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If keeping up to date with MicrobeWorld's self-produced audio and video podcasts and life science-related news and information is important to you, MicrobeWorld now offers the most convenient way to do so on the go, in your car, at the gym or even in the lab. Purchase the app for $4.99 for the iPad, iPhone or iPod Touch from the iTunes store or for Android devices at AppBrain.com now.

This multimedia application delivers content and news items from the following audio, video and online news sources:

Meet the Scientist with Carl Zimmer

In this podcast, Carl Zimmer talks with scientists about the work they do and what makes them tick. He gives listeners a glimpse of what scientists are really like and what is going on in cutting-edge research today. The New York Times Book Review calls Carl Zimmer "as fine a science essayist as we have." In addition to the Meet the Scientist podcast, Zimmer is also a frequent guest on radio programs, such as Fresh Air and This American Life.

This Week in Virology

This Week in Virology (TWiV) is a podcast about viruses hosted by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, two science Professors at Columbia University Medical Center. The show is an informal yet informative conversation about viruses presented in a manner that is accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background. In addition, TWiV regularly features notable and often returning guests, from Alan Dove, science writer, to Rich Condit, Ph.D., Professor, Department of Molecular Genetics and Microbiology, University of Florida.

MicrobeWorld Video

A video podcast by the American Society for Microbiology that highlights the latest in microbiology, life science, and related topics. In addition to short form content about specific science subjects, MicrobeWorld Video also publishes lectures form notable researchers, such as Bonnie Bassler, Ph.D. and Stuart Levy, Ph.D.


The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news and research about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses. Hosted by Jesse Noar.

This Week in Parasitism

This Week in Parasitism (TWiP) is a podcast about eukaryotic parasites hosted by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier. Following in the path of their successful podcast 'This Week in Virology' (TWiV), they strive for an informal yet informative conversation about parasites which is accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background.

As science Professors at Columbia University, they have spent their entire academic careers directing research laboratories focused on parasites (Dick) and viruses (Vincent). Their enthusiasm for teaching inspired them to reach beyond the classroom with new media. TWiP is for everyone who wants to learn about parasites in a relaxing way.

Mundo de los Microbios con Gary Toranzos, Ph.D. (MicrobeWorld's weekly Spanish language podcast)

El Mundo de los Microbios es un programa educativo que consta de Podcasts semanales dirigidos a mejorar la comprension y apreciacion del rol vital que los microorganismos juegan en nuestro planeta y promover la microbiologia. El Mundo de los Microbios produce 52 programas unicos anualmente que resaltan los procesos de descubrimiento, cambios historicos en la investigacion, asi como una variedad de carreras cientificas en la industria, academia y el gobierno. Cada episodio de Podcast incluye segmentos con cientificos de vanguardia y es revisado por un panel de cientificos con peritaje en diferentes campos de investigacion para asegurar la confiabilidad del contenido.

Microbe, the News Magazine of the American Society for Microbiology

MicrobeWorld also delivers a complete PDF file of Microbe magazine, the monthly news magazine of the American Society for Microbiology, directly to your iPhone. From full featured articles to current topics, Microbe highlights the latest in the microbiological sciences and what is happening with the American Society for Microbiology and its membership. Since Microbe is a large PDF file it is recommend that you access the magazine on a wifi network.

The MicrobeWorld app features:

  • Mobile access to all of MicrobeWorld's audio and video content.
  • Bookmark and download MicrobeWorld shows directly for later listening or when you can't connect to the web.
  • Episode and App level bonus content such as Microbe Magazine, videos, PDF files and more.
  • NEW! Save Microbe magazine and episode level .pdf documents to iBooks for archiving and leisure reading.
  • Sort episodes by shows, played or unplayed.
  • Find podcast episodes using the search bar.
  • Access shownote links within the episode so you can read the bio of the guest or peruse a research paper mentioned in the conversation.
  • Background play - listen to MicrobeWorld's audio podcasts while surfing the web or using other apps.
  • Playback resume - If your Wifi, 3G or Edge connection gets interupted or you have to take a call or email you can now resume the episode where you left off.
  • Elect to receive push notifications so you are the first to know when new episodes are published or ASM has news or special offers to share. (We will use this feature sparingly and only send you what's important. You can always opt out under Settings on the iPhone if you decide you do not want to receive push notifications later on.)
  • Email your comments and questions directly from your Apple device.
  • Call in to any MicrobeWorld podcast and get your comments on a show (iPhone only)
  • Connect to MicrobeWorld and ASM updates via Facebook and Twitter in app.
  • Visit MicrobeWorld directly in app.
  • Share audio and video content via Facebook, Twitter and Email.
  • In app user support - have a question or a problem related to the app? Connect with our support team.

How to Gift MicrobeWorld (iTunes only)

The MicrobeWorld iPhone and iPod Touch app makes a great gift for the science enthusiast, student or microbiologist in your life.

But wait a minute! How can you gift an app?

It's easy. To gift the MicrobeWorld app select the drop down menu next to the price in the iTunes app store. Choose the “Gift This App” option at the top of the drop down list.

At this point you will be taken to a page within iTunes to fill in your name and the reciepient’s name and email address. You can also type in a personal message. To send the same gift to multiple email recepients, seperate the addresses with commas.

Screen Shots (iPhone)


(Click on any of the images above to access a gallery viewer)

Network de Traductores

Traductores principales y coordinadores
  • Emilia Quesada Arroquia, Departamento de Microbiología. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad de Granada. Granada
  • Jon Trout, Vicerrectorado de Investigación y Política Científica. Universidad de Granada. Granada


  • Ricardo Amils Pibernat. Centro Biología Molecular "Severo Ochoa". Cantoblanco. Madrid.
  • Juan Luis Barja Pérez. Departamento de Microbiología. Facultad de Biología. Santiago de Compostela. A Coruña.
  • Maria Rita Ferrer Moreno. Departamento de Microbiología. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad de Granada. Granada.
  • Magdalena Martínez Cañamero, Departamento de Ciencias de la Salud, Facultad de Ciencias de la Salud, Universidad de Jaen
  • Mariano J. Gacto Pérez. Departamento de Microbiología. Facultad de Biología, Universidad de Murcia. Murcia
  • Ricardo Guerrero Moreno. Departamento de Microbiología. Universidad de Barcelona. Barcelona
  • Mercè Piqueras Carrasco. International Microbiology. Barcelona.
  • Carmina Rodríguez Fernández, Departamento de Microbiología II. Facultad de Farmacia. Universidad Complutense de Madrid. Madrid.
  • Francisco Ruiz Berraquero, Departamento de Microbiología, Facultad de Farmacia, Universidad de Sevilla. Sevilla

About Jesse Noar

jessepicI'm a microbiology PhD from North Carolina State University who finds microbes continually fascinating. I'm working on ways to see just how good for us bacteria can be, and in order to share my enthusiasm for discoveries made by others or myself, I created BacterioFiles.

Back in early 2009 when science podcasts first caught my interest, I looked around to see if I could find any up-to-date podcasts that were focused on microbiology. There were a few, but they mostly seemed to focus on the negative aspects of bacteria or viruses that cause disease. I wanted news about how important bacteria and other microbes are, in our bodies, in the environment, and even in our technology, as well as how interesting and diverse they can be. So my path was clear: I had to fill the niche.

That path led to the creation of BacterioFiles, the podcast for microbe lovers, dedicated to promoting the exploration of the mostly-invisible world that is all around us.

Sobre Catalina Dávila

catalina Catalina Dávila es actualmente estudiante graduada en la Universidad de Puerto Rico.  Originaria de Colombia, es una microbióloga con experiencia de varios anos en la industria farmacéutica.  Catalina esta llevando a cabo estudios de investigación en el area de la calidad microbiológica de aguas recreacionales tropicales en el Laboratorio de Microbiologia Ambiental de la Universidad de Puerto Rico, Recinto de Rio Piedras.

Sobre Gary Toranzos

hpim1606El Dr. Gary A. Toranzos ha llevado a cabo investigaciones sobre diferentes aspectos de la microbiologia ambiental por los ultimos 25 anos.  Profesor de Microbiologia en la Universidad de Puerto Rico, tambien es miembro de la Academia Americana de Microbiologia y Fellow Elegido de la Asociacion Americana para el Avance de la Ciencia (AAAS), y trabajo como Director de Programa en la Fundacion Nacional de Ciencia de EEUU (NSF).  Sus investigaciones se enfocan en la calidad microbiologica de las aguas potables y recreacionales asi como la ecologia de los microorganismos patogenicos de hidrotransmision en areas tropicales.  Nacido en Bolivia, tiene como su presente hogar la Isla de Puerto Rico.

About Dickson D. Despommier, Ph.D.

despommier-252x300Dickson D. Despommier, Ph.D. is Professor of Public Health in Environmental Health Sciences and Microbiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He is a microbiologist/ecologist by training, and for 27 years conducted laboratory-based research on molecular aspects of intracellular parasitism. Dick also teaches Parasitic Diseases, Medical Ecology, and Ecology 101. These courses deal with parasitism and its effects on large segments of the poor that live in the tropics. Controlling soil-based transmission cycles of helminthes that cause significant health problems throughout the world is of prime importance to Dick. Since it is generally agreed agriculture is solely responsible for so much environmental disturbance and serves as the interface for the transmission of geohelminths, one area of his focus has been on how to raise food without further encroachment into natural ecosystems. He established The Vertical Farm as a theoretical construct to look at the possibility of agricultural sustainability within cities.  Sustainable urban life is now a major interest of Dick’s. Inventing new approaches to the raising of food within the confines of a large urban center is bound to be fraught with hidden pitfalls and caveats when starting out, particularly those of a technical and economic nature. However, he firmly believes that with enough input from multiple disciplines (e.g., industrial and soil microbiology, engineering, public health, policy making, urban planning, architecture, agronomy, plant genetics, economics), vertical farming could become a reality and thus replace most of what now passes for agriculture in many parts of the developed and under-developed world. If this were to come about, large tracts of land could then be returned to nature to do what it was supposed to do for us before we eliminated the hardwood forests of the eastern states. Restoring ecosystem services and functions is what Dick envisions as the charge to the next generation of public health professionals.

About Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D.

Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D.Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D. (aka profvrr) is Professor of Microbiology at Columbia University Medical Center. He has been studying viruses for over 30 years, starting in 1975, when he entered the Ph.D. program in Biomedical Sciences at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine of the City University of New York. Hius thesis research, in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Palese, was focussed on influenza viruses. In 1979 he joined the laboratory of Dr. David Baltimore at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, for postdoctoral work on poliovirus. In 1982 Vincent joined the faculty  in the Department of Microbiology at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons in New York City. There he established a laboratory to study viruses, and to train other scientists to become virologists. Over the years his laboratory has studied a variety of viruses including poliovirus, echovirus, enterovirus 70, rhinovirus, and hepatitis C virus. As principal investigator of his laboratory, he oversees the research  that is carried out by Ph.D. students and postdoctoral fellows. He also teaches virology to graduate students, as well as medical, dental, and nursing students.

If you would like to learn about his work on viruses in more detail, please visit his website at Columbia University. For a different view, check out Vincent’s virology blog, or his Wikipedia page. You might also like to follow Vincent on Twitter, where he often provide links to interesting stories about viruses.

What is a Microbe?

MicrobesMicrobes are single-cell organisms so tiny that millions can fit into the eye of a needle.

They are the oldest form of life on earth. Microbe fossils date back more than 3.5 billion years to a time when the Earth was covered with oceans that regularly reached the boiling point, hundreds of millions of years before dinosaurs roamed the earth.

Without microbes, we couldn’t eat or breathe.

Without us, they’d probably be just fine.

Understanding microbes is vital to understanding the past and the future of ourselves and our planet.

Microbes <my-crobes> are everywhere. There are more of them on a person's hand than there are people on the entire planet!

Microbes are in the air we breathe, the ground we walk on, the food we eat—they're even inside us!

We couldn't digest food without them—animals couldn't, either. Without microbes, plants couldn't grow, garbage wouldn't decay and there would be a lot less oxygen to breathe.

In fact, without these invisible companions, our planet wouldn't survive as we know it!

Our Challenge: How are we going to solve the case of what a microbe is when they're so small they're invisible to us?

Microbe is a term for tiny creatures that individually are too small to be seen with the unaided eye. Microbes include bacteria (back-tear-ee-uh), archaea (are-key-uh), fungi (fun-jeye) and protists (pro-tists). You've probably heard of bacteria and fungi before. Archaea are bacteria-like creatures that have some traits not found in any true bacteria. Protists include primitive algae (al-gee), amoebas (ah-me-buhs), slime molds and protozoa (pro-toe-zoh-uh). We can also include viruses (vye-rus-is) as a major type of microbe, though there is a debate as to whether viruses can be considered living creatures or not.

To solve the case of what a microbe is, we have to use tools such as high-power microscopes. Let's zoom in on some microbes and see what a few of these strange creatures look like.





As you can see, microbes come in many varieties. They may live as individuals or cluster together in communities.

So how small are microbes?

baseballWell, let's say we could enlarge an average virus, the smallest of all microbes, to the size of a baseball.

baseballmoundAn average bacterium would then be the size of the pitcher's mound.

baseballparkAnd just one of the millions of cells that make up your body would be the size of the ballpark!

Continue reading the other parts of this section of the site to find out more about the different types of microbes and what they do.

Illustrations © 1999 Eric S. MacDicken

About Merry Buckley, Ph.D.

mbavatarI am a freelance science writer who specializes in translating cutting-edge science for the lay public. With a Ph.D. in science and extensive experience in writing, I find myself situated between the two cultures in our society, science and the humanities. I strive to bridge the two cultures by explaining and revealing the natural world in a clear, accessible style.

I have experience writing for print and radio productions, and my past projects include magazine feature articles, reports on the proceedings of scientific meetings, and newsletter articles for a scientific society. I am skilled at writing for both scientists and the lay public.

I often travel for my work, attending scientific meetings and working with prominent scientists to compile summaries of their discussions.

I earned my Ph.D. in environmental microbiology at Michigan State University in 2001, and I have been a full-time freelance science writer since 2004. I live in beautiful Ithaca, New York, home to Cornell University and Ithaca College.

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