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Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don't. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires - strengthening, rather than weakening, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they h... Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Seth Bordenstein (Including Current News!)

This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More

It takes a village... to ward off dangerous infections? New microbiome research suggests so

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Like a collection of ragtag villagers fighting off an invading army, the mix of bacteria that live in our guts may band together to keep dangerous infections from taking hold, new research suggests. Read More

New resource makes gene-editing technology even more user friendly

Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new user-friendly resource to accompany the powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9, which has been widely adopted to make precise, targeted changes in DNA. This breakthrough has the potential t... Read More

Ice Nucleation Bacteria, Twitter, and Me!

In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More

New method to treat antibiotic resistant MRSA: Bacteriophages

MRSA is bad news. If you've never heard of it, here's what you need to know: It's pronounced MER-suh, it's a nasty bacterial infection and it can cause serious disease and death. Read More

Vaccination on the horizon for severe viral infection of the brain

Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich reveal possible new treatment methods for a rare, usually fatal brain disease. Thanks to their discovery that specific antibodies play a key role in combating the viral infection, a vaccine against the disease "progress... Read More

Stanford researchers genetically engineer yeast to produce opioids

For thousands of years, people have used yeast to ferment wine, brew beer and leaven bread. Now researchers at Stanford have genetically engineered yeast to make painkilling medicines, a breakthrough that heralds a faster and potentially less expensive way to produce many different types of pla... Read More

Fungus on toilet seat (clearer view)

microbes in the environment: there are about 4 to 5 different colonies of bacteria which is growing in agar plate; sample from library toilet seat. (front view) Read More

Staphylococcus aureus

Scanning electromicrograph of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

GUT TRANSIT TIME CHANGES WITH ‘TRAVELER’S DIET’

To better understand the importance of gut bacteria in human health, researchers measured the time it takes food to move through the gastrointestinal tract, called gut motility, in mice—in a way that mimics the dietary effects of world travel. Read More

Detecting HIV diagnostic antibodies with DNA nanomachines

New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV. An international team of researchers have designed and synthetized a nanometer-scale... Read More

Tiny Ocean Microbes are Brightening Up the Sky

Phytoplankton may be microscopic, but that doesn’t mean we can’t see them. Just look up: These little critters are brightening up cloudy days around the world. Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis

Streak plate of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Stopping Candida in its tracks

Scientists are one step closer to understanding how a normally harmless fungus changes to become a deadly infectious agent. Read More

Prion trials and tribulations: Finding the right tools and experimental models

Prions are fascinating, enigmatic, and might teach us not only about rare prion diseases like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, mad cow disease, or scrapie, but also about other more common neurodgenerative diseases. Two studies published on July 2nd in PLOS Pathogens report progress with novel tools an... Read More

Agar Double Helix

Inspired by the current Agar Art Contest and the gorgeous red of a recently isolated Serratia, I thought I'd try out my first bacteria "sketch." Using Serratia, Citrobacter, and an E. coli on Hektoen Agar I whipped up this goey DNA double helix! Read More

Chickenpox vaccination does increase shingles cases, but mainly in young adults

Vaccinating one-year-olds against chickenpox could temporarily nearly double the incidence of shingles in the wider population, but in younger adults than previously thought. Read More

New understanding of genetic susceptibility to infections by Candida and Mycobacterium

The discovery of bi-allelic mutations in RORC in patients with candidiasis and mycobacteriosis revealed the pivotal role of RORC in mucocutaneous immunity to Candida and in systemic immunity to Mycobacterium in humans. Read More

possible strongyloides

Taking pics of my dog. Recently diagnosed with Strongyloides but no better after treatment.any suggestions? Read More

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