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Fungus behind America's bat die-off traced back to Europe

The mysterious deaths of millions of bats in the United States and Canada over the past several years were caused by a fungus that hitchhiked from Europe, scientists reported Monday.

Experts had suspected that an invasive species was to blame for the die-off from "white nose syndrome." Now th... Read More

Built-in dengue virus killer found in humans

Scientists may have hit gold in their fight against dengue. They have located a human antibody that can neutralise and kill its virus within two hours.

Significantly, they have also identified a way to reproduce this antibody in large quantities, potentially opening the door to a cure for den... Read More

US Students Need New Way of Learning Science

American students need a dramatically new approach to improve how they learn science, says a noted group of scientists and educators led by Michigan State University professor William Schmidt.

After six years of work, the group has proposed a solution. The 8+1 Science concept calls for a rad... Read More

Science Diction: The Origin Of The Petri Dish

From NPR's Science Friday:

'In 1887, Julius Petri invented a simple pair of nesting glass dishes, ideal for keeping specimens of growing bacteria sterile—the 'Petri dish.' Science historian Howard Markel recounts the history of this ubiquitous lab supply, and the serendipitous discovery of th... Read More

Worm kills insects by vomiting Hulk-like bacteria

Insects have been around for almost 400 million years. That’s plenty of time for evolution to fashion countless horrific deaths for them. Case in point: some insects die because a little worm vomits glowing bacteria inside their bodies.

The worm is Heterorhabditis bacteriophora, a microscopic... Read More

Fungi And Bacteria Help Each Other Stay Mobile

Bacteria and fungi are remarkably mobile. Now researchers at Tel Aviv University have discovered that the two organisms enjoy a mutually beneficial relationship to aid them in that movement - and their survival.

Fungal spores can attach themselves to bacteria, "hitching a ride" wherever the ... Read More

TWiM 26 Letters

Peter writes:
Dear Twim team

An interesting paper on artificial selection of yeast giving rise to evolved  clusters. The clusters evolved to be larger, produce multicellular progeny, and even s... Read More

Norton Zinder, 1928-2012

Norton Zinder made two important discoveries in the field of virology. While a Ph.D. student with Joshua Lederberg at the University of Wisconsin-Madison he found that viruses of bacteria (bacteriophages) could move genes from one host to another, a process called transduction. Later in his own ... Read More

TWiV 172 Letters

Greg writes:


Dear TWiV,


The epidemiology episode with Michael Walsh was great. I loved the philosophical detour into counterfactual statements, time travel, and the meaning of causation. TWiV may indeed be viral, but from listening to it I fee... Read More

The Berkeley Pit

“To go to Berkeley Pit Lake, you have to complete a forty-hour Hazmat program—and that’s just to stand next to the water,” advises Andrea Stierle, a research professor at the University of Montana-Missoula, who began studying samples from the Pit sixteen years ago. And when employees of the Mont... Read More

Our Microbiomes, Ourselves

Imagine a scientist gently swabs your left nostril with a Q-tip and finds that your nose contains hundreds of species of bacteria. That in itself is no surprise; each of us is home to some 100 trillion microbes. But then she makes an interesting discovery: in your nose is a previously unknown sp... Read More

Princeton University researchers develop tooth attachment that detects bacteria

It may not be the latest style in bovine bling, but researchers at Princeton University say a golden tattoo attached to a cow’s tooth could one day tell you something about your health.

The remote sensing device has the ability to detect a single bacterium, and to demonstrate, scientists at P... Read More

Bird Flu Research That Stoked Fears Is Published

The more controversial of two papers describing how the lethal H5N1 bird flu could be made easier to spread was published on Thursday, six months after a scientific advisory board suggested that the papers’ most potentially dangerous data be censored.

The paper’s publication, in the journal S... Read More

phytoplankton seem from space

In this Envisat image, a phytoplankton bloom swirls a figure-of-8 in the South Atlantic Ocean about 600 km east of the Falkland Islands.

During this period in the southern hemisphere, the ocean becomes rich in minerals from the mixing of surface waters with deeper waters. Phytoplankton depen... Read More

A third dose of MMR is safe but do we really need one?

It was recently reported - at the National Foundation for Infectious Diseases 15th Annual Conference on Vaccine Research - that the rate of adverse effects from a third dose of the measles, mumps and rubella (MMR) vaccine is the same as those of the second dose. This was conducted as part of a C... Read More

A world free of 1 of the most virulent animal diseases?

One of the most economically devastating diseases in the world for those who raise cows, sheep, pigs, goats, deer and other cloven-hoofed animals is foot and mouth Disease (FMD). This incredibly contagious and fast-spreading disease causes fever, blisters on the feet and mouth (hence the name), ... Read More

Genome of arsenic bacterium sequenced

The genome nucleotide sequence has been determined of the bacterium GFAJ-1, which has been suggested to survive in high levels of arsenic and in fact incorporate arsenic into macromolecules. The sequence does not address the controversy over whether the bacterium can utilize arsenic. I suppose t... Read More

How Bacteria Sense Salt Stress

Scientists' finding is a major breakthrough in understanding a decades-old problem of how bacteria detect environmental changes.

A team of scientists led by Assistant Professor Ganesh S Anand and Professor Linda J. Kenney from the National University of Singapore (NUS) Department of Biologica... Read More

It's Raining Viruses

It’s true! Each year it rains viruses, more than a trillion of them per acre over thousands of forested acres in the USA. This is the work of the airborne arm of the USDA Forest Service, part of their efforts to reduce the devastation to hardwood forests caused by the imported gypsy moth, Lymant... Read More

Quantitative imaging application to gut and ear cells

From tracking activities within bacteria to creating images of molecules that make up human hair, several experiments have already demonstrated the unique abilities of the revolutionary imaging technique called multi-isotope imaging mass spectometry, or MIMS, developed by researchers at Brigham ... Read More

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