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The U.S. Blew $1.4 Billion on Abstinence Education in Africa

That is the amount of money the U.S. spent over a 10-year period from 2004 through 2013 promoting abstinence before marriage as a way of preventing HIV in 14 countries in sub-Saharan Africa. Unfortunately, according to the most comprehensive independent study conducted to date of the effort, the... Read More

Final Student Thoughts From My MIcrobiology Course

Today was the last day of my microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound. So I thought it appropriate for students to tell me the single "coolest" thing they learned in my course. Read More

IDRI contributes to first point-of-care Chagas disease diagnostic for US

With Chagas disease becoming more prevalent in the United States, a diagnostic to quickly and easily detect infection is needed. Today, IDRI (Infectious Disease Research Institute) announces that a fusion antigen it developed and patented is being used as part of a Chagas disease diagnostic test... Read More

An old new weapon against emerging Chikungunya virus

Since 2013, the mosquito-borne Chikungunya virus has spread rapidly through South America and the Caribbean, and is now threatening Southern Europe and the southern US. It causes flu-like symptoms with fever and joint pains, which in some cases can last for months with occasional fatalities. No ... Read More

Computer Model Is ‘Crystal Ball’ for E. Coli Bacteria

It’s difficult to make predictions, especially about the future, and even more so when they involve the reactions of living cells — huge numbers of genes, proteins and enzymes, embedded in complex pathways and feedback loops. Yet researchers at the University of California, Davis, Genome Center ... Read More

Simulation study shows that pandemic swine flu had a minor impact in Finland

Researchers have used modeling to estimate the true impact of infectious diseases, such as swine flu, when underreporting can mean the surveillance from time of the pandemic can miss the vast majority of infections that occur in the population. Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Monday and wrap-up

After absorbing research on manipulation of the human microbiome, the impact of waterway and agricultural microbiomes, antibiotic resistance spread and the potential of stewardship guard against it, and potential antimicrobial therapies of the future, we have yet to cover an important research t... Read More

Bacterial Messages From Beyond?

H.P. Lovecraft fan and composer Reber Clark (https://reberclark.bandcamp.com/) collaborated with my undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg and myself on a science+music+HPL video. When a log phase culture of Photobacterium leignothi is poured into a Petri dish, and 10 second exposures are taken ev... Read More

Gut bacteria imbalance increases diabetes risk

Currently, scientists think the major contributors to insulin resistance are excess weight and physical inactivity, yet ground-breaking new research by an EU funded European-Chinese team of investigators called MetaHit have discovered that specific imbalances in the gut bacteria can cause insuli... Read More

Chatting about #MattersMicrobial on the University of Puget Sound podcast

Here is my chance to chat a bit with some University of Puget Sound staff about the depth, breadth, and wonders of the microbial world. It's a podcast! Read More

Heater-cooler devices blamed for global Mycobacterium chimaera outbreak

A global outbreak of Mycobacterium chimaera, an invasive, slow-growing bacterium, is linked to heater-cooler devices (HCD) used in cardiac surgery, according to a study published today in Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology, the journal of the Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of Americ... Read More

Pre-cut Salad May Encourage Growth of Salmonella

Washington, DC – November 18, 2016 – A new study from the University of Leicester shows that small amounts of damage to salad leaves in bagged salads encourage the presence of Salmonella enterica. Juices released from damaged leaves also enhance the pathogen’s ability to attach to the salad’s pl... Read More

MRSA uses decoys to evade a last-resort antibiotic

Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) is responsible for thousands of deaths around the world each year. However, because the bacteria are resistant to many different antibiotics, treatment options are limited, and often ineffective.

But until now scientists didn't know how MRSA ... Read More

New Academy Report on Microbes of the Built Environment

This past fall, experts gathered at an American Academy of Microbiology Colloquium in Washington, D.C. to discuss an important topic relevant to many parts of society: the microbiology of built environments. A summary of the experts’ answers to important questions surrounding this topic is now a... Read More

Increase in demand for antibiotics to propel the Microbial Culture Industry

Microbiology deals with the study of microorganisms and one of the most prominent and effective ways of identifying and characterizing microorganisms is through the method of microbiology culture or microbial culture. By carefully calculating and combining different growth nutrients, a suitable ... Read More

Mosquito saliva enhances virus replication and disease

Mosquito saliva, which is injected into the host as a mosquito probes for a blood vessel, contains a collection of chemicals which include anticoagulants to prevent blood clotting, vasodilators to keep blood vessels wide, and anesthetics to prevent us from sensing the mosquito. Saliva also conta... Read More

BacterioFiles 288 - Caulobacter's Copper Coping Capabilities

This episode: Some bacterial species use multiple strategies within a single population to deal with environmental challenges!


(8.9 MB, 9.7 minutes)


Show notes: 


Journal Paper:

Lawarée E, Gillet S, Louis G, Tilqui... Read More

TWiV 409: A Nef is enough

Jeremy joins the TWiVeroids to tell the amazing story of how the function of the HIV-1 protein called Nef was discovered and found to promote infection by excluding the host protein SERINC from virus particles.


Hosts:  Read More

BacterioFiles 281 - Prokaryote Partners Produce Plastic

This episode: Microbes with complementary abilities help each other grow and produce useful stuff from the air!


(12 MB, 13.2 minutes)


Show notes: 


Journal Paper:

Smith MJ, Francis MB. 2016. Read More

Science Magazine: New antibiotic found in human nose

With drug-resistant bacteria on the rise, scientists believe the nose is engaging in "microbial warfare". Scientists in Germany have identified that Staphylococcus lugdunensis, found in the nose, excretes a compound they named lugdunin. This compound prevents S. aureus from growing. S. aureus ca... Read More
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