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Staying Safe in Space

The thought of bringing alien life forms to Earth or of creating dangerous mutant microorganisms during space travel might seem straight out of a science fiction movie. But are these concerns real­ly that far fetched? As our interest in astrobiology (the study of life in the universe) grows, the... Read More

An Unseen Step to Diagnoses: Specimen Handling

Collecting, transporting, and storing patient specimens plays a major role in infection diagnoses. ASM provides a number of resources regarding best practices and the latest research regarding specimen collection! Read More

Researchers Discover Antifungal Agent From Pathogen Box Project

Researchers report they have used the Pathogen Box to identify a novel, highly potent antifungal agent with activity against two of the most common fungal pathogens of humans. Read More

SHIFTS IN MICROBIAL COMMUNITIES DUE TO CLIMATE CHANGE AFFECT ALL ECOSYSTEMS

“As we experience unprecedented environmental impacts from climate change, microbes rapidly adapt to their surrounding conditions faster than other organisms. Because microbes control biogeochemical cycling of elements essential for life, this impacts every ecosystem on earth. In addition, these... Read More

TWiV 437: Kathy's new spindle virus

The TWiVsters reveal new giant viruses that argue against a fourth domain of life, and discovery of viruses in the oceanic basement.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Nova Southeastern University Researchers Studying How to Disrupt Bacteria to Treat Infections

One way that bacteria infect people is by working together. First, they build a home called a biofilm, and then use chemicals to “talk with each other.” This allows the bacteria to coordinate an attack on the infected person. Led by NSU graduate Cortney Wilson, Smith’s lab recently discovered th... Read More

Gut microbes contribute to age-associated inflammation, mouse study shows

Inflammation increases with age and is a strong risk factor for death in the elderly, but the underlying cause has not been clear. A new study reveals that gut microbes are one of the culprits behind age-associated inflammation and premature death in mice. Imbalances in the gut microbes in older... Read More

NIH scientists advance understanding of herpesvirus infection

Herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections last a lifetime. Once a person has been infected, the virus can remain dormant (latent) for years before periodically reactivating to cause recurrent disease. This poorly understood cycle has frustrated scientists for years. Now, National Institutes of Healt... Read More

Lactate from human cells may trigger key step in invasion by meningitis-causing bacteria

Lactate produced in the upper throat might trigger meningitis-causing bacterial cells to detach from tiny colonies and spread within the body, according to a new study published in PLOS Pathogens.

The research, performed by Sara Sigurlásdóttir and colleagues at Stockholm University in Sweden,... Read More

The first live-attenuated vaccine candidate completely protects against Zika infection

The first live-attenuated Zika vaccine still in the development stage completely protected mice against the virus after a single vaccination dose, according to new research from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and Instituto Evandro Chagas at the Ministry of Health in Brazil. ... Read More

Anthrax spores use RNA coat to mislead immune system

Researchers from Harvard Medical School have discovered that the body's immune system initially detects the presence of anthrax spores by recognizing RNA molecules that coat the spores' surface. But this prompts an unfavorable immune response that hinders the body's fight against anthrax once th... Read More

Tales of Mystery and Imagination

Over the last ten-plus years of this blog's existence, one cluster of branches on the bacterial phy­lo­ge­ne­tic tree in particular has presented us with fascinating mysteries regarding basic, and seem­ing­ly unique, cellular biology. Many aspects of the species on these branches remain enigmati... Read More

Health Status Disparities and the Microbiome

Bacteria of the microbiome are essential aspects of human health. The best example is in the human gut. Home to nearly three pounds of bacteria (with recent estimates at 3.8·1013 bacteria), our gut uses its microbiome to neutralize toxic byproducts of digestion, stimulate digestion, assist with ... Read More

BEA Fungal Contaminant III

Close up of a white fungal contaminants seen on Bile Esculin agar (BEA) after several month at refrigerated temperature. The BEA agar did turn black indicating esculin hydrolysis. This colony mounded in a cone shape with rhizoid growth towards the top and mat lobate growth around the edges. Read More

TWiV 436: Virology above Cayuga's waters

At Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, Vincent speaks with Susan, Colin, and Gary about the work of their laboratories on parvoviruses, influenza viruses, and coronaviruses that infect dogs, cats, horses and other mammals.


Host:  Read More

BEA contaminant II

Close up of a white fungal contaminants seen on Bile Esculin agar (BEA) after several montha at refrigerated temperature. The BEA agar did turn black indicating esculin hydrolysis. Read More

Maybe they're born with it: intrinsic antibiotic resistance

Several recently published mBio studies describe new mechanisms of intrinsic antibiotic resistance. These mechanisms may themselves become therapeutic targets to broaden the application of currently available drugs. Read More

On an international hunt for new pathogens, team finds novel coronavirus in a Ugandan bat

Simon Anthony has spent his scientific career studying viruses and their impact on health. In the United Kingdom, where he is from, he investigated viruses of agricultural significance. Then, at the San Diego Zoo, he focused on the microbes of wildlife. Currently, at Columbia University’s Mailma... Read More

Zika Update: A Round-up of Recent Reports

Though it's been less covered by major news outlets, Zika is still an important research topic. Scientists are working hard to understand Zika virus biology, transmission, and treatment. We round up the latest research reports on this still-emerging disease. Read More

Shoe Swab Mix II

This was a swab taken form the bottom of a shoe incubated for 48 hrs at 37 degrees C then held at room temp for 48 hrs then held at refrigerated temp's. A variety of colony morphology is seen, rhizoid, mucoid, etc. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More
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