pneumonia

In some individuals, an influenza A virus infection can cause asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to travel to the lungs where it can trigger severe, sometimes deadly, secondary pneumonia. S. aureus is one of the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia in cases of seasonal... Read More
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