What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... Read More
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
We at mBiosphere know you are busy, reader! With various gels, analyses, programs, and classes to run, not to mention reports, abstracts, and grants to write, we know there are many demands made on our readers’ time (plus, dinner to plan, laundry to fold, the dog to walk...wait! Don't go! You ha... Read More
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
Biofilms, surface-attached microbial communities encased in an extracellular matrix, are one of the most common macroscopic microbial structures we can see in nature. Biofilms like those seen in pond scum, in dental plaque, or in hot springs, are mixed communities with the members forming both a... Read More
We have some virology for you on the latest episode of the science show This Week in Evolution. Nels and I are joined by Kartik Chandran and Sara Sawyer who talk about their work showing how the filovirus receptor NPC1 controls susceptibility of bats to Ebolavirus infection. They have found that... Read More
Evidence is mounting that Zika virus is neurotropic (able to infect cells of the nervous system) and neurovirulent (causes disease of the nervous system) in humans. Read More
The Romans are well known for introducing sanitation technology to Europe around 2,000 years ago, including public multi-seat latrines with washing facilities, sewerage systems, piped drinking water from aqueducts, and heated public baths for washing. Romans also developed laws designed to keep ... 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 hand print image was featured in a short video by Emily Driscoll for NPR, swabbing the NY subway by artist Craig Ward. Note: the only thing I contributed was the image. I was not involved in the experiment. I would not advocate for doing this experiment outside of a lab for safety reasons... Read More
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
The new virus, known as WIV1-CoV, directly binds to the same human receptor as the SARS strain that infected thousands in 2002 Read More
On episode #2 of the new science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and Vincent talk about how a cellular enzyme contributes to the very high mutation rate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.
You can find TWiEVO #2 at microbe.tv/twievo. Read More
In this new video episode of Virus Watch, you'll see how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it binds to an antibody that blocks infection. All in gorgeous three dimensional views provided by recent structure studies. Read More
SEDE BOQER, Israel - Dec. 16, 2015 - Researchers at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have determined that treated greywater is safe for irrigation and does not pose a risk for gastrointestinal illness or water-related diseases. Read More
Want to make a virus? It's easy: combine one molecule of genomic nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, and a handful of proteins, shake, and in a fraction of a second you'll have a fully-formed virus. Read More
A near-atomic level map of Zika virus shows its structure to be largely similar to that of dengue virus and other flaviviruses, but with a notable difference in one key surface protein, report scientists funded by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the Nat... Read More
BOSTON -- How well a flu shot protects you from the virus can depend on your ethnic background and other inherited factors, report Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists. Read More
News headlines highlighting an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease often leave readers shaking their heads. These diseases – measles, chickenpox, whooping cough – could have been prevented if only the infected children had been vaccinated. Right? Well, in the case of whooping cough, the si... Read More
Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have received a five-year, $9.5-million award from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to establish an interdisciplinary center to define the systems biology of ... Read More