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TWiV 282: Tamiflu and tenure too

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Happy Birthday to a Microbial Hero™---Moselio Schaechter!

Until we have "action figures" of scientists, I do what I can to recognize scientists that have had a large and lasting influence on my academic career. In this blog post, I praise Dr. Moselio Schaechter for his clear and insightful approaches to microbiology. His enthusiasm, breadth of interes... Read More

How the Body Fights Against Viruses

Scientists of the Max F. Perutz Laboratories of the University of Vienna and the Medical University of Vienna, together with colleagues of the ETH Zurich, have now shown how double stranded RNA, such as viral genetic information, is prevented from entering the nucleus of a cell. During the immun... Read More

Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity in each drop of seawater

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological... Read More

Scripps Research Institute Scientists Find New Point of Attack on HIV for Vaccine Development

A team led by scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) working with the International AIDS Vaccine Initiative (IAVI) has discovered a new vulnerable site on the HIV virus. The newly identified site can be attacked by human antibodies in a way that neutralizes the infectivity of a wide... Read More

Microscopic Organism Plays a Big Role in Ocean Carbon Cycling, Scripps Scientists Discover

It’s broadly understood that the world’s oceans play a crucial role in the global-scale cycling and exchange of carbon between Earth’s ecosystems and atmosphere. Now scientists at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at UC San Diego have taken a leap forward in understanding the microscopic under... Read More

Microbes provide insights into evolution of human language

Big brains do not explain why only humans use sophisticated language, according to researchers who have discovered that even a species of pond life communicates by similar methods. Dr Thom Scott-Phillips of Durham University's Department of Anthropology, led research into Pseudomonas aeruginosa,... Read More

Remembering Carl Woese: A Memorial Issue of RNA Biology

The journal "RNA Biology" just published a memorial issue dedicated to the late, great Carl Woese. The entire issue is open access. I have a small contribution, but the entire issue is filled with great science, wonderful memories, and a fine celebration of a scientist who changed the way we l... Read More

Independent evolution of harmful organisms from one bacterial family

For the first time, researchers have studied the Black Death bacterium's entire family tree to fully understand how some of the family members evolve to become harmful. Contrary to popular belief, the team found pathogenic members of this bacterial family do not share a recent common disease-cau... Read More

Feasibility study suggests ways to widen access to fecal transplants for C. diff infections

Using frozen stool from healthy, unrelated donors was safe and effective in treating patients with serious, relapsing diarrhea caused by Clostridium difficile, according to a new pilot study published in Clinical Infectious Diseases and available online. Known as fecal microbiota transplantation... Read More

Cow Manure Harbors Diverse New Antibiotic Resistance Genes

Manure from dairy cows, which is commonly used as a farm soil fertilizer, contains a surprising number of newly identified antibiotic resistance genes from the cows’ gut bacteria. The findings, reported in mBio® the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, hints that ... Read More

179 million cases of acute diarrhea in US each year, most preventable

In the United States, approximately 179 million cases of acute diarrhea occur each year, and most of those cases are entirely preventable. Produce is the most common source of diarrhea due to foodborne intestinal illness. Most consumers are not aware that 98 percent of spinach and lettuce bought... Read More

Scientists discover how a killer fungus attacks HIV patients

Researchers have discovered that a type of white blood cell carries a deadly fungus into the brains of HIV positive patients, causing meningitis which kills more than 600,000 people a year. The discovery could lead to more effective ways of tackling the deadly fungus as it infects the human body... Read More

Yes! We have no bananas? It could actually happen

Banana lovers take note: The world's supply of the fruit is under attack from a fungus strain that could wipe out the popular variety that Americans eat. "It's a very serious situation," said Randy Ploetz, a professor of plant pathology at the University of Florida who in 1989 originally discove... Read More

Insight into pathogenic fungus

The fungal pathogen Candida albicans causes yeast infections, diaper rashes and oral thrush, and is the most common fungal pathogen to infect humans. Researchers have identified a protein that the fungus uses to defend itself against the human body. Another concern with the fungus is that it can... Read More

How a plant beckons the bacteria that will do it harm

A common plant puts out a welcome mat to bacteria seeking to invade, and scientists have discovered the mat's molecular mix. The study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences reveals new targets during the battle between microbe and host that researchers can ex... Read More

Casein Media

Casein Plates contain the major milk protein found in milk. Organisms were grown on Casien agar for 72 hours at 37o C to look for the presence of the exoenzyme proteases/caseases . (A): Pseudomonas aeruginosa, casein hydrolysis, as noted by a zone of clearing around the organism, as well as a ... Read More

Dirty Money: A Microbial Jungle Thrives In Your Wallet

You may have heard that dollar bills harbor trace amounts of drugs. But those greenbacks in your wallet are hiding far more than cocaine and the flu. They're teeming with life. Each dollar bill carries about 3,000 types of bacteria on its surface, scientists have found. Most are harmless. But ca... Read More

The day they discovered the AIDS virus

A historical look back at the discovery of the AIDS virus. Margaret Heckler, president Reagan's Health and Human Services Secretary made the announcement to the world. “First, the probable cause of AIDS has been found: a variant of a known human cancer virus. Second, not only has the agent been ... Read More

Micrococcus luteus line inoculation

Line inoculation of Micrococcus luteus on a TSA slant showing Filiform, uniform growth, along the margin. Culture was grown for 3 days at 37 degrees, M. luteus usually takes 3+ days for good growth. Read More
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