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Scientists Add Letters to DNA’s Alphabet, Raising Hope and Fear

Scientists reported Wednesday that they had taken a significant step toward altering the fundamental alphabet of life — creating an organism with an expanded artificial genetic code in its DNA.

The accomplishment might eventually lead to organisms that can make medicines or industrial product... Read More

Burglary-ring-like mechanism found in lethal Nipah virus

A team of scientists from Washington State University has discovered how one of the planet’s most deadly known viruses employs burglary-ring-like teamwork to infiltrate the human cell.

Nipah virus is so menacing that the nation’s top infectious disease experts served as consultants in the fil... Read More

Changing influenza virus neuraminidase into a receptor binding protein

The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of the influenza virus particle serve distinct functions during infection. The HA binds sialic acid-containing cellular receptors and mediates fusion of the viral and cell membranes, while the NA removes sialic acids from glycoproteins.... Read More

Antibiotics Can't Keep Up With 'Nightmare' Superbugs

We're used to relying on antibiotics to cure bacterial infections. But there are now strains of bacteria that are resistant to even the strongest antibiotics, and are causing deadly infections. According to the CDC, "more than 2 million people in the United States every year get infected with a ... Read More

Environmental Swab/Bottom of Shoe #2

Close up view of the edges of an unknown bacteria swabbed form the bottom of a shoe, possible Bacillus, on TSA exhibiting spreading and rhizoid growth. The pigment is opaque white-beige with a mucoid surface towards the center of the colony and a matte surface towards the edges. Note: transmit... Read More

Foldscope: Origami-Based Paper Microscope

PLOS ONE authors Cybulski, Clements and Prakash describe an ultra-low-cost origami-based approach for large-scale manufacturing of microscopes, specifically demonstrating brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence microscopes. Merging principles of optical design with origami enables high-volume f... Read More

New Research Gives Clues of Antibiotic Use and Resistance in U.S. Children's Hospitals

Two studies published in the December issue of Infection Control and Hospital Epidemiology show antibiotic resistance patterns for children have held stable over a seven-year period and surgical patients in U.S. children's hospitals account for 43 percent of all antibiotic use in children's hosp... Read More

Are tiny microbes outwitting us to steal our food?

It's long been know that microbes are to blame for food going off and becoming rotten but in the late 1970's, Dan Janzen of the University of Pennsylvania, and a winner of ecology's version of the Nobel Prize, suggested that making something rotten may be to the advantage of the microbes living ... Read More

Dictyostelium amoeba eating bacteria (video)

Actin is shown in red. From Clarke, M., and Maddera, L. (2006). Phagocyte meets prey: Uptake, internalization, and killing of bacteria by Dictyostelium amoebae. Eur. J. Cell Biol. 85:1001-1010; reproduced with permission from Elsevier. Honorable mention 2013 Bioscapes Competition. Dr. Margaret ... Read More

Emerging HIV Epidemics Among People Who Inject Drugs in the Middle East and North Africa

HIV epidemics are emerging among people who inject drugs in several countries in the Middle East and North Africa. Though HIV infection levels were historically very low in the Middle East and North Africa, substantial levels of HIV transmission and emerging HIV epidemics have been documented am... Read More

Exploring a Parasitic Tunnel Boring Machine

Parasitic worm genome and biology provides a solid basis for the development of new interventions. Researchers have deduced essential biological and genetic information from the genome sequence of the whipworm, an intestinal parasitic worm that infects hundreds of millions of people in developin... Read More

MRSA strain in humans originally came from cattle

A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers who conducted the genetic analysis of strains of Staphyl... Read More

Oral Bacteria Create a ‘Fingerprint’ in Your Mouth

The bacteria in the human mouth – particularly those nestled under the gums – are as powerful as a fingerprint at identifying a person’s ethnicity, new research shows.

Scientists identified a total of almost 400 different species of microbes in the mouths of 100 study participants belonging t... Read More

Turkeys inspire smartphone-capable early warning system for toxins

Some may think of turkeys as good for just lunch meat and holiday meals, but bioengineers at UC Berkeley saw inspiration in the big birds for a new type of biosensor that changes color when exposed to chemical vapors. This feature makes the sensors valuable detectors of toxins or airborne pathog... Read More

Risk of dengue fever epidemic in Europe

The risk of dengue fever beginning to spread in Europe is imminent. According to researchers from Umeå University, this is no longer just an issue for the scientific community but also for politicians and policy makers, who need to be prepared and develop preventive measures.

With a changing ... Read More

Blood test can determine whether illness is caused by virus or bacteria

Researchers at Duke University say they have created a blood test that can determine whether a person's respiratory illness is caused by a bacterial infection or a virus, with over 90 percent accuracy.

What's more, the test only takes about 12 hours to get results. Current methods take severa... Read More

Canine distemper in rare Amur tigers poses "significant risk to survival"

Endangered Amur tigers (also called Siberian tigers) face challenges from poaching, decimation of their prey base, and habitat fragmentation, but a disease from domestic dogs may be the straw that broke the tiger's back, according to the authors of a study in mBio this week. A team of scientists... Read More

Research may yield new ways to treat antibiotic-resistant TB

Scientists in the United States and India have successfully modified the precursor to one of the drugs used to treat tuberculosis, an important first step toward new drugs that can transcend antibiotic resistance issues that experts consider a serious threat to global health.

The findings, re... Read More

Why Scientists Are Trying Viruses To Beat Back Bacteria

Not all viruses are bad for us. Some of them might even help up us fight off bacterial infections someday.

Naturally occurring viruses called bacteriophages attack specific types of bacteria. So researchers at the University of Leicester decided to try and take advantage of phages' bacteria-d... Read More

Antibiotic-Resistant Germs, Lying in Wait Everywhere

The Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico is a network of chambers stretching 1,600 feet underground. The bacteria that grow on the walls of its most remote recesses have been living in complete isolation for more than four million years.

In 2010, Gerry Wright, a microbiologist at McMaster Universit... Read More

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