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Rubella virus and birth defects

Amidst the fear surrounding Zika virus, remember that there are over 100,000 children born each year with birth defects caused by infection with rubella virus.

Rubella virus is a member of the Togaviridae family, which also includes chikungunya virus. The genome is a 9.7 kilobase, positive st... Read More

Call for Entries! ASM's 2016 Agar Art Contest

Create a log phase masterpiece with your favorite microbes!


Submit a photo of your original, agar-based art, plus a short description of your piece that engages the general public, by Friday, May 6, 2016 11:59 P.M. Eastern Time. Anyone with an active American Society ... Read More

Immune response to flu vaccine linked to recipients' ethnic background

BOSTON -- How well a flu shot protects you from the virus can depend on your ethnic background and other inherited factors, report Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists. Read More

Slavery carried bilharzia parasites from West Africa to the Caribbean, genomics confirms

The bilharzia-causing parasite, Schistosoma mansoni, first infected humans as they fished in lakes in East Africa and was spread, first to West Africa and then to the New World by slave traders in 16th-19th Centuries, genomics reveals. Read More

New platforms for mSphere and mSystems

Earlier this month, two new ASM research journals had their official launch. mSphereTM and mSystemsTM had both published articles on their interim websites in November and December 2015 – some of which have been highlighted here on mBiosphere. On February 2nd, the journals went live on their per... Read More

TWiV 376: The flavi of the week is Zika

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Kisses for your Valentine

Serratia marcencens and Corynebacterium xerosis on TSA make for a great valentine for any microbiologist! Read More

Happy Valentine's Day

Scientists need a sweetheart too! Use Kocuria rhizophila, Serratia marcescens, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on TSA to show your Valentine how much you care. Read More

8th grader petri dishes - seeking help to identify colonies

I did a study of hand washing and hand sanitizer. Is anyone on the list willing to help me identify what grew from my unwashed and even washed hands? I attach three photos representing the yellow, white and orange growths found after several days on agar plates. Thank you so much in advance. Read More

Scientists, share your Zika virus reagents!

Today I learned that a number of investigators refuse to share their samples of Zika virus with other laboratories.

There are countless stories about scientists not sharing reagents because they want to be the first to make a discovery. This behavior allows them to publish first, secure more ... Read More

TWiP 103: Scroll down, please

The TWiP-scholars solve the case of the Housewife from Kolkata, discuss mutations in the IL17 gene associated with cerebral malaria, and hear a case presentation from guest Michael Libman.


Hosts:  Read More

From Serratia with Love

Wish your sweetheart a Happy Valentine's Day with this composition of Serratia marcescens on LB plates. The strain produces a brick-red pigment called prodigiosin and the different shades were produced by a combination of pigment mutants and incubation temperatures. Read More

Tick genome reveals secrets of a successful bloodsucker

With tenacity befitting their subject, an international team of nearly 100 researchers toiled for a decade and overcame tough technical challenges to decipher the genome of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Read More

Gene signature could lead to a new way of diagnosing Lyme

Researchers at UC San Francisco and Johns Hopkins may have found a new way to diagnose Lyme disease, based on a distinctive gene "signature" they discovered in white blood cells of patients infected with the tick-borne bacteria. Read More

Catching Ebola virus in the act of fusion

Since the first outbreak of Ebola virus in 1976, the frequency and scale of the deadly disease’s outbreaks have increased. The 2014-2015 outbreak in West Africa caused 11,000 deaths, precipitated panic at airports and emergency rooms worldwide, and renewed the urgency to find cures.


Kartik ... Read More

Foot and mouth disease virus: a global threat to agriculture

An important and sometimes overlooked issue of infrastructure is food security. American agriculture and related industries represent $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars and 17% of U.S. jobs. These workers provide the meat, eggs, dairy, and produce that many take for granted will end up on grocery shelve... Read More

MWV 103 - A plague of pathogens (TWiM #121)

Filmed live at ASM Biodefense 2016 with special guests: Rebekah Kading and Wyndham Lathem.


Fr... Read More

TWiM #121: A plague of pathogens

Filmed live at ASM Biodefense 2016 with special guests: Rebekah Kading and Wyndham Lathem.


Fr... Read More

Zika virus and microcephaly

Three reports have been published that together make a compelling case that Zika virus is causing microcephaly in Brazil. Read More

Contamination medley

It was time for a fridge clean-out! On a BHI plate with X-gal, this colorful assortment of fungi and bacteria had probably been growing for months... Read More

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