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After Hurricane Matthew, Cholera Becomes a Concern

Hurricane Matthew hit Haiti on October 4, 2016, and the southeast United States two days later, leaving tens of thousands without power, transportation, and in the worst cases, homes. Because of its extreme poverty, and its continuing recovery from previous natural disasters, Haiti is looking at... Read More

MWV 106 - This Week in Virology: Boston Quammens

Four years to the day after filming 'Threading the NEIDL', Vincent and Alan return to the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories BSL4 facility at Boston University where they speak with science writer David Quammen during the Emerging Infectious Disea... Read More

Metagenomic Study Links Microbes to Flavors in Kefir

Washington, DC - October 4, 2016 - A team of food scientists and microbiologists in Ireland have used high-throughput sequencing to analyze how microbial populations change as kefir ferments. It's a new frontier in food analysis: Using the data, collected over a 24-hour fermentation period, the ... Read More

Staphylococcus aureus has a resistance strategy that thwarts certain antimicrobials

The natural presence of fatty acids in the human body leads to increased resistance of Staphylococcus aureus to a class of antimicrobials that target bacterial fatty acid biosynthesis. This discovery, based on research by INRA scientists in collaboration with with INSERM, Hôpital Cochin APHP, th... Read More

Arkansas Investigates Mumps Outbreak With More Than 400 Possible Cases

The Arkansas Department of Health is investigating a mumps outbreak that may have infected hundreds of people.

A total of 427 suspected cases of mumps are being investigated in the state, with the majority of them children, the department reported on Friday.

More than 30 schools in the sta... Read More

Microbes help plants survive in severe drought

With California in its fifth year of severe drought and many western states experiencing another year of unusually dry conditions, plants are stressed.

Agricultural crops, grasses and garden plants alike can get sick and die when factors such as drought and excess sun force them to work harde... Read More

Flint Michigan hit with an outbreak of shigellosis as residents shun city water

Residents of Flint, Mich., affected by the contaminated-water crisis have added a new complication to their lives: an outbreak of shigellosis, a bacterial illness that is easily transmitted when people do not wash their hands.

Health department officials in Genesee County, where Flint is the ... Read More

A bacterial role in breast cancer development and prevention

Microbial infection is implicated in an ever-growing number of types of cancer. Adding to the already long list of microbial-associated cancers, an increasing body of evidence suggests breast cancer may also be associated with a specific microbial milieu. A report in Applied and Environmental Mi... Read More

NYT - I’m a Doctor. If I Drop Food on the Kitchen Floor, I Still Eat It.

Aaron E. Carroll, professor of pediatrics at Indiana University School of Medicine, discusses the five-second rule about dropping food on the floor and still eating it. He reminds us that we touch lots of dirty surfaces everyday, from cell phone screens to money and even the kitchen sink sponge.... Read More

MMP #17: How bacteria can change graphene to propel rotors.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Julia Yeomans and Vikas Berry.

Julia Yeomans of Oxford University in the United Kingdom and chemical engineer
Vikas Berry of the University of Illinois, Chicago, talk with Jeff Fox about their separate, but in some ways similar, research effor... Read More

ASM Members Deliver a Landslide Endorsement for Governance Change - Part 2

In my previous posting (Part 1), I reflected on the historical change of the new ASM governance. Here I would like to highlight some key issues that I see facing ASM and its new governance structure. This is not a prescriptive list, but rather a list of goals or, if you prefer, a straw man for ... Read More

Remembering the General - D.A. Henderson and the Eradication of Small Pox

Clinical Professor of Medicine at New York University and NYT writer, Lawrence K Altman, remembers Donald J. Henderson, MD, and his role in the eradication of small pox.

"The path to this monumental public health victory was tortuous, full of mini disasters, bureaucratic quagmires, rivalries,... Read More

Zika virus: The outbreak in Asia

How widespread is Zika in South East Asia? At least 19 countries and areas in the region have reported locally transmitted cases since 2007, according to the WHO. The majority - 13 - reported their cases this year. Thailand has recorded some 350 cases and Singapore nearly 400, including pregnant... Read More

To understand the oceans' microbes, follow function, not form

A University of British Columbia mathematician may have discovered a key to understanding the constantly changing distribution of microbial species in the world's oceans—classify microorganisms by their biochemical function, rather than by their taxonomy.

Researchers have struggled to underst... Read More

Germs in wastewater often become airborne

Using household wastewater to irrigate food crops in drought-stricken or arid regions isn't the perfect solution. The chemicals and disease-causing germs it might contain could contaminate crops. Viruses that have their origin in the human intestines are often released into the air as fine spray... Read More

Roundworms even more useful than researchers previously thought

Caenorhabditis elegans (often abbreviated C. elegans) is a roundworm (nematode) used as a model system not only to study human diseases but also for understanding fundamental biological processes.

"Now we know that Caenorhabditis elegans do have the ability to produce chondroitin sulfate. Th... Read More

Using satellite imagery to improve vaccination coverage

Looking for population shifts on satellite images could be a way to deliver vaccines and prevent or control disease outbreaks, a new study finds.

The findings, published in Scientific Reports, are based on analysis of satellite images, vaccine records, and measles case reports.

The researc... Read More

Tardigrade protein helps human DNA withstand radiation

Tardigrades, or water bears, are pudgy, microscopic animals that look like a cross between a caterpillar and a naked mole rat. These aquatic invertebrates are consummate survivors, capable of withstanding a host of extremes, including near total dehydration and the insults of space.

Now, a pa... Read More

Smartphone microscope turns microbiology into game time

A new 3-D printed, easily assembled smartphone microscope developed at Stanford University turns microbiology into game time. The device allows kids to play games or make more serious observations with miniature light-seeking microbes called Euglena.

When it’s assembled, it has a platform for... Read More

Swarming Proteus

Proteus on a CLED plate. How and why does it swarm? Read More
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