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Searching for an Ancient Syphilis DNA in Newborns

Ancient DNA of the bacteria causing syphilis, the Treponema pallidum pallidum, can be recovered from the ancient bones of newborns. This is the conclusion reached by a study led by Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB), which was able to obtain the genetic material from the bacteria in more th... Read More

Lessons from the ASM meeting (#ASM2012)

Some lessons and notes from the ASM meeting from Jonathan Eisen on "The Tree of Life" Read More

Inspired by nature: Paints and coatings containing bactericidal agent nanoparticles combat marine fouling

Scientists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in Germany have discovered that tiny vanadium pentoxide nanoparticles can inhibit the growth of barnacles, bacteria, and algae on surfaces in contact with water, such as ship hulls, sea buoys, or offshore platforms. Their experiments showed... Read More

The Dog Bacteria That Can Protect You From Asthma

Studies suggest that infants who grow up with dogs in their home are less likely to develop asthma. Researchers may now have found one reason why. Pets, dogs in particular, may protect infants from the effects of a common virus, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV).

Infants with severe RSV infec... Read More

BESC researchers tap into genetic reservoir of heat-loving bacteria

The identification of key proteins in a group of heat-loving bacteria by researchers at the Department of Energy's BioEnergy Science Center could help light a fire under next-generation biofuel production.

Scientists have long been on the hunt for cost-effective ways to break down complex pla... Read More

Oddly Microbial: 86 Million Year-Old Deep Seabed Mystery Cells

Life in a high-pressured environment with practically nothing to eat might be ok for high-fashion models, but it’s an unlikely lifestyle choice for a single cell whose usual overriding goal is to become two cells. Yet the largest living ecosystem on Earth—the deep biosphere—is comprised of micro... Read More

Bacteria a potential threat to nuclear waste repositories

By interacting with the radioactive waste and the materials used to contain it, underground microorganisms may affect the safety of nuclear waste repositories, for better or for worse.

Underground, time appears to stand still. That is one of the reasons why deep geological formations are cons... Read More

New GM Crops Could Make Superweeds Even Stronger

Herbicide-resistant superweeds threaten to overgrow U.S. fields, so agriculture companies have genetically engineered a new generation of plants to withstand heavy doses of multiple, extra-toxic weed-killing chemicals.

It’s a more intensive version of the same approach that made the resistant... Read More

Thoughts on the Inaugural Conference on the Microbiology of the Built Environment

". . . a guest post [to microbe.net] by David Thaler, who is one of the Sloan-funded investigators working on the microbiology of the built environment . . ."

"A few thoughts after the Inaugural meeting of Microbiology of the Built Environment Boulder.

My own opinions on these points are s... Read More

TWiP 38: How to Trichomonas

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Dickson Despommier


Vincent and Dickson  Read More

MWV Episode 61 - Richard Lenski - Evolution in a Flask

In episode 61 of MicrobeWorld Video, filmed at the American Association for the Advancement of Science Meeting in Vancouver, Canada on February 17th, 2012, Dr. Stan Maloy talks with Read More

TWiM #29: Death and an iron-loaded spike

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and S... Read More

The Role of Non-Food Animals in the Spread of Antibiotic Resistance

On the issue of antibiotic-resistant bacteria and animals, the first thing that comes to mind is livestock and other farm-based animals that are regularly fed antibiotics as growth promoters, but they are not the only source of resistance. Participants discuss studies showing that non-farm anim... Read More

Educating the World about Microbes

Vincent Racaniello accepts the Peter Wildy Prize for Microbiology Education, awarded annually by the Society for General Microbiology for an outstanding contribution to microbiology education. Filmed at the Dublin Convention Centre in Dublin, Ireland. Read More

TWiM 39 Letters

Merry writes:

Writing the sprint event for the Microbial Olympics published recently by Nature Reviews Microbiology was surely my most fun writing assignment ever! The idea for this feature articl... Read More

TWiV 178 Letters

Josh writes:


Hello TWiV Doctors,


Two short things:


1. You probably already heard the TWiV shout-out you got on NPR's Morning Edition on Friday, March 30th. It's here:  Read More

TWiV 185: Dead parrots and live Wildcats

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Sarah Connolly, Andrew Karaba, Read More

TWiP 41 Letters

Adam writes:

What up Doc's?


I'm writing to voice my complete disagreement with the sentiments of Sven Urban, in his letter on TWIP 38, that you as hosts are prone to engage in a ‘degree of banter which is distracting'.


I'm sure Dickson does not mind being ant... Read More

Fouchier anticipates resuming H5N1 studies soon

The lead researcher of one of the controversial H5N1 avian influenza transmission studies in ferrets said today that he hopes scientists can resume work on the studies in about 2 weeks, after key groups have discussed the issues.

Dutch researcher Ron Fouchier, PhD, of Erasmus University, said... Read More

Microbiology Today article on This Week in Virology at the Society for General Microbiology (UK) meeting in Dublin

The Society for General Microbiology (UK) publication Microbiology Today has a two page feature by Paul Duprex, Ph.D., Boston University, on Vincent Racaniello, Ph.D., Columbia University, and his popular podcast This Week in Virology. The article discusses Racaniello's use of new media to sprea... Read More

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