Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More
Hiding their DNA genome inside the nucleus of the infected cells, the herpesviruses establish a lifelong infection in humans. Not well defined stress conditions are known to wake up these parasites from their dormancy - the latent phase - and reactivate the production of new viral progeny, event... Read More
In Zanzare, the new comic from Cimaza (www.cimazacomics.com/), we are plunged head-first into the global mystery of the Zika virus. We meet the mosquitoes (in Italian: zanzare) implicated in its spread; but the insects plead their innocence, saying it's all a misunderstanding. They lay their cas... Read More
The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests. Currently, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to induce high levels of protective antibodies against hemagglutinin (HA), a protein found on the surface of the influenza ... Read More
This artwork is made from Escherechia coli in Mac Conkey Agar ( MCA ) and shows the other side of the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia and Southeast Asia built by the Syailendra dynasty called “Borobudur”, that included one of the wonders of the world from Indonesia.
A number of BZ anthelmintics used in veterinary medicine have been considered for transition to human use, including oxibendazole and oxfendazole (OXF). In addition, flubendazole, already approved for use as an intestinal anthelmintic, is also being developed as a treatment against adult filaria... Read More
Jeremy, Aaron, and Ted join the TWiV team to discuss their work on identifying a single amino acid change in the Ebola virus glycoprotein from the West African outbreak that increases infectivity in human cells.
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Humans have used Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in baking, brewing and winemaking for millennia. New research from the University of Idaho and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals another way that yeast species can help our species: by demonstrating how viruses interact with their hosts, a... Read More
Like us, bacteria have their own microbial attackers, in the form of bacteria-specific viruses called bacteriophage, or phage. These phage come in a variety of flavors but can be broadly categorized into virulent, which immediately begin to replicate and lyse (burst) the infected cell quickly, a... Read More
Donald “D.A.” Henderson, a physician, educator, and epidemiologist who led the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate smallpox, died at 87 years of age on Aug. 19, 2016. Vincent was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with DA Henderson in 2014 about his career, the smallpox era... Read More
The Namib Desert is different than other deserts: it has an unusual geographic feature that differentiates it from most others. This desert (map, right) is where you can find ‘fairy circles,’ or circular areas absent of growth in an already plant-scarce environment. These deadened circles are su... Read More
Washington, DC – May 24, 2016 – The bacterium Burkholderia multivorans evolves and adapts in bursts to survive in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, according to a study published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology. The work, believed to ... Read More
We’ve had a whirlwind of amazing talks, poster sessions, and networking sessions so far at ASM Microbe 2016. In our previous two Dispatches from ASM Microbe, we’ve covered microbiomes, for which research ranges from extremely basic (Which microbes are present? How do we quantify them?) to clinic... Read More
Today it is well known that viruses may contain DNA (poxvirus, mimivirus) or RNA (influenza virus, Zika virus), but for many years it was thought that genomes were only made of DNA. The surprise at finding only RNA in a virus is plainly evident in a 1953 letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor to J... Read More
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
Michael Diamond visits the TWiV studio to talk about chikungunya virus and his laboratory's work on a mouse model of Zika virus, including the recent finding of testicular damage caused by viral replication.
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The Zika virus infects a type of neural stem cell that gives rise to the brain's cerebral cortex, Johns Hopkins and Florida State researchers report March 4 in Cell Stem Cell. On laboratory dishes, these stem cells were found to be havens for viral reproduction, resulting in cell death and/or di... Read More
Many emerging viruses (such as SARS-CoV, Ebola virus, and the Henipavirus genus) are thought to have zoonotic reservoirs in the regional bat populations. Bats offer a threat to spreading these viruses because their flight capacity makes them readily mobile. Also, there are a whole lot of them: w... Read More
Polio returns to Nigeria, Zika virus spreads in Miami, and virus infection of plants attracts bumblebees for pollination, from the virus gentlepeople at TWiV.
The image of Red Lord Ganesha on this MacConkey agar plate is made of Serratia marcescens. It is just an expression that microorganisms are ubiquitous and miraculous in nature just as our gods.
Serratia marcescens produces a blood red pigment called prodigiosin (latin word prodigiosus meaning ... Read More