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Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things

A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.

This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a... Read More

Zika virus placental infection differs in maternal- and fetal-derived tissues

The World Health Organization downgraded the spread of Zika virus from a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on November 22nd, but Zika virus infection remains an important emerging infection with an incompletely understood infection cycle. The better scientists understand how the v... Read More

Reconstructing a lichen's molecular architecture

Chemist Pieter Dorrestein’s laboratory group has been developing mass spectrometry methods to look at what molecules are produced by microbes interacting in a petri dish. But recently, the group jumped out of the dish and into the dirt—to analyze a soil-dwelling lichen and discover how the molec... Read More

Virus Watch: How Mosquitoes Spread Viruses

In this episode of Virus Watch, I explain how mosquitoes spread viruses. We’ll look at how a mosquito finds a host, how it finds a blood vessel, and how it delivers viruses to a new host. Don’t blame mosquitoes for viral diseases: it’s not their fault!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wsk8a3z... Read More

Chatting about #MattersMicrobial on the University of Puget Sound podcast

Here is my chance to chat a bit with some University of Puget Sound staff about the depth, breadth, and wonders of the microbial world. It's a podcast! Read More

Zika Virus On and In the Brain - @profvrr has a new blog!

Read in near real-time a virologist's experiments on Zika Virus. Now with its fourth post the Zika Diaries aims to illuminate the public on what it takes to do research on this emerging outbreak. From the Racaniello Lab at Columbia Univ. -

"Now that my laboratory obtained a number of differe... Read More

TWiV 409: A Nef is enough

Jeremy joins the TWiVeroids to tell the amazing story of how the function of the HIV-1 protein called Nef was discovered and found to promote infection by excluding the host protein SERINC from virus particles.


Hosts:  Read More

'FishTaco' sorts out who is doing what in your microbiome

A growing body of evidence indicates that the trillions of microbes that live on and inside our bodies affect our health. Collectively, these resident microbes form our microbiome.

In a new paper appearing in the journal Cell Host & Microbe, researchers at the University of Washington report ... Read More

New study explains factors that influence the timing of infectious disease outbreaks

The delay between the time when a disease outbreak becomes possible and when it actually happens depends chiefly on how frequently infection is introduced to the population and how quickly the number of cases caused by a single individual increases, according to new research from the University ... Read More

A quick and easy new method to detect Wolbachia bacteria in intact Aedes mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya, and zika viruses. A study published in PLOS NTDs reports a new technique that could make one approach to mosquito control--using Wolbachia bacteria that reduce the mosquitos' ability to transmit viral pathogens--a whole lot easier and che... Read More

Scraping away at the complex microbial communities that cause periodontal disease

Though both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums, the related ailments are not simply different severities of the same disease, finds a new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers confirmed this by investigating the bacterial composition of the sup... Read More

Molecular Analysis and Expression of bap Gene in Biofilm-Forming Multi-Drug-Resistant Acinetobacter baumannii. Reports of Biochemistry & Molecular Biology 2016

Abstract

Background: Acinetobacter baumannii is commonly resistant to nearly all antibiotics due to presence of antibiotic resistance genes and biofilm formation. In this study we determined the presence of certain antibiotic-resistance genes associated with biofilm production and the influen... Read More

Gonorrhea May Soon Be Resistant to all Antibiotics

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has reported that the wily Neisseria gonorrhoeae bacteria may be developing resistance to the only two antibiotics left that can cure the sexually transmitted disease.
The drugs, azithromycin and ceftriaxone, are used in combination to treat gonorr... Read More

Microscopy Meets Photography, 200 Years Later

Robert Koch published the first photographs of individual bacteria in 1877, nearly 200 years after Antoni van Leeuwenhoek sent drawings of bacteria in a letter to the Royal Society. Long before cameras were linked with microscopes, generations of microscopists relied on their own eyes, pencil, a... Read More

Why odds are against a large Zika outbreak in the US

Is the United States at risk for a large-scale outbreak of Zika or other mosquito-borne disease? While climate conditions in the U.S. are increasingly favorable to mosquitos, socioeconomic factors such as access to clean water and air conditioning make large-scale outbreaks unlikely, according t... Read More

Drones transport microbiological samples without altering their content

Robots help sort patient samples, test clinical specimens, and analyze the results. Now a study shows that robots, in the form of drones, can help move our samples from place to place, with little effect on the analytical outcome.

Drone transport made a news splash when Amazon proposed using ... Read More

Mold contaminant on yogurt

Mold culture growing on top of a home made yogurt culture. Yogurt was made using whole milk and incubated for 8 hrs at a ~30 degree's C then refrigerated. This culture had been in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks, well past expiration for home made yogurt. The green mold had spore formation ... Read More

Why attend ABRCMS? Students discuss their experiences

Students are the focus of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) meeting, held most recently November 9-12, 2016, in Tampa, Florida. Undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students make up over half the roughly 4,000 program participants, and many participants belo... Read More

Meet your Microbes (video)

They’re on your tongue, under your armpits, in your guts and on your skin. In fact, any place you can think of there are microbes living on, under, or in between there. In their unimaginably large numbers, these micro-organisms determine our lives – even though we never see them. Micropia, the w... Read More

Age of the Microzoo

In 3500 BCE, Egyptian rulers built a menagerie of exotic creatures within the ancient capital of Hierakonpolis. Archaeologists have found 112 animal skeletons at this site: the first zoo on Earth. But from this earliest exhibition of the natural world through today’s most famous animal displays,... Read More
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