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Microbial Jungles: a newly released TED-ED animation on biofilms and microbial communities

Watch our new animation on biofilms and microbial communities, with some gene transfer, cooperation and competition added for good measure! We focus on the basics of biofilm biology for a public audience and some of the ways that we benefit from the microbial communities that surround us, whethe... Read More

Magnetotactic bacteria remove and recover rare elements

While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More

TWiV 416: Scattered seeds dormant

The multi-dimensional TWiV-brane brings you the entries in the haiku/limerick contest, and explain how a giant virus infects a host within another host (it has to do with predators!).


Hosts:  Read More

Zika virus, like all other viruses, is mutating

Not long after the appearance of an outbreak of viral disease, first scientists, and then newswriters, blame it all on mutation of the virus. It happened during the Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa, and now it’s happening with Zika virus.

The latest example is by parasitologist Peter Hotez,... Read More

Diverse fungi inhabit chronic wounds and inhibit healing

Gruesome, ghastly, grisly. These are the words that popped into my head when I googled images of diabetic foot ulcers—one of the most common chronic wounds creating a silent and costly epidemic in healthcare.

Perhaps even more shocking is the mortality rate connected to these open wounds, wh... Read More

Why flu is worse in eldery ?

Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.

Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More

Early-life bacterial colonizers may influence later development of asthma

This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More

Yale study suggests immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus

New Haven, Conn.-- A new Yale-led study suggests that death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself. The insight could lead to novel strategies for combating flu in the most vulnerable patients, said the resear... Read More

CDC confirms Zika virus does cause microcephaly

For the first time, US disease experts have agreed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus does indeed cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads — a condition known as microcephaly. Until now, the two conditions were linked — but experts didn’t know for sure if Zika caused the brain-damaged... Read More

BacterioFiles 267 - Crust Color Cooks Communities

This episode: Cyanobacteria in biocrusts produce pigments that heat their surroundings up to 10 degrees hotter!


(7 MB, 7.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Fungus causing fatal infections in hospitalized patients has unique growth patterns

One of the important tasks of Public Health England’s Mycology Reference Laboratory is to identify any newly emerging fungal pathogens that could become a public health risk. In recent months, the lab had tracked several clusters of Candida auris infections in British hospitals. The multidrug-re... Read More

Mosquito-eating fish used to fight Zika virus in Latin America

With the Zika virus spreading toward the United States, threatening pregnant mothers and the 2016 Olympics, aid workers have placed hope in a familiar fish.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia-based non-profit Operation Blessing helped avert an outbreak of the West Nile virus in Ne... Read More

TWiV 404: Not found

From the twiVivants, follow up on FluMist and Zoster vaccines, Zika virus update, and isolation of a multicomponent animal virus from mosquitoes.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

CMV Is a Greater Threat to Infants Than Zika, but Far Less Often Discussed

The world has been galvanized by the Zika epidemic spreading through the Americas, which has left more than two thousand infants with severe brain damage. But for pregnant women and their infants in the United States, cytomegalovirus, or CMV, is the far greater viral threat.

Every year, 20,00... Read More

TWiM #141: Nutritional immunity and polymicrobial infections

Jennifer joins Vincent, Elio, and Michael to talk about the work of her laboratory on how a respiratory virus enhances bacterial growth by dysregulating nutritional immunity.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, ... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe: Entire series

Things have been quiet on mBiosphere lately. We've been busy updating from ASM Microbe, covering some of the fascinating research presented there. The first Microbe meeting, which combines the former general meeting and ICAAC, was a whirlwind of poster presentations, lectures, seminars, book sig... Read More

Cities have individual microbial signatures

Greg Caporaso was sifting through blog posts on microbe.net, which covers the microbiology of built environments, when a study idea sparked for him and colleagues Jeff Siegel, Scott Kelley and Rob Knight.

“It became clear to me that there was a lot of interesting work being done to understand... Read More

Tuberculosis bacteria build 'edible' havens in immune cells

Bacteria that cause tuberculosis trick immune cells meant to destroy them into hiding and feeding them instead. This is the result of a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published online April 18 in Nature Immunology. Read More

One antibody to neutralize them all: a human IgG1 is effective against multiple subtypes of influenza A virus

The changing weather reminds us that influenza season is around the corner, which means it’s nearly time to get your annual vaccine. This year’s vaccine is updated to protect against influenza A viruses H1N1 + H3N2 and influenza B virus Victoria lineage. These strains are included in vaccine pro... Read More

Improving the quality of dairy products

Bitter tasting yogurt or cheese may not make it to your refrigerator, but it is produced and the result of pesky bacteria. The microbial composition of raw milk impacts the quality, shelf life, and safety of processed milk and other dairy products. Controlling the quality of these products is tr... Read More
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