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Skin bacterium releases enzyme that may protect against damage and disease

The study - from Lund University in Sweden and published in the journal Scientific Reports - investigates a skin bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes. Senior author Dr. Rolf Lood, from Lund's Department of Clinical Sciences, explains:

"The name originates from the fact that the bacterium ... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

Will the flu kill you? It may depend on your birth year

Your birth year predicts—to a certain extent—how likely you are to get seriously ill or die in an outbreak of an animal-origin influenza virus, new research suggests.

Until now, scientists thought that previous exposure to a flu virus conferred little or no immunological protection against ne... Read More

Ferreting out an improved Ebola animal model

We’ve previously covered the importance of diagnostics in disease control and treatment. This is vital to controlling disease progression and transmission, but epidemiology studies can’t always show how a disease progresses or transmits. This is where scientists need a well-characterized animal ... Read More

TWiM 147 Letters

Kala writes:


Dear Micro Crew,


Hello from frozen Ireland, it's 5 degrees Celsius but feels like -2, cloudy and generally miserable haha


I was wondering if you could give me some advice as I am stuck between a micr... Read More

UMMS scientists use CRISPR to discover Zika and dengue weaknesses

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have performed the first CRISPR/Cas9 screen to discover human proteins that Zika virus needs for replication. This work, led by Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor in microbiology & physiological systems, reveals new lea... Read More

Student Thoughts On The First Day of Microbiology Class

I teach Microbiology at the University of Puget Sound every fall semester. The swiftly changing field of microbiology has depth and breath...and I was interested to learn what my students thought of the topic at the beginning of the first day of class. We will revisit this subject at the end o... Read More

BacterioFiles 272 - Parasite Prevents Pollution Poisoning

This episode: Worm parasites infecting brine shrimp help them survive better in arsenic-polluted environments!


(7.9 MB, 8.6 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

A superbug resistant to every available antibiotic in the U.S. kills Nevada woman

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on.

Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that ha... Read More

Mechanism of Probiotic Health Promotion Revealed

Washington, DC – December 2, 2016 – In several clinical trials, the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus paracasei DG has been shown to promote health, but until now, the mechanism has remained a black box. New research now suggests that the health benefits arise from communication between the prob... Read More

Green Monkeys Acquired Staphylococcus aureus From Humans

Washington, DC – July 29, 2016 - Many deadly diseases that afflict humans were originally acquired through contact with animals. New research published in ASM’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that pathogens can also jump the species barrier to move from humans to animals. The study... Read More

Environmental disturbances decrease the variability of microbial populations

A central pursuit of microbial ecology is to accurately model changes in microbial community composition in response to environmental factors. This goal requires a thorough understanding of the drivers of variability in microbial populations. However, most microbial ecology studies focus on the ... Read More

6th Global Experts Meeting on Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Cardiac Medications

Conference Series LLC is a renowned organization that organizes highly notable pharmaceutical conferences throughout the globe. Currently we are bringing “6th Global Experts Meeting on Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Cardiac Medications” (Cardiac Pharmacology 2017) scheduled to be held during Ap... Read More

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More

Antibiotic stewardship - a community effort

As we highlighted in our previous blog, antibiotic stewardship – the careful use of appropriate antibiotic administration – can have positive effects. A small change from a difference in clinical lab reporting led to less drug use, which led to fewer drug-resistant infections. When we think of a... Read More

You don't win friends with (precut) salad

Given that the holidays are right around the corner, many of us will be trying to eat healthy outside of celebratory meals, and that includes turning to salad as a healthy meal option. Salads do provide fresh nutrients, but new research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggests pre-cut ... Read More

Thermos device quickly detects Zika for only $2

Engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for Zika. The $2 device, about the size of a soda can, doesn’t require electricity or technical expertise and only needs a bit of saliva. Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

Motherboard: Your Showerhead Is Crammed Full of Bacteria That Scientists Want to Study

Scientists know very little about the kinds of bacteria that we interact with on a daily basis in our homes. Researchers from Colorado, and North Carolina are interested in what kinds of microbes are living in your shower head.

They are hoping to find out where Nontuberculous mycobacteria is... Read More
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