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Nonpathogenic viruses transferred during fecal transplants

Fecal transplants are increasingly being used for refractory Clostridium difficile and other gastrointestinal disorders. While fecal donors are screened for various infectious diseases, it is unclear whether viruses can in fact be transmitted during fecal transplants. Now a new study shows that ... Read More

Microbes After Hours: Spillover: Zika, Ebola, & Beyond

Throughout the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. What's behind their increase, and can we do anything to combat these dangerous foes? Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond, from HHMI's Tangled Bank Studios, investigates the rise of spillove... Read More

TWiM 135 Letters

Reed writes:


Dear Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michelle,


I've just recently finished TWiM number 133 and wanted to comment about the use of the term "secondary metabolite" throughout the episode and often in the primary literature. Michael pointed out that a se... Read More

Yeast fights viruses!

Humans have used Saccharomyces cerevisiae yeast in baking, brewing and winemaking for millennia. New research from the University of Idaho and the University of Colorado Boulder reveals another way that yeast species can help our species: by demonstrating how viruses interact with their hosts, a... Read More

THE RIDDLE OF THE R.I.D.L _ Zika virus Comics (Playlist)

In Zanzare, the new comic from Cimaza (www.cimazacomics.com/), we are plunged head-first into the global mystery of the Zika virus. We meet the mosquitoes (in Italian: zanzare) implicated in its spread; but the insects plead their innocence, saying it's all a misunderstanding. They lay their cas... Read More

Assessing gram stain error rates

Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More

TWiV 413: Partnerships not Parachutes

From the EIDA2Z conference at Boston University, Vincent, Alan and Paul meet up with Ralph Baric, Felix Drexler, Marion Koopmans, and Stacey Schultz-Cherry to talk about discovering, understanding, protecting, and collaborating on emerging infectious diseases.


Hosts:  Read More

TWiP 122: If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will

The TWiPniks docs solve the case of the Female from Peru with Epistaxis, and discuss the effect of community deworming on immunosuppression.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

NIH study finds factors that may influence influenza vaccine effectiveness

The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests. Currently, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to induce high levels of protective antibodies against hemagglutinin (HA), a protein found on the surface of the influenza ... Read More

TWiV Special: DA Henderson, smallpox eradicator

Donald “D.A.” Henderson, a physician, educator, and epidemiologist who led the World Health Organization’s campaign to eradicate smallpox, died at 87 years of age on Aug. 19, 2016. Vincent was fortunate to have the opportunity to speak with DA Henderson in 2014 about his career, the smallpox era... Read More

BOROBODUR Temple

This artwork is made from Escherechia coli in Mac Conkey Agar ( MCA ) and shows the other side of the biggest Buddhist temple in Indonesia and Southeast Asia built by the Syailendra dynasty called “Borobudur”, that included one of the wonders of the world from Indonesia.

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BacterioFiles 268 - Sophisticated Cyanobacterium Sight

This episode: Spherical cyanobacterium Synechocystis acts like a tiny eyeball in sensing light, allowing cells to move closer to light sources!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: synSEM Read More

Phage diffusion on a bacterial lawn: not all plaques are created equal

Like us, bacteria have their own microbial attackers, in the form of bacteria-specific viruses called bacteriophage, or phage. These phage come in a variety of flavors but can be broadly categorized into virulent, which immediately begin to replicate and lyse (burst) the infected cell quickly, a... 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

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Sunday

We’ve had a whirlwind of amazing talks, poster sessions, and networking sessions so far at ASM Microbe 2016. In our previous two Dispatches from ASM Microbe, we’ve covered microbiomes, for which research ranges from extremely basic (Which microbes are present? How do we quantify them?) to clinic... Read More

A microbial mystery in the Namib Desert

The Namib Desert is different than other deserts: it has an unusual geographic feature that differentiates it from most others. This desert (map, right) is where you can find ‘fairy circles,’ or circular areas absent of growth in an already plant-scarce environment. These deadened circles are su... Read More

A role for siderophores in Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogenesis

Despite increasing awareness of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a public health risk, there has been relatively little understood about its mechanisms of pathogenesis.

The bacterium, estimated to be the third most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in the United States in a recent study, c... Read More

Study Shows How Bacteria Evolve in the Lungs of Cystic Fibrosis Patients

Washington, DC – May 24, 2016 – The bacterium Burkholderia multivorans evolves and adapts in bursts to survive in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, according to a study published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbiology. The work, believed to ... Read More

Magnetotactic bacteria remove and recover rare elements

While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More

Microbial Jungles: a newly released TED-ED animation on biofilms and microbial communities

Watch our new animation on biofilms and microbial communities, with some gene transfer, cooperation and competition added for good measure! We focus on the basics of biofilm biology for a public audience and some of the ways that we benefit from the microbial communities that surround us, whethe... Read More
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