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Unknown environmental Contaminant on blood agar plate streaked with S. pyogenes

A streak plate of Strep pyogenes on blood agar, stock culture used for class, was kept at room temp for 1 month. Before disposal a contaminant, presumably environmental, was seen on the plate. The pigment was opaque tan/yellow and with a mucoid surface. Lobate marigins with raised irregular-rh... Read More


The days when antibiotics worked reliably and scientists could assume they worked directly—like popping a balloon—are fading. As resistance mounts, understanding how antibiotics really work could be the key to sustaining their efficacy. Read More

Felinine Plays a Role in the Chasing and Fighting between Cats and Mice

A recent study found that mice may be controlled to be brave in the fight with their biggest enemy cats after smelling a chemical emitted by them and existed in their urine. Read More

BacterioFiles 237 - Proving Protist Predation Parentage

This episode: Vampirovibrio chlorellavorus, a predatory bacterium that feeds on Chlorella algae, is currently lost from science, but its genome has been sequenced and interpreted anyway, to reveal a surprising family history!

(9.4 MB, 10.25 minutes)

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Liver damage in hepatitis C patients significantly underestimated, says Henry Ford study

DETROIT - The number of hepatitis C patients suffering from advanced liver damage may be grossly underestimated and underdiagnosed, according to a study led by researchers at Henry Ford Health System and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Read More

Cystic Fibrosis Microorganisms Survive on Little to No Oxygen

Washington, DC – July 28, 2015 – Microbes contributing to cystic fibrosis (CF) are able to survive in saliva and mucus that is chemically heterogeneous, including significant portions that are largely devoid of oxygen, according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access jou... Read More

Hey Yogurt-Maker, Where'd You Get Those Microbes?

This week is Yogurt Week on NPR it seems with a collection of stories about the microbes involved in yogurt manufacturing.

"Yogurt is a truly living food. The bacteria that transform milk into this thick and sour food also provide a sense of mystique.

For Atanas Valev, they carry the tas... Read More

Honoring the Memory of Another

The late Edward Leadbetter had a huge impact on my life as an academic, and a microbiologist. In this post, I try to give some appreciation to what he meant to me. Read More

Bacteria in ancient flea may be ancestor of the Black Death

CORVALLIS, Ore. - About 20 million years ago a single flea became entombed in amber with tiny bacteria attached to it, providing what researchers believe may be the oldest evidence on Earth of a dreaded and historic killer - an ancient strain of the bubonic plague. Read More

Sendai virus defends against a threat

A research group at Hiroshima University demonstrated the mechanism by which the Sendai virus (SeV) escapes the host immune system. The researchers examined the crystal structure of the complex of SeV C protein and transcription factor STAT1, and found that SeV C protein inhibits the signal tran... Read More

Intestinal worms 'talk' to gut bacteria to boost immune system

EPFL researchers have discovered how intestinal worm infections cross-talk with gut bacteria to help the immune system. Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Prion contamination in the emergency room

Here is a follow-up to last week’s article that described a case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in a Texas resident caused by ingestion of BSE-contaminated beef 14 years ago.

A 59 year old male patient was admitted to the trauma unit in Lancaster, PA with a self-inflicted gunshot wound ... Read More

Cells in Senescence State May Help Slow down Aging and Cancer Treatment

BOC Sciences-Senescence means a state where cells stop further development in their function but clean themselves and remove the extra substance. Scientists found that when cells go into this stage, the growth rate of tumor would slow down, which is true of aging. The finding was made on the lev... Read More

New Diversity for Lager Beers

Washington, DC – September 25, 2015 - Unlike ales, lager beers differ little in flavor. But now, by creating new crosses among the relevant yeasts, Kevin Verstrepen, PhD, Stijn Mertens, and their collaborators have opened up new horizons of taste. The research is published in the September 25 Ap... Read More

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the fo... Read More

Following Maternal Transmission, Group B Strep Mutates to Sicken Infants

Washington, DC - August 18, 2015 - Group B streptococcus, a mostly benign inhabitant of healthy adults, is one of the world’s leading causes of neonatal sepsis and meningitis. A team of French investigators has now shown that such cases might occur when the microbe mutates within the infant foll... Read More

TWiV 361: Zombie viruses on the loose

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

The next anti-tuberculosis drug may already be in your local pharmacy

Testing thousands of approved drugs, EPFL scientists have identified an unlikely anti-tuberculosis drug: the over-the-counter antacid lansoprazole (Prevacid®). Read More
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