A new model of the how the protein coat (capsid) of viruses assembles, published in BioMed Central's open access journal BMC Biophysics, shows that the construction of intermediate structures prior to final capsid production (hierarchical assembly) can be more efficient than constructing the cap... Read More
This episode: Green algae could help create new cheaper, more stable vaccines for developing countries!
Dear Vincent and Dickson,
I just heard your most recent TWIP. Please keep these podcasts going! I love listening to your podcasts and hearing your enthusiasm for my favorite biological topic, parasites. Remember that for every fan... Read More
A macrophage (pale brown) interacts with Borrelia cells (blue), the spirochete bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Although the outer membrane of Borrelia contains a strong antigen, the OspC protein, the bacterium successfully evades the human immune system by hiding out in places less accessible ... Read More
Questionnaire suggests researchers not as safe as they feel. Scientists may have a false sense of security about the safety of their laboratories, according to early results from the first international survey of researchers’ workplace attitudes and practices.
Some 86% of the roughly 2,400 sc... Read More
We continue our semi-annual ritual and offer this quick tour of our blog postings since our June 2012 Retrospective.
Click "source" to read blog posts from June 2012 - December 2012.
Topics: Pathogenesis, Evolution, Ecology, Symbiosis, Viruses, Microbial Physiology and Taxonomy Read More
Dr. Jeffrey Almond began his career as an academic virologist studying influenza. Eventually Jeffrey started his own lab and began studying picornaviruses working on an oral polio vaccine strain.
Following twenty ... Read More
SketchyMicro is a unique and effective way to learn high-yield medical microbiology for the USMLE Step 1.
They take all of the microorganisms, infectious diseases, and random facts that you need to memorize for USMLE Step 1, and weave them into easy-to-remember sketches.
They narrate as th... Read More
In the US alone, more than 500,000 suffer and 15,000 die every year from uncontrollable diarrhea caused by infection with Clostridium difficile. These rod-shaped bacteria are commonly found in the environment and even in our bodies, but have lately become a major concern in hospitals where antib... Read More
The hotel I’ve been staying at this week at the TED Conference in Long Beach, Calif., markets its beds as being hypo-allergenic. As if that were possible. But let’s not fear microbes any longer. It is time to start embracing them. Resistance is futile anyway. They own us. The cells that make up ... Read More
The United States is seeing its fair share of illness this winter.
The country is in the midst of a particularly bad flu season, the worst outbreak of whooping cough since 1955, and an emerging outbreak of norovirus (a stomach bug that causes diarrhea and vomiting.)
Despite the seeming inu... Read More
A quick demonstration of how my Microbial Mania can impact the holiday season! Read More
At the Eliava Institute in Tbilisi, Georgia, patients are treated for all kinds of bacterial infections with viruses called phages. In most places in the world antibiotics are given for these infections.
One patient says he regularly uses phages to treat a recurring eye infection.
"I've tr... Read More
This article covers the history, pros and cons of the Hologenome Theory of Evolution with quotes from Richard Jefferson, Eugene Rosenberg, Seth Bordenstein, Jerry Coyne and others. You can access the article for free in the next 10 days by logging in to the New Scientist site. For more on the ho... Read More
Although both cooperation and conflict are decisive forces in evolution, some of the most successful microbial strategies for survival have arisen from cooperation. At times, two or more microorganisms can even come together to breathe as one. Breathing, or respiration, accomplishes a most chal... Read More
Researchers have discovered a new compound that restores the health of mice infected with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), an otherwise dangerous bacterial infection. The new compound targets an enzyme not found in human cells but which is essential to bacterial survival.
T... Read More
New and more effective strains of the fungus used to produce penicillin could be developed after a team of international scientists unearthed the secret sex life of Sir Alexander Fleming's fungus Penicillium chrysogenum (P. chrysogenum).
The scientists from The University of Nottingham, Ruhr-... Read More