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Microbes Defy Rules of DNA Code

The instructions encoded into DNA are thought to follow a universal set of rules across all domains of life. But researchers report in the May 23 issue of Science that organisms routinely break these rules.

The finding has implications for the design of synthetic life: by designing organisms ... Read More

The bug that lost a few genes to become Black Death

About 6,000 years ago, a bacterium underwent a few genetic changes. These allowed it to expand its habitat from the guts of mice to that of fleas. Such changes happen all the time, but in this particular instance the transformation eventually resulted in the Black Death that wiped out a third of... Read More

New device will find carcinogenic food fungus faster

One of the food industry’s major recurring challenges, detecting highly carcinogenic toxins that occur naturally in our most common crops, could soon be solved by groundbreaking research that exploits aflatoxins’ fluorescent properties.

Detecting Aflatoxins

Aflatoxins are present in a wide... Read More

Would you live in a house made of sand and bacteria? It's a surprisingly good idea

Peter Trimble found his formula through trial and error. A design student at the University of Edinburgh, he was aiming to produce an artistic exhibition for a module on sustainability, when he stumbled on "Dupe," a living alternative to concrete.

A lab technician introduced Trimble to Sporos... Read More

My No-Soap, No-Shampoo, Bacteria-Rich Hygiene Experiment

For most of my life, if I’ve thought at all about the bacteria living on my skin, it has been while trying to scrub them away. But recently I spent four weeks rubbing them in. I was Subject 26 in testing a living bacterial skin tonic, developed by AOBiome, a biotech start-up in Cambridge, Mass. ... Read More

BacterioFiles 168 - Plentiful Plant Pathogen Partners

This episode: Multiple different fungi kill insects and give their nutrients to plant partners!


(8.3 MB, 9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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TWiP 72 letters


Robin writes:


plethora (n.)


1540s, a medical word for "excess of body fluid," from Late Latin plethora, from Greek plethore "fullness," from plethein "be full" (see pleio-). Figurative meaning "too-muchness, overfullness in any respect" i... Read More

TWiP 72: Wormholes

Vincent and Dickson discuss five ways that helminths manipulate host tissues to survive.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


{aud... Read More

Enterobacter aerogenes on MacConkey Agar (Mac)

Streak plate isolation of Enterobacter aerogenes grown on MacConkey agar for 24 hours at 37 degree's. Colonies grow pink due to fermentation of lactose. Read More

MaConkey Agar (Mac)

Organisms grown on MacConkey Agar at 37 degrees for 24 hours.
-Important Ingredients: crystal violet, bile salts, neutral red (color indicator), lactose
-Differential: used to identify and isolate lactose fermenting G- enteric bacteria mainly Enterobacteriaceae. Strong lactose fermentation pr... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More

Rising star uses paper to tackle food-borne diseases

A University of Alberta researcher’s star is rising thanks to her idea to detect deadly pathogens such as E. coli using a paper device only slightly larger than a postage stamp.

Frédérique Deiss, a post-doctoral fellow in the Faculty of Science, is working on ways to help detect food- and wat... Read More

The protective milk shot – How mother’s milk protects piglets from parasite infections

Coccidiosis is a serious disease in new-born piglets. Caused by the parasite Cystoisospora suis, it exclusively infects pigs and often causes severe diarrhoea in suckling piglets. Parasitologists at the Vetmeduni Vienna have developed a new strategy for protecting the piglets: They infected sows... Read More

Why a MERS Vaccine Won't Be Easy

Two years ago, the virus didn't even have a name. A year ago it had infected roughly 50 people, half of whom died. Now, Middle East Respiratory Syndrome has been confirmed in more than 600 people, and killed nearly 30 percent of its victims.

Originating on the Arabian Peninsula, MERS has been... Read More

Salmonella grown on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar

The following picture shows the isolated black colonies of Salmonella on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar. S-S Agar is used as a selective and differential medium for the isolation of Salmonella and some Shigella species. The inclusion of bile salts is to inhibit gram-positive organisms. Ferric ci... Read More

E.coli on MacConkey Agar (Mac)

Streak plate isolation of E. coli on MacConkey Agar grown for 24 hrs at 37 degrees. E. coli demonstrates strong lactose fermentation indicated by the bright pink halo, bile precipitant around the colonies, and pink colony growth. Read More

TWiV 286: Boston TWiV party

Vincent and Alan meet up with Julie and Paul at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston, to talk about their work on the pathogenesis of poliovirus and measles virus.


Hosts: V... Read More

MWV Episode 85 - This Week in Virology #286: Boston TWiV Party

The Americ... Read More

ASM Live - The Live Internet Talk Show

Participate in ASM Live at ASM 2014 in Boston where we will be live streaming video interviews of select presenters with host Stan Maloy, Chair of the ... Read More

Gene discovery may halt a deep-rooted pepper disease

For more than a century, the global hot pepper industry has been dealing with a problem. A funguslike pathogen, known as Phytophthora capsici, has spread a root rot disease that severely diminishes crop yields. Despite highly adaptive management practices and the availability of wild pepper vari... Read More

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