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Magnetotactic bacteria remove and recover rare elements

While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More

A role for siderophores in Klebsiella pneumoniae pathogenesis

Despite increasing awareness of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a public health risk, there has been relatively little understood about its mechanisms of pathogenesis.

The bacterium, estimated to be the third most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in the United States in a recent study, c... Read More

BacterioFiles 277 - Sailor Cells Store Selenium

This episode: Bacteria with their own magnetic compass can also clean up and recover toxic but valuable elements!


(6.1 MB, 6.7 minutes)


Show notes: 


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Zika virus, like all other viruses, is mutating

Not long after the appearance of an outbreak of viral disease, first scientists, and then newswriters, blame it all on mutation of the virus. It happened during the Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa, and now it’s happening with Zika virus.

The latest example is by parasitologist Peter Hotez,... 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

Diverse fungi inhabit chronic wounds and inhibit healing

Gruesome, ghastly, grisly. These are the words that popped into my head when I googled images of diabetic foot ulcers—one of the most common chronic wounds creating a silent and costly epidemic in healthcare.

Perhaps even more shocking is the mortality rate connected to these open wounds, wh... Read More

BacterioFiles 268 - Sophisticated Cyanobacterium Sight

This episode: Spherical cyanobacterium Synechocystis acts like a tiny eyeball in sensing light, allowing cells to move closer to light sources!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: synSEM Read More

Microbial Jungles: a newly released TED-ED animation on biofilms and microbial communities

Watch our new animation on biofilms and microbial communities, with some gene transfer, cooperation and competition added for good measure! We focus on the basics of biofilm biology for a public audience and some of the ways that we benefit from the microbial communities that surround us, whethe... Read More

Yale study suggests immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus

New Haven, Conn.-- A new Yale-led study suggests that death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself. The insight could lead to novel strategies for combating flu in the most vulnerable patients, said the resear... Read More

Early-life bacterial colonizers may influence later development of asthma

This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More

MWV 107 - The Necrobiome: Microbial Life After Death

What happens to us after we die?  A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers and multitudes of microbes.  Microbes from the environment, the corpse, as well as the insects and scavengers are blended together and work to recycle tissues back to t... Read More

Congenital Zika Syndrome

Data from several clinical studies in Brazil establish a strong link between infection of pregnant women with Zika virus and a variety of birth defects collectively called congenital Zika syndrome.

In the latest study conducted in Rio de Janeiro, the authors enrolled 88 pregnant women who had... Read More

CDC confirms Zika virus does cause microcephaly

For the first time, US disease experts have agreed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus does indeed cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads — a condition known as microcephaly. Until now, the two conditions were linked — but experts didn’t know for sure if Zika caused the brain-damaged... Read More

Why flu is worse in eldery ?

Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.

Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More

TWiV 413: Partnerships not Parachutes

From the EIDA2Z conference at Boston University, Vincent, Alan and Paul meet up with Ralph Baric, Felix Drexler, Marion Koopmans, and Stacey Schultz-Cherry to talk about discovering, understanding, protecting, and collaborating on emerging infectious diseases.


Hosts:  Read More

Culture-independent discovery of new archaeal virus

What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... Read More

Fungus causing fatal infections in hospitalized patients has unique growth patterns

One of the important tasks of Public Health England’s Mycology Reference Laboratory is to identify any newly emerging fungal pathogens that could become a public health risk. In recent months, the lab had tracked several clusters of Candida auris infections in British hospitals. The multidrug-re... Read More

Mosquito-eating fish used to fight Zika virus in Latin America

With the Zika virus spreading toward the United States, threatening pregnant mothers and the 2016 Olympics, aid workers have placed hope in a familiar fish.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia-based non-profit Operation Blessing helped avert an outbreak of the West Nile virus in Ne... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe: Entire series

Things have been quiet on mBiosphere lately. We've been busy updating from ASM Microbe, covering some of the fascinating research presented there. The first Microbe meeting, which combines the former general meeting and ICAAC, was a whirlwind of poster presentations, lectures, seminars, book sig... Read More

More than 2 million people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C

An estimated 2.3 million people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) globally, a new study by the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has found. Read More
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