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Public health concern as data reveals high prevalence of hepatitis B among refugees in Germany

April 16, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: A new study presented today demonstrates the potential challenge posed to public health systems across Europe as a result of the prevalence of Hepatitis B among new refugee populations. The study was presented at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelo... Read More

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

MMP #17: How bacteria can change graphene to propel rotors.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Julia Yeomans and Vikas Berry.


Julia Yeomans of Oxford University in the United Kingdom and chemical engineer
Vikas Berry of the University of Illinois, Chicago, talk with Jeff Fox about their separate, but in some ways similar, research effor... Read More

Getting closer to understanding Zika virus, one genome at a time

Several papers published in Genome Announcements recently describe the sequences of new Zika virus isolates. Scientists have known the genomic sequence of at least one Zika virus isolate since 2007, but continue to publish newly isolated strains. What is the importance of these additional sequen... Read More

Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More

You don't win friends with (precut) salad

Given that the holidays are right around the corner, many of us will be trying to eat healthy outside of celebratory meals, and that includes turning to salad as a healthy meal option. Salads do provide fresh nutrients, but new research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggests pre-cut ... Read More

Lung ultrasound may be a safe substitute for chest X-ray when diagnosing pneumonia in children

Lung ultrasound has been shown to be highly effective and safe for diagnosing pneumonia in children and a potential substitute for chest X-ray, according to a study conducted at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Results are currently published in the medical journal Chest. Read More

Moving to Zika Virus

I have worked on polio virus in my laboratory at Columbia University for 35 years. When that virus is eradicated--perhaps in the next few years--we will have to destroy all of our virus stocks. When that happens, I can either go home, or find another virus.

When Zika virus stepped into the w... Read More

Antibiotic stewardship - a community effort

As we highlighted in our previous blog, antibiotic stewardship – the careful use of appropriate antibiotic administration – can have positive effects. A small change from a difference in clinical lab reporting led to less drug use, which led to fewer drug-resistant infections. When we think of a... Read More

A superbug resistant to every available antibiotic in the U.S. kills Nevada woman

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on.

Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that ha... Read More

Antimicrobial in Common Toothpaste Doesn't Impact Gut, Oral Microbiome

Washington, DC - May 18, 2016 - Personal hygiene products such as soaps and toothpastes that contain the antibiotic triclosan do not have a major influence on microbial communities or endocrine function, according to a small, randomized trial. The study findings were published online May 18th in... Read More

BacterioFiles 284 - Remedies Reduce Recipient Rejection

This episode: Modifying mice's microbial communities increased mouse survival before a transplantation was rejected by their immune system!


(9.6 MB, 10.5 minutes)


Show notes: 


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Environmental disturbances decrease the variability of microbial populations

A central pursuit of microbial ecology is to accurately model changes in microbial community composition in response to environmental factors. This goal requires a thorough understanding of the drivers of variability in microbial populations. However, most microbial ecology studies focus on the ... Read More

TWiV 429: Zika Experimental Science Team

Vincent meets with members of team ZEST at the University of Wisconsin Madison to discuss their macaque model for Zika virus pathogenesis.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Antiviral therapy prolongs survival in immune tolerant hepatitis B patients

April 15, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: A new study, presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona Spain, demonstrates that the use of antiviral therapy for patients in the immune tolerant phase of Hepatitis B (HBV) prolongs overall survival and reduces the risk of the most co... Read More

BacterioFiles 274 - Proteobacteria Purify Piscine Pee

This episode: Bacteria in the gills of fish help break down their metabolic wastes before they reach toxic levels!


(7.4 MB, 8.1 minutes)


Show notes: 


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Thermos device quickly detects Zika for only $2

Engineers have developed a rapid, low-cost genetic test for Zika. The $2 device, about the size of a soda can, doesn’t require electricity or technical expertise and only needs a bit of saliva. Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

Targeting the gut microbiome to fight heart disease

Is the way to treat heart disease through a person's stomach? According to a new study, the answer is yes. Researchers have found that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause ... Read More

Bacteria in Smokeless Tobacco Products May be a Health Concern

Washington, DC - August 26, 2016 - Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 25 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Read More
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