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Tuberculosis bacteria build 'edible' havens in immune cells

Bacteria that cause tuberculosis trick immune cells meant to destroy them into hiding and feeding them instead. This is the result of a study led by researchers from NYU Langone Medical Center and published online April 18 in Nature Immunology. 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

How malaria fools our immune system

Okinawa Institute of Science and Technology Graduate University (OIST) reconstructed the 3D structure of one of the proteins of Plasmodium falciparum, the causative agent of malaria and the antibodies that act as the first line of defense against the parasite. This research, published in Cell Re... Read More

Culture-independent discovery of new archaeal virus

What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... Read More

Cities have individual microbial signatures

Greg Caporaso was sifting through blog posts on microbe.net, which covers the microbiology of built environments, when a study idea sparked for him and colleagues Jeff Siegel, Scott Kelley and Rob Knight.

“It became clear to me that there was a lot of interesting work being done to understand... Read More

mSystems video introduction, or: The tl;dr version for ADAGE-based integration of gene expression datasets

We at mBiosphere know you are busy, reader! With various gels, analyses, programs, and classes to run, not to mention reports, abstracts, and grants to write, we know there are many demands made on our readers’ time (plus, dinner to plan, laundry to fold, the dog to walk...wait! Don't go! You ha... Read More

One antibody to neutralize them all: a human IgG1 is effective against multiple subtypes of influenza A virus

The changing weather reminds us that influenza season is around the corner, which means it’s nearly time to get your annual vaccine. This year’s vaccine is updated to protect against influenza A viruses H1N1 + H3N2 and influenza B virus Victoria lineage. These strains are included in vaccine pro... Read More

Close Quarters: The Importance of Interspecies Interactions in Microbial Biofilms

Biofilms, surface-attached microbial communities encased in an extracellular matrix, are one of the most common macroscopic microbial structures we can see in nature. Biofilms like those seen in pond scum, in dental plaque, or in hot springs, are mixed communities with the members forming both a... Read More

TWiEVO 5: Looking at straw colored fruit bats through a straw

We have some virology for you on the latest episode of the science show This Week in Evolution. Nels and I are joined by Kartik Chandran and Sara Sawyer who talk about their work showing how the filovirus receptor NPC1 controls susceptibility of bats to Ebolavirus infection. They have found that... Read More

Zika virus infection of the nervous system

Evidence is mounting that Zika virus is neurotropic (able to infect cells of the nervous system) and neurovirulent (causes disease of the nervous system) in humans. Read More

Roman toilets gave no clear health benefit, and Romanization actually spread parasites

The Romans are well known for introducing sanitation technology to Europe around 2,000 years ago, including public multi-seat latrines with washing facilities, sewerage systems, piped drinking water from aqueducts, and heated public baths for washing. Romans also developed laws designed to keep ... Read More

NY Subway Experiment/Craig Ward

The hand print image was featured in a short video by Emily Driscoll for NPR, swabbing the NY subway by artist Craig Ward. Note: the only thing I contributed was the image. I was not involved in the experiment. I would not advocate for doing this experiment outside of a lab for safety reasons... Read More

TWiEVO 2: Faster than a speeding virus

On episode #2 of the new science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and Vincent talk about how a cellular enzyme contributes to the very high mutation rate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.

You can find TWiEVO #2 at microbe.tv/twievo. Read More

New SARS-like virus is poised to infect humans

The new virus, known as WIV1-CoV, directly binds to the same human receptor as the SARS strain that infected thousands in 2002 Read More

Serratia marcescens

The image of Red Lord Ganesha on this MacConkey agar plate is made of Serratia marcescens. It is just an expression that microorganisms are ubiquitous and miraculous in nature just as our gods.
Serratia marcescens produces a blood red pigment called prodigiosin (latin word prodigiosus meaning ... Read More

TWiV 402: The plight of the bumblebee

Polio returns to Nigeria, Zika virus spreads in Miami, and virus infection of plants attracts bumblebees for pollination, from the virus gentlepeople at TWiV.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Greywater reuse for irrigation is safe -- Ben-Gurion U. Zuckerberg Institute study

SEDE BOQER, Israel - Dec. 16, 2015 - Researchers at the Zuckerberg Institute for Water Research at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev have determined that treated greywater is safe for irrigation and does not pose a risk for gastrointestinal illness or water-related diseases. Read More

Virus Watch: Building Zika Virus

In this new video episode of Virus Watch, you'll see how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it binds to an antibody that blocks infection. All in gorgeous three dimensional views provided by recent structure studies. Read More

Seeing viruses in a new light

Want to make a virus? It's easy: combine one molecule of genomic nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA, and a handful of proteins, shake, and in a fraction of a second you'll have a fully-formed virus. Read More

A growing concern: why whooping cough incidence may be increasing in a highly vaccinated population

News headlines highlighting an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease often leave readers shaking their heads. These diseases – measles, chickenpox, whooping cough – could have been prevented if only the infected children had been vaccinated. Right? Well, in the case of whooping cough, the si... Read More
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