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Studies raise questions about impact of statins on flu vaccination in seniors

A new pair of studies suggests that statins, drugs widely used to reduce cholesterol, may have a detrimental effect on the immune response to influenza vaccine and the vaccine's effectiveness at preventing serious illness in older adults. Published in The Journal of Infectious Diseases, the find... Read More

American Society for Microbiology Members Propose Initiative to Harness Earth’s Microbiomes

Washington, DC - October 28, 2015 - An article published in Science on October 28th steered by key ASM members highlights the need for an interdisciplinary initiative that would focus on better understanding microbial interactions that could allow for progress in the fields of agriculture, healt... Read More

Interrupting the transmission cycle: A protein required for dengue virus infection of mosquitoes

There is currently no approved specific treatment or vaccine for dengue fever, and an estimated 2 billion people are at risk for being bitten by Aedes mosquitoes and infected with the dengue virus (DENV). A study published on October 22nd in PLOS Pathogens introduces a candidate target for a tra... Read More

CRISPR/Cas9 used for rapid functional study of cancer-causing genes

In a novel use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which can be deployed to switch genes off, researchers from Germany, the UK and Spain have developed a multiplexed screening approach to study and model cancer development in mice. The scientists mutated genes in the adult mouse liver uncovering their ca... Read More

Viral variation in single cells

It is well known that virus populations display phenomenal diversity. Virus populations are dynamic distributions of nonidentical but related members called a quasispecies. This diversity is restricted in single cells, but is restored within two infectious cycles. Read More

Multi-tasking Flu Vaccine Could Provide Better Protection against Outbreaks

Washington, D.C.—October 27, 2015—Australian researchers have found a way to boost the effectiveness and cross-protective capabilities of an influenza A vaccine by adding a simple component. Published this week in mBio, an online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, the ... Read More

American Society for Microbiology designates Ocean Station ALOHA as a Milestones in Microbiology site

Washington, DC – October 27, 2015 – Ocean Station Aloha, University of Hawai‘i at Mānoa (UHM) has been designated a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology. Read More

Flying Micrococcus unicorn

Unicorn drawn on TSA with Micrococcus luteus and M. lylae. The flowing pink mane is Roseomonas gilardii. #ASM #AgarArt Read More

After Hand Washing

This organism seems to be showing up after students wash with soap and water. Organism seen on finger tip grown on TSA 37 degree's C for 48 hrs then refrigerated temp for several weeks. Organism was a pale yellow with raised rhizoid growth in the center some of it matt and some mucoid, edges w... Read More

Interesting Colonoy Morphology/Formation

Hand print done on a large TSA plate after using hand sanitizer, this was the only colony seen. Large cream/white matt colony covering the majority of the plate. The center of the colony was solid with speckled growth/offshoots at the edges, possible Bacillus spp. Read More

Unknown Organism from Environmental Swab

Unknown organism from an environmental swab, swab was done on the bottom of a students backpack. Organism was grown on TSA at 37 degree's C for 48 hours then refrigerated for several weeks. Color was a white with a mattt apperance in the middle with lobate mucoid margins. Image was taken usin... Read More

Social yeast cells prefer to work with close relatives to make our beer, bread and wine

Baker's yeast cells living together in communities help feed each other, but leave incomers from the same species to die from starvation, according to new research from the University of Cambridge. Read More


For some time, scientists have known that certain combinations of coral and algal species were more tolerant to temperature extremes than others, and therefore more likely to survive in the changing conditions predicted for the future. Read More


Scientists believe they may be a step closer to developing a vaccine for congenital cytomegalovirus (CMV), one of the world’s leading infectious causes of birth defects. Read More


Bananas contain a substance that, when changed slightly by scientists, shows promise to fight a wide range of viruses, including the flu. Read More

MWV 99 - Microbial Monsters: #algae #vampirococcus #halloween

Watch the pilot episode of BioFilms in which we explore some creepy microbes just in time for Halloween. Learn how algae can suffocate a pond of all its life, discover the vampire bacterium known as Vampirococcus who literally sucks the life out its victims, and watch out for those sweet Hall... Read More

BacterioFiles 235 - Dust DNA Detectives with Dr. Dunn

This episode: I talk with Dr. Rob Dunn about his team's research into determining where a dust sample comes from based on the microbes present in it!

(12.6 MB, 13.7 minutes)

Show notes: 
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Animals (and Plants) in a Microbial World

In this blog post (and fourth "Mu-Tube" video), I explore the idea that all animals and plants have evolved as part of a microbial world, and thus microbes are a part of us. I do this by having my undergraduate students explore two recently publications by Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai,and recording... Read More

TWiV 360: From Southeastern Michigan

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Kathy Spindler

Guests:  Read More

Colonial Variation in Serratia marcescens

A common denizen of the undergraduate microbiology laboratory, Serratia marcescens is well known for the production of a bright red pigment, prodigiosin. Prodigiosin has been investigated over many years for its possible antimicrobial, antifungal, and even antitumor effects. Still, the relevan... Read More
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