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Baker's Yeast Gets a Genetic Makeover

The humble baker's yeast has been enlisted to serve the needs of humanity, responsible for beer, wine and bread, among other staples. A domesticated servant for at least millennia, the microscopic fungus has now had one of its chromosomes swapped out by a host of undergraduate students in favor ... Read More

Laser tool speeds up detection of Salmonella in food products

Purdue University researchers have developed a laser sensor that can identify Salmonella bacteria grown from food samples about three times faster than conventional detection methods.

Known as BARDOT (pronounced bar-DOH'), the machine scans bacteria colonies and generates a distinct black and... Read More

Nanocrystalline cellulose modified into an efficient viral inhibitor

Researchers have succeeded in creating a surface on nano-sized cellulose crystals that imitates a biological structure. The surface adsorbs viruses and disables them. The results can prove useful in the development of antiviral ointments and surfaces, for instance.

There are many viral diseas... Read More

New probiotic improves pig health, reduces manure output

A new probiotic for pigs could mean less manure to manage, according to U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) studies. Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists conducted the first published investigation of the use of bacteria as a probiotic to increase fiber fermentation rates and reduce ... Read More

How a microscopic team alters the course of carbon in the Atlantic ocean - Finalist in Ocean 180 Video Challenge

The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume, hundreds of miles across, that profoundly affe... Read More

Much breast milk bought online is contaminated, analysis shows

Desperate for breast milk, some new mothers who can't nurse their babies are turning to online sources, typically strangers with ample supplies. But a new study finds that human milk bought and sold on the Internet may be contaminated — and dangerous.

Nearly 75 percent of breast milk bought t... Read More

In India, test a billion people for HIV

Testing every person in India’s billion-plus population every five years for HIV would not only be cost-effective but also could save millions of lives for decades to come, a new study suggests.

In India most people who are HIV positive don’t know it—even though testing and treatment are rela... Read More

World Polio Day

As a virologist who has worked on poliovirus since 1979, I would be remiss if I did not note that today, 24 October, is World Polio Day. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine a... Read More

Computing with Slime

A future computer might be a lot slimier than the solid silicon devices we have today. In a study published in the journal Materials Today, European researchers reveal details of logic units built using living slime molds, which might act as the building blocks for computing devices and sensors.... Read More

ASM GM 2013 - Antibiotic Compound from Wasp Venom


Antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) are part of the innate immune system that is widely distributed in nature, acting as a defense mechan... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #1

On the first day of Micro class instructors have students do an environmental swab. This sample was subcultured from a student who did the bottom of their shoe. The organism, possible Bacillus sp., was tough to scrap off the agar so subculture was done by taking a small chunk of agar containi... Read More

Scientists Turn Dr. Frankenstein, Re-Write Bacteria’s Entire Genome

It may sound like science fiction, but researchers at Yale and Harvard have taken the first steps towards a Dr. Frankenstein-type reality, by fundamentally changing the genetic code of an organism.

The scientists were able to rewrite the genetic alphabet of the common bacteria E.coli, creatin... Read More

New botox super-toxin has its details censored

A new type of botulinum toxin – the deadliest substance known – has been discovered. Because it does not yet have an antidote, the DNA sequence behind it has been withheld from public databases. This is the first time a sequence has been kept secret over security concerns.

Injecting a mere 2 ... Read More

Biotransformation of Enniatins from Fusarium Fungi in a Food Safety Perspective

Mould species of the genera Fusarium and Altenaria are considered the most important threats to Norwegian grain cereals because they produce toxins which can be a potential risk to food safety. F. avenaceum, the fungi most frequently isolated from Norwegian grain, produces enniatins which have b... Read More

Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Umeå University, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing ... Read More

UC Davis Researchers Find How Viral Infection Disrupts Neural Development in Offspring, Increasing Risk of Autism

Activating a mother’s immune system during her pregnancy disrupts the development of neural cells in the brain of her offspring and damages the cells' ability to transmit signals and communicate with one another, researchers with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology h... Read More

ASM GM 2013 - The Merlot Microbiome

 


Plants associated bacteria play a key role in host productivity and health. These bacteria are phylogenetically diverse a... Read More

Are tiny microbes outwitting us to steal our food?

It's long been know that microbes are to blame for food going off and becoming rotten but in the late 1970's, Dan Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania, and a winner of ecology's version of the Nobel Prize, suggested that making something rotten may be to the advantage of the microbes living ... Read More

Book Review: 'The Amoeba in the Room' by Nicholas P. Money & 'Missing Microbes' by Martin J. Blaser

From the WSJ:

In 2004, the rebel geneticist Craig Venter took a sailing trip to Bermuda and, unable to resist doing a little research on the side, hauled up 50 gallons of the Sargasso Sea and began trawling it for DNA. It looked for all the world like cold, sterile saltwater, but Mr. Venter h... Read More

H7N9 influenza strain resistant to antivirals, but tests fail to identify resistance

Some strains of the avian H7N9 influenza that emerged in China this year have developed resistance to the only antiviral drugs available to treat the infection, but testing for antiviral resistance can give misleading results, helping hasten the spread of resistant strains. The authors of a stud... Read More

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