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Stilton Cheese, Alexis de Toqueville, and turning ASM into the Tesla of Scientific Societies

“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More

RESURRECTED DRUG MAY OFFER A WAY TO FIGHT ZIKA, EBOLA

Viruses have proven to be wily foes. Attempts to fend off viruses that cause the common cold or flu have failed, and new viral outbreaks such as dengue, Ebola, or Zika continue to elude drugs.

Given these challenges, scientists are tackling the problem from a different angle. The want to boos... 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

One Page "Nanobiographies" of #MicrobialTermPapers!

I had my #Bio350 micronauts write one page "Nanobiographies" of their #MicrobialTermPapers. I'm very pleased. Read More

Study: Cities have Individual Microbial Signatures

Washington, DC – April 19, 2016 – Cities have their own distinct microbial communities but these communities don’t vary much between offices located in the same city, according to a new study. The work, published this week in mSystems, an open access journal from the American Society for Microbi... Read More

Induction of Acinetobacter baumannii natural competence

Bacteria acquire and spread genetic information through several means. Some bacteria form a long, thin tube called a pilus, mediating transfer of DNA by direct cell-to-cell contact, in a process known as conjugation. Some bacterial take up environmental DNA and incorporate it into their existing... Read More

A virus-like particle vaccine against RSV is safe and effective in mice

Pneumonia remains a serious worldwide problem, especially among the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Over 900,000 children die each year due to the disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b bein... Read More

SUBMIT MICROBE ABSTRACTS NOW: ONE IN FIVE ACCEPTED WILL BE ORAL PRESENTATION

The call for abstracts is now open for Microbe 2017, the premier microbiology conference hosted by the American Society for Microbiology. This is your opportunity to submit your important research in the microbial sciences to the largest scientific audience, with a 50% higher chance of presentin... Read More

TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.


Hosts:  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

Researcher pioneers bacterial infection treatment using novel target: Vesicles

Bacterial infection takes hold in the body when a pathogenic microorganism delivers toxins to healthy cells. One way bacteria accomplish this is by releasing vesicles, which act as tiny envelopes transporting toxins and other virulence factors to host cells. These toxins allow the bacteria to "m... Read More

BacterioFiles 278 - Fungal Family Friends and Foes

This episode: Some fungi change from making plants sick to being helpful to plants! How do plants react to them?


(8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)


Show notes: 


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How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

Zika virus shrinks and destroys testicles in mice

Most of the research to understand the effects of Zika infections has focused on pregnant women and birth defects. But new study in mice that focuses on the male reproductive system raises serious concerns about its effects on men.

Three weeks after male mice were infected with Zika, their te... Read More

Microbial Conversations: A free ASM public science event @ the MIT Museum THIS SATURDAY, June 18!

Whether you're in town for ASM Microbe 2016 and looking for something to do with friends or family, or you're local to the Boston-area, come out to our "Microbial Conversations" public science event at the MIT Museum! Join us for short, sharp conversations about a variety of topics in microbiolo... Read More

A Microbial Death Star

Star Wars – an epic story of war between the forces of good and evil in a galaxy far, far away. The Death Star – the ultimate weapon of destruction. The story is science fiction, but it could be considered an analogy for the constant battle between our immune system and microbial pathogens. Beli... Read More

Your viruses could reveal your travel history, and more

The genomes of two distinct strains of the virus that causes the common lip cold sore, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), have been identified within an individual person -- an achievement that could be useful to forensic scientists for tracing a person's history. The research also opens the d... Read More

Deep sea microbes may be key to oceans’ climate change feedback

Microbes are hardly the poster-children of climate change, but they have far more impact than polar bears on Earth’s carbon cycle – and therefore on our climate. A new study published Friday in Science Advances finds that seabed bacteria and archaea (which look like bacteria but have very differ... Read More

UNC scientists named to European Union-funded global Zika research consortium

Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, and Stefan Metz, PhD, a post-doc in de Silva's lab, make up one of only two U.S. teams to be named to the European Union-funded worldwide initiative. Sponsored by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme, the consortium is inve... 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
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