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Flu vaccine shows promise for reducing risk of influenza-associated atrial fibrillation

Philadelphia, PA, February 2, 2016 - Influenza is significantly associated with an increased risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation, which could be reduced through influenza vaccination, according to new findings reported HeartRhythm. Read More

Zika Sharing

Of all the scientific results that my laboratory has produced over the years, I am most satisfied by those that maximally benefit the field. In this category falls the assay for determining the titer of Zika virus in plaque forming units per milliliter.

In ‘Counting Zika Virus’ I described o... Read More

Newly discovered HIV genome modification may put a twist on vaccine and drug design

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that HIV infection of human immune cells triggers a massive increase in methylation, a chemical modification, to both human and viral RNA, aiding replication of the virus. The study, published February 22, 2016... Read More

Lung ultrasound may be a safe substitute for chest X-ray when diagnosing pneumonia in children

Lung ultrasound has been shown to be highly effective and safe for diagnosing pneumonia in children and a potential substitute for chest X-ray, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Results are currently published in the medical journal Chest. Read More

Scientists identify effective and novel mechanisms to block chikungunya virus

December 10, 2015, San Francisco, CA--Scientists looking at the antiviral mechanisms of two previously identified human monoclonal antibodies have found they potently inhibit chikungunya virus (CHIKV) at multiple stages of infection. Read More

Gut damage identified as cause of vaccine failure, malnutrition

It has been estimated that if every nutritional measure known to be helpful were applied to every child in the world, global malnutrition would be decreased by only a third. New research from the University of Virginia School of Medicine, the University of Vermont and the International Centre fo... Read More

MMP #16: Insights into Toxoplasma gondii parasites

Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Emma Wilson.


Emma H. Wilson of the University of California, Riverside, talks with Jeff Fox about efforts, with her collaborators to determine more precisely how Toxoplasma gondii parasites disrupt the mammalian brain—in this case, the brains of mice... Read More

Student Thoughts On The First Day of Microbiology Class

I teach Microbiology at the University of Puget Sound every fall semester. The swiftly changing field of microbiology has depth and breath...and I was interested to learn what my students thought of the topic at the beginning of the first day of class. We will revisit this subject at the end o... Read More

TWiM #139: Frackibacter and sticky fingers

The TWiM team discusses microbial DNA found on ATM machines in New York City, and how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, alters microbial ecosystems deep in the Earth.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter, and Michele Swanson.


{audio}This Week in Mi... Read More

Will the flu kill you? It may depend on your birth year

Your birth year predicts—to a certain extent—how likely you are to get seriously ill or die in an outbreak of an animal-origin influenza virus, new research suggests.

Until now, scientists thought that previous exposure to a flu virus conferred little or no immunological protection against ne... Read More

Microbiology, Cartoons, and Take Home Lessons!

In this blog post, I describe how I had students create their own cartoon depicting microbiological ideas and concepts that most tickled their fancy. I did this on their final exam, and the students came up with really interesting and entertaining ideas. IT's always interesting to see what stu... Read More

TWiM #138: Learning to love uranium and the A-baum

The TWiM team brings you a bacterium from a Colorado field site that grows on uranium, and copper resistance in the emerging pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.


Hosts: 


Vincent Racaniello, Read More

The switch from trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine: Will it lead to polio?

In four months, 155 countries will together switch from using trivalent to bivalent oral poliovirus vaccine. Will this change lead to more cases of poliomyelitis? Read More

Zika from sex, the byway but not the highway

Can Zika virus be sexually transmitted? Perhaps in very rare cases, but the main mode of transmission is certainly via mosquitoes. That’s why I’ve shamelessly stolen a quote on this topic from Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University: Mosquito transmission is the highway, whereas sexual tr... Read More

TWiM #136: Diderms and then monoderms

The TWiM team discusses the importance of neutrophils in microbial infections, and evidence that ancient bacteria had two cell walls.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, El... Read More

Why neural stem cells may be vulnerable to Zika infection

Zika's hypothesized attraction to human neural stem cells may come from its ability to hijack a protein found on the surface of these cells, using it as an entryway to infection. In Cell Stem Cell on March 30, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco show that the AXL surface r... Read More

Thermos device quickly detects Zika for only $2

Engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for Zika. The $2 device, about the size of a soda can, doesn’t require electricity or technical expertise and only needs a bit of saliva. Read More

Skin bacterium releases enzyme that may protect against damage and disease

The study - from Lund University in Sweden and published in the journal Scientific Reports - investigates a skin bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes. Senior author Dr. Rolf Lood, from Lund's Department of Clinical Sciences, explains:

"The name originates from the fact that the bacterium ... Read More

National hospital hand-washing campaign effective but expensive

Many hospital patients were protected from a dangerous bug and at least 96 years of life will be saved each year, said Professor Nicholas Graves from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI). 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
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