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2016 MacArthur awards name two geomicrobiologists

The 2016 MacArthur awards have just been announced. Among the handful of scientists are two microbiologists, Dianne Newman and Victoria Orphan, both at Cal Tech and both geomicrobiologists. We rejoice. Both are extraordinary scientists with an unusually broad range of interests.

Click "source... Read More

Researchers discover rare flu-thwarting mutation

A rare and improbable mutation in a protein encoded by an influenza virus renders the virus defenseless against the body's immune system. This University of Rochester Medical Center discovery could provide a new strategy for live influenza vaccines in the future.

A new approach to the live fl... Read More

Mix and match microbes to make probiotics last

Scientists have tried to alter the human gut microbiota to improve health by introducing beneficial probiotic bacteria. Yet commercially available probiotics do not establish themselves in the gut. A study published September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe suggests that it is possible to alter the mi... Read More

Zika infects neural cells related to skull formation, affecting their function

Cranial neural crest cells--which give rise to the bones and cartilage of the skull--are vulnerable to Zika virus, report Stanford University School of Medicine researchers September 29 in Cell Host & Microbe. The discovery, made by infecting in vitro cultures of human cells, offers a potential ... Read More

Microbes in the breast may play a role in breast cancer

The gut microbiome has stolen the show when it comes to the recent explosion of research on the bacteria that thrive within us. But bacteria also live in a woman's breast tissue—and the mix of those microbes may have an equally important effect on health, according to a new study in Applied and ... Read More

Yoshinori Ohsumi of Japan Wins Nobel Prize in Medicine

Yoshinori Ohsumi, a Japanese cell biologist and ASM member, was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine on Monday for his discoveries on how cells recycle their content, a process known as autophagy.

In a series of experiments in the early 1990s, Dr. Ohsumi used baker’s yeast to ide... Read More

The Five-second Rule Debunked

In a very interesting development, a latest study has debunked the belief that it was safe to eat food fallen on the floor if picked up within “five seconds”.
Professor Donald W Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no ... Read More

Potentially life-threatening fungus found in water distribution systems of five French hospitals

A specific strain of the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, circulates in the water distribution systems of five French hospitals, in two widely separated cities. This microbe is potentially a life-threatening risk to immunocompromised patients. The research is published September 23, 2016 in Applied a... Read More

A Sweater and a Shirt Came Before Just a Shirt

It is not unexpected that the contemplation of bacteria and archaea should focus so much on the nature and im­portance of their cell envelopes. Here, after all, is the in­ter­face between the cell's interior and the outside world. It is also what a host perceives early on when becoming infected.... Read More

BacterioFiles 270 - Bacteria Block Bug Babies

This episode: Insect gut microbes can be engineered to act as birth control, population control, or disease control for bugs!


(13.3 MB, 14.5 minutes)


Show notes: 



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

Swarming Proteus

Proteus on a CLED plate. How and why does it swarm? Read More

Researchers Sequence Genome from 1979 Russian Anthrax Outbreak



Bacillus anthracis had been studied by multiple countries as a potential biological weapon because of the stability of its spores and its ability to cause acute pulmonary disease. While offensive anthrax weapons development programs were halted in the United States and United Kingdom in the ... Read More

Vincent Racaniello: Earth’s Virology Professor

A new blog written by undergraduate students from the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin features Vincent Racaniello, PhD, host of This Week in Virology.

"Most students studying science at university will inevitably become familiar with the names and works of a wide r... Read More

BacterioFiles 269 - Magnetic Microbes Maim MRSA

This episode: Killing pathogens by attaching magnetotactic bacteria to them and then raising the heat with magnetic fields!


(10.6 MB, 11.6 minutes)


Show notes: 


Journal Paper:
Chen C, Chen L, Yi Y, Chen C, Wu L-F, Song ... Read More

5% NaCl BHI Media Contminant

Fungal contaminant, probable airborne, seen on BHI media containing 5% NaCl after 2 months at refrigerated temperatures. White hyphal "apron" with no spore formation can be seen at the edges with brown spore formation seen in the center. Read More

MWV 106 - This Week in Virology: Boston Quammens

Four years to the day after filming 'Threading the NEIDL', Vincent and Alan return to the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories BSL4 facility at Boston University where they speak with science writer David Quammen during the Emerging Infectious Disea... Read More

Using satellite data to tackle microbial threats to aquaculture

The BBSRC and NERC-funded ShellEye project seeks to help shellfish farmers manage threats from harmful algal blooms and E. coli bacteria. The multi-partner ShellEye project brings together industry, government and scientists and aims to develop a satellite-based forecasting system to help fisher... Read More

TWiM #135: Unruly individuals and their unruly friends

How critical illness alters the microbiome, and the consequences of a sewage spill into an aquatic environment, from the TWiM team.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio... Read More

TWiM 135 Letters

Reed writes:


Dear Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michelle,


I've just recently finished TWiM number 133 and wanted to comment about the use of the term "secondary metabolite" throughout the episode and often in the primary literature. Michael pointed out that a se... Read More

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