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Zika epidemic highlights need for priority vaccine research for pregnant women

The recent outbreak of Zika virus disease and its link to fetal development highlights the need for pregnant women and those of reproductive age to be a priority group for developing and evaluating new vaccines and vaccine guidelines for Zika and other emerging infectious diseases, say the autho... Read More

Cellphone-sized device quickly detects the Ebola virus

The worst of the recent Ebola epidemic is over, but the threat of future outbreaks lingers. Monitoring the virus requires laboratories with trained personnel, which limits how rapidly tests can be done. Now scientists report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry a handheld instrument that detects... Read More

State laws boost flu vaccination rates in health care workers

PITTSBURGH, March 2, 2016 - State laws mandating influenza immunization for people who work in health care increase their vaccination rates, according to new research led by the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. Read More

Time for the #LuxArt2016 Voting!

I enjoy having my microbiology students explore their creativity in interesting ways. One approach is to have my micronauts "paint" on Petri dishes using luminous bacteria. In the past, I have inviting people to "vote" on their favorites, and hand out microbiologically themed gifts. This has ... Read More

Maternal high-fat diet during pregnancy can affect baby's gut microbes

A new study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that, "babies born to mothers who consumed a high-fat diet during pregnancy had a gut microbiome that was distinctly different from the one in babies of mothers on a non-high-fat diet".
Noteably, researchers found that, "the micro... Read More

UGA ecologist finds another cause of antibiotic resistance

Aiken, S.C. - While the rapid emergence of antibiotic-resistant bacteria has prompted the medical community, non-profit organizations, public health officials and the national media to educate the public to the dangers of misusing and overusing antibiotics, the University of Georgia's J. Vaun Mc... Read More

Genomic sequencing reveals link between STIs and leading cause of infectious blindness

For the first time, genome sequencing has been carried out on Chlamydia trachomatis (C. trachomatis), a bacteria responsible for the disease Trachoma - the world's leading infectious cause of blindness, according to a study in Nature Communications. Read More

Tick genome reveals secrets of a successful bloodsucker

With tenacity befitting their subject, an international team of nearly 100 researchers toiled for a decade and overcame tough technical challenges to decipher the genome of the blacklegged tick (Ixodes scapularis). Read More

MERS research yields surprising finding

In 2015, an unexpectedly large outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea had a disastrous impact on the whole country and highlighted scientists limited knowledge of this virus. Now, new research into this outbreak has revealed some very surprising findin... Read More

Chickenpox, shingles vaccine may cause corneal inflammation in some patients

COLUMBIA, Mo. (Jan. 20, 2016) -- In use for more than 20 years, the varicella zoster virus vaccine for chickenpox and shingles is considered an essential medicine by the World Health Organization (WHO). However, researchers from the University of Missouri School of Medicine have found, in rare i... Read More

Microbe-rich environment associated with lower rates of asthma

A new cross-sectional study comparing the asthma and environmental profiles of children aged 7-14 years, from Amish households in Indiana, and Hutterite households in South Dakota found that:
1. Dust extracts from Amish households were found to have higher concentrations of endotoxins and alle... Read More

Boston subway system covered in microbes, but they're not harmful

As part of its Microbiology of the Built Environment initiative, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation started funding projects a few years ago that touched on the interaction of microbiology with architecture, buildings or, in the case of Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, an associate professor of computationa... Read More

Demystifying secondary bacterial pneumonia

In some individuals, an influenza A virus infection can cause asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to travel to the lungs where it can trigger severe, sometimes deadly, secondary pneumonia. S. aureus is one of the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia in cases of seasonal... Read More

Defining the rate-limiting processes of bacterial cytokinesis

This paper addresses some fundamental unanswered questions in microbiology: is the cytoskeletal cell division ring a major driving force for bacterial cytokinesis as it is for eukaryotes? If so, what is the mechanism? If not, what process is the major driving force? Read More

Fighting Zika with Functional Fashion

Function is often thought of as the tradeoff for high fashion, but who says you can’t have both? Fawn Jordan, 2016-2017 DC Fashion Incubator Designer in Residence, is seeking to unite the two to help protect women against potentially Zika-transmitting mosquitoes. Her recent collection combines t... Read More

Reducing infectious malaria parasites in donated blood could help prevent transmission

A technique for reducing the number of infectious malaria parasites in whole blood could significantly reduce the number of cases of transmission of malaria through blood transfusion, according to a collaboration between researchers in Cambridge, UK, and Kumasi, Ghana. Read More

April Showers Bring May Flowers - But Microbes Keep them Growing

Just as humans have a complex relationship with microorganisms, some make us sick while others aid our health, plants too coexist with a mixture of mostly helpful but sometimes harmful microbes.

While geosmin may overwhelm our noses, plants are able to detect a number of compounds produced b... Read More

Colonies in isaw (grilled chicken intestine)

One of our class experiments include the analysis of grilled chicken intestine (isaw) under potato dextrose agar. Isaw is one of the most famous streetfood in the Philippines. And by popularity, it is also a sanctuary for yeasts and molds. The photo shows how these microorganisms formed beautifu... Read More

Microbial responses to land management practices

Microbial communities are essential drivers of soil functional processes such as nitrification and heterotrophic respiration. Although there is initial evidence revealing the importance of soil type in shaping microbial communities, there has been no in-depth, comprehensive survey to robustly es... Read More

A Microbial Ocean Feast: Who Ate What?

Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More
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