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Bill to provide $1.1 billion Zika funding dies in Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday blocked a $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus, giving Congress just two weeks to try to reach a new deal before lawmakers leave for a seven-week recess in the midst of mosquito season and a growing public health crisis. Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Friday

ASM Microbe is the new conference that merges the former General Meeting with the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) to make one microbial sciences-packed meeting with something for everyone. Why institute one new meeting instead of maintaining two separate ... Read More

E. coli: The ideal transport for next-gen vaccines?

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Read More

Meet Luca, the Ancestor of All Living Things

A surprisingly specific genetic portrait of the ancestor of all living things has been generated by scientists who say that the likeness sheds considerable light on the mystery of how life first emerged on Earth.

This venerable ancestor was a single-cell, bacterium-like organism. But it has a... Read More

Age of the Microzoo

In 3500 BCE, Egyptian rulers built a menagerie of exotic creatures within the ancient capital of Hierakonpolis. Archaeologists have found 112 animal skeletons at this site: the first zoo on Earth. But from this earliest exhibition of the natural world through today’s most famous animal displays,... Read More

ASM Announces Tools to Help Authors and Reviewers Alike

Communication of experimental results via publishing is one of the most important steps of the scientific method; if you don’t share your results, how will knowledge within a field grow? A well-written article contextualizes the author’s data into a broader scientific landscape, which allows rea... Read More

New mouse model to aid testing of Zika vaccine, therapeutics

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has established a mouse model for testing of vaccines and therapeutics to battle Zika virus. Read More

New study explains factors that influence the timing of infectious disease outbreaks

The delay between the time when a disease outbreak becomes possible and when it actually happens depends chiefly on how frequently infection is introduced to the population and how quickly the number of cases caused by a single individual increases, according to new research from the University ... Read More

Zika in Colors

Our work on Zika virus has utilized two different antibodies to detect Zika virus replication within cells. I described one antibody, directed against double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) in a previous article. A second antibody directed against a Zika virus protein has also been useful...

Click "sou... Read More

Study shows how H. pylori causes white blood cells to morph

Researchers with the Iowa City VA Health Care System and University of Iowa have produced striking new evidence of neutrophil plasticity, or the ability of these white blood cells to change their properties.

The scientists exposed neutrophils—the most prevalent white blood cells—to Helicobact... Read More

A quick and easy new method to detect Wolbachia bacteria in intact Aedes mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya, and zika viruses. A study published in PLOS NTDs reports a new technique that could make one approach to mosquito control--using Wolbachia bacteria that reduce the mosquitos' ability to transmit viral pathogens--a whole lot easier and che... Read More

Scraping away at the complex microbial communities that cause periodontal disease

Though both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums, the related ailments are not simply different severities of the same disease, finds a new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers confirmed this by investigating the bacterial composition of the sup... Read More

Unknown contaminant on Blood agar close up

Unknown contaminant, possible Bacillus spp, seen on an old blood agar plate that had been inoculated with Strep bovis. The plate had been incubated at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs then held at room temp for a week. One colony was mucoid with a brain like appearance the other being mucoid and smooth ... Read More

TWiM 144 Letters

Kayla writes:


Hey there TWIM team


I am a Veterinary Microbiologist in Cork in Ireland!


Long time listener of all the TWIX series and I love everyone of them.


I work in a diagnostic lab in cork and the only thing that gets me through the day is ... Read More

Drones transport microbiological samples without altering their content

Robots help sort patient samples, test clinical specimens, and analyze the results. Now a study shows that robots, in the form of drones, can help move our samples from place to place, with little effect on the analytical outcome.

Drone transport made a news splash when Amazon proposed using ... Read More

Mold contaminant on yogurt

Mold culture growing on top of a home made yogurt culture. Yogurt was made using whole milk and incubated for 8 hrs at a ~30 degree's C then refrigerated. This culture had been in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks, well past expiration for home made yogurt. The green mold had spore formation ... Read More

Mcr-1 Gene Isolated from Human for the First Time in Brazil

Washington, DC – August 8, 2016 – For the first time in Brazil, a particular antibiotic resistance mechanism conferring resistance to the important antibiotic, colistin, has been detected in a human. It was in a strain of Escherichia coli that was isolated from a diabetic patient’s foot infectio... Read More

Additives to Boost Vaccine Responses Not Sufficient to Protect Obese Mice From Influenza

Washington, DC – August 2, 2016 – Adjuvants – ingredients added to vaccinations for influenza and other viruses to help boost their effectiveness – can increase a host’s immune response but not enough to protect the obese against the ill effects of the flu, according to a mouse study published t... Read More

Self-Prescribing Antibiotics is a Big Problem

Washington, DC – July 11, 2016 - Five percent of adults from a cohort of 400 people reported using antibiotics without a prescription during the previous 12 months. Twenty-five percent said they would use antibiotics without contacting a medical professional. These findings demonstrate yet anoth... Read More
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