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Books for the Giving Season: Viral Readings

As the year closes out, we enter into the giving seasons of a variety of traditions. Lurking among the more pleasant types of giving is the 2013 – 2014 flu season, a viral gift that often keeps on giving. To combat this, reminders about the potential dangers of influenza and the importance of va... Read More

Ebola and the Vast Viral Universe

Behind the hellish Ebola epidemic ravaging West Africa lies an agent that fittingly embodies the mad contradictions of a nightmare. It is alive yet dead, simple yet complex, mindless yet prophetic, seemingly able to anticipate our every move.

For scientists who study the evolution and behavio... Read More

Gut Bacteria in Preemies Altered by Hospital Stay, Study Finds

Gut bacteria in premature infants don't come from their mothers, but from microbes in the neonatal intensive-care unit (NICU), a new study finds. Babies typically get their gut bacteria from their mothers during childbirth. Premature infants, however, receive antibiotics during their first week ... Read More

Microbiome Studies Contaminated By Sequencing Supplies

Non-sterile lab reagents and DNA extraction kits add their own assortment of DNA to microbiome samples.

In this age of cheap DNA technology, scientists are sequencing every sample they can get their hands on. They've ID'd the microbes in mosquito guts, coral mucus and frog skin; in polar ice;... Read More

Laser tool speeds up detection of Salmonella in food products

Purdue University researchers have developed a laser sensor that can identify Salmonella bacteria grown from food samples about three times faster than conventional detection methods.

Known as BARDOT (pronounced bar-DOH'), the machine scans bacteria colonies and generates a distinct black and... Read More

How Clean Should We Be?

There's a belief that says exposing people -- especially babies and young children -- to different kinds of germs early in life can keep them from developing illnesses like asthma, allergies, and other diseases that affect the immune system. The theory, called the “hygiene hypothesis,” is that o... Read More

Immune response turned up, not down, by flu during pregnancy

Pregnant women have an unusually strong immune response to influenza, an unexpected finding that may explain why they get sicker from the flu than other healthy adults, new research from the Stanford University School of Medicine and Lucile Packard Children's Hospital Stanford has found.

The ... Read More

Virus devastating sea stars on Pacific Coast identified

Scientists have now explained the mysteriously sudden appearance of a disease that has decimated sea stars on the North American Pacific Coast.

In a paper published Monday, November 17, 2014 in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, Cornell University microbiologist Ian ... Read More

HIV Can Cut and Paste in the Human Genome

Aarhus University has developed a technology that uses the HIV virus as a tool in the fight against hereditary diseases - and in the long term, against HIV infection as well. The technology repairs the genome in a new and safer manner.

For the first time researchers have succeeded in altering... Read More

Who's Protecting Whom From Deadly Toxin?

Questions are swirling around a science journal's decision last year to publish a description of a newly discovered botulinum toxin while omitting key genetic details that researchers would normally disclose. The unusual case highlights important unresolved issues in how to balance scientific op... Read More

BacterioFiles 190 - Bacteriophages Bust Biofilm Beacons

This episode: Engineered phages can both kill bacteria and disrupt their communications!


(14.8 MB, 16.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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This Tiny Sensor Spots Salmonella In Minutes, Not Days

A new biosensor quickly detects salmonella in food and can be easily customized to detect other types of bacteria—or even different strains for the same bacterium.

The process appears to easily outperform tests that are now standard in the food industry, according to researchers at Rice Unive... Read More

Self-Assembly For Me

I have the grating feeling that the subject of self-assembly of complex biological structures may not always amass the level of respect it deserves. I reckon that its importance is generally appreciated but, as topics go, it tends at times to be set aside. Yet, this is one of the most magnificen... Read More

colony of candida spp.

Colonies of candida species:

Media: HiCrome Candida Differential Agar
principle: Perry and Miller (1) reported that Candida albicans produces an enzyme b -N-acetyl- galactosaminidase and according to
Rousselle et al (2) incorporation of chromogenic or fluorogenic hexosaminidase substrates... Read More

Pictures Considered #11. Invisible Portraits: A Microbial Art Exhibit

Getting the message out to the public that the microbial world is about much more than just diseases is a challenging topic, but one we should keep trying to improve on. There are many ways to do this, but as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words, and most people don’t want to rea... Read More

Diversity of Antiviral Bacteria Discovered

Wolbachia, a symbiont that resides naturally up to 70% of all insect species, are probably the most prevalent infectious bacteria on Earth. In 2008 Luis Teixeira, now a principal investigator at the Instituto Gulbenkian de Ciência, and other scientists have discovered that Wolbachia can protect ... Read More

Unknown floor isolate

Partial isolate of an unknown organism on trypticase soy agar exhibiting spreading and an irregular-rhizoid form with lobate margins. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface over most of the colony. A dry, dull, matte surface appears toward the outer edges of the colony. The s... Read More

Architecture May Influence Which Microbes Surround You

They have us surrounded. Even inside the spaces we build for ourselves — like homes and offices — we are a tiny minority. Invisible bacteria, fungi, and viruses outnumber us by orders of magnitude. We will always be outnumbered, but we may have a say in which microbes we’re surrounded by, accord... Read More

Study of gut microbes, antibiotics offers clues to improving immunity in premature babies

Mothers give a newborn baby a gift of germs -— germs that help to kick-start the infant’s immune system. But antibiotics, used to fight bacterial infection, may paradoxically interrupt a newborn’s own immune responses. A new animal study by neonatology researchers at The Children's Hospital of P... Read More

Cilia use different motors for different tasks

Cilia — short, hair-like fibers — are widely present in nature. Single-celled paramecia use one set of cilia for locomotion and another set to sweep nutrients into their oral grooves. Researchers at Brown have discovered that those two cilia sets operate at different speeds when the viscosity of... Read More

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