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Unusual mortality pattern of 1918 influenza A virus

The 1918 influenza pandemic was particularly lethal, not only for the very young and the very old (as observed for typical influenza), but unexpectedly also for young adults, 20 to 40 years of age (pictured). It has been suggested that the increased lethality in young adults occurred because the... Read More

TWiM #77: Zombie plants and no pain, no gain

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloElio SchaechterMichael Schmidt and Read More

TWiM 77 Letters


Francois writes:


Hello Twim team,


After reading the Pasteur lecture.
It seems that the idea of using the Pseudomonas aer, "coal & septicemia" came from a demonstration that the "bactericidie" in the blood from animal with anthrax ("sang charbonne... Read More

The bacteria that chat back and tell you how they are

Do you speak bacteria? The first conversations with microbes are already under way. Manuel Porcar at the University of Valencia in Spain and his colleagues are developing a way for bacteria and humans to talk to each other, by converting light waves into speech. So far the bacteria have told the... Read More

New Virus Related To Smallpox Is Found In Republic Of Georgia

Two herdsmen in the country of Georgia have been infected with a brand-new virus, scientists from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Thursday. The newly identified virus is a second cousin to smallpox. And, like smallpox, it causes painful blisters on the hands and arms‎. Other ... Read More

How Weak Immune Systems Escort a Deadly Fungus Into the Brain

A pervasive fungus, passed along by pigeon droppings, can kill HIV patients by using a Trojan Horse strategy to invade their brains. Pigeon droppings and vulnerable immune systems can be a deadly combination. Fortunately, scientists are starting to figure out how different strains of a yeast tha... Read More

Infectious diseases: Smallpox watch

In 2011, while construction workers were digging a foundation at a site in Queens, New York, their equipment struck against something metal. Then a body rolled out of the rubble. Thinking that they might have unearthed the shallow grave of a murder victim, the workers immediately called the New ... Read More

WHO warns against 'post-antibiotic' era

The 'post-antibiotic' era is near, according to a report released today by the World Health Organization (WHO). The decreasing effectiveness of antibiotics and other antimicrobial agents is a global problem, and a surveillance system should be established to monitor it, the group says. There is ... Read More

Scientists Convert Bacteria from Free-living to Nitrogen Fixing

If you pull up a soybean or bean plant and shake off the dirt, you might see odd swellings or bumps, like rheumatic finger joints, on its roots. Inside the cool, soil-covered bumps are bacteria that are making nitrogen with the help of an enzyme, something chemical factories can do only with the... Read More

Probiotics vs Antibiotics? You're asking the wrong question.

'The question of whether someone should be taking a probiotic or an antibiotic is one I hear fairly frequently. The answer, in short, is that this isn't a question of either / or! At this stage in time, with this level of research on probiotics, it is not right to suggest one stops taking their... Read More

JMBE Profiles - Samantha Elliott - Editor-In-Chief

JMBE Profiles with Kari Wester is an interview series that highlights the volunteers that comprise the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) Editorial Board, the authors who contribute their work, and the education innovations that bring them together.

In this first episode of th... Read More

MERS mystery: Virus found in camels

(CNN) -- Evidence is mounting against camels as leading suspects in a deadly mystery that's claimed more than 100 lives in the Middle East. The biological supervillain is the virus causing MERS-coV, short for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome, a type of coronavirus. Since the first documented cas... Read More

NIH Scientists Establish Monkey Model of Hantavirus Disease

National Institutes of Health (NIH) researchers have developed an animal model of human hantavirus pulmonary syndrome (HPS) in rhesus macaques, an advance that may lead to treatments, vaccines and improved methods of diagnosing the disease. The study, conducted by researchers at NIH’s National I... Read More

US biodefence facilities ramp up

The future of the US government’s biodefence strategy sits in a warehouse in rural Texas. A dozen gleaming-white trailers, each about the length of a bus, hold equipment for producing millions of doses of medical countermeasures against some of the world’s deadliest threats. These mobile clean r... Read More

Got Gas? It Could Mean You've Got Healthy Gut Microbes

We know that air often comes after eating nutrient-packed vegetables, such as cabbage, kale and broccoli. And researchers have found that fiber-rich foods, like beans and lentils, boost the levels of beneficial gut bacteria after only a few days, as we reported in December. So all this got us wo... Read More

DNase Agar

DNase agar can be used to differentiate between potentially pathogenic S. aureus and other Staphlococcus by looking for the presense of the exoenzyeme DNase. After growth for 24-48 hrs 1N HCL is added to the agar plate. Addition of HCL precipitates DNA in the media causing cloudiness unless t... Read More

Mystery of 1918 Pandemic Flu Virus Solved by UA Researchers

University of Arizona researcher Michael Worobey and his team have discovered that the key to understanding influenza pandemics may lie in flu exposure during childhood.

Just as the world was recovering from the devastation of World War I, another killer swept across the globe. A deadly flu v... Read More

Frog-Killing Fungus Meets Its Match in Hidden World of Tiny Predators

As I reported in a feature story in Scientific American last December , some fungi have been behaving badly of late, attacking bats, plants, amphibians, reptiles, and people with gusto, driving many species to extinction and others to the brink. It’s all quite depressing. But today in Scientific... Read More

The bacteriophages of tuberculosis

I’ve written previously about bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, and I studied them for my first lab project. So I was pretty excited by a lovely little pearl in PLoS Pathogens last month discussing mycobacteriophages; the viruses that specifically attack mycobacteria. Mycobacteri... Read More

'Lonely' bacteria increase risk of antibiotic resistance

Scientists from The University of Manchester have discovered that 'lonely' microbes are more likely to mutate, resulting in higher rates of antibiotic resistance.

The study, published today in Nature Communications and jointly funded by The Wellcome Trust and Engineering and Physical Sciences... Read More

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