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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

War and peace in the human gut: Probing the microbiome

Human well being often flourishes under conditions of cooperation with others and flounders during periods of external conflict and strife.

According to Athena Aktipis, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, microbes within the body--collectively known as the microbi... Read More

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

BacterioFiles 268 - Sophisticated Cyanobacterium Sight

This episode: Spherical cyanobacterium Synechocystis acts like a tiny eyeball in sensing light, allowing cells to move closer to light sources!


(9.7 MB, 10.6 minutes)


Show notes: synSEM Read More

Georgetown researcher leads effort to decode anti-malarial drug resistance

WASHINGTON (Dec. 16, 2015) -- Even as the global malarial pandemic appears to be on a decline, drug resistant malarial parasites are on the rise, says an infectious disease researcher at Georgetown University Medical Center, who is taking the lead on a multi-institutional effort to investigate t... Read More

Researchers Sequence Genome from 1979 Russian Anthrax Outbreak



Bacillus anthracis had been studied by multiple countries as a potential biological weapon because of the stability of its spores and its ability to cause acute pulmonary disease. While offensive anthrax weapons development programs were halted in the United States and United Kingdom in the ... Read More

Virus Watch: Zika Edition

Virus Watch is a new weekly video series that explores the amazing world of viruses. This week: the latest research on Zika virus, including finding virus in Brazilian monkeys, dengue antibodies helping Zika virus infection, and brain organoids to study how Zika virus causes microcephaly. Read More

Moving beyond metagenomics to find the next pandemic virus

I was asked to write a commentary for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to accompany an article entitled SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence. I’d like to explain why I wrote it and why I spent the last five paragraphs railing against regulating gain-of-function experi... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

TWiM #139: Frackibacter and sticky fingers

The TWiM team discusses microbial DNA found on ATM machines in New York City, and how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, alters microbial ecosystems deep in the Earth.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter, and Michele Swanson.


{audio}This Week in Mi... Read More

Cyclic-di-GMP takes center stage

How does a single-celled organism ‘know’ how to respond to its environmental conditions? Understanding microbial cell signaling is one way to determine how bacteria will react in a particular setting. In the past decade, researchers have revealed a significant role for cyclic-di-GMP in bacterial... Read More

Study offers clearest picture yet of how HIV defeats a cellular defender

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new study offers the first atomic-scale view of an interaction between the HIV capsid - the protein coat that shepherds HIV into the nucleus of human cells - and a host protein known as cyclophilin A. This interaction is key to HIV infection, researchers say. Read More

UNC School of Medicine researchers prove HIV targets tissue macrophages

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Investigators in the Division of Infectious Diseases at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine have clearly demonstrated that HIV infects and reproduces in macrophages, large white blood cells found in the liver, brain and connective tissues of the body. This dis... Read More

Wealth of unsuspected new microbes expands tree of life

Researchers at the University of California, Berkeley, who have discovered more than 1,000 new types of bacteria and Archaea over the past 15 years lurking in Earth's nooks and crannies, have dramatically rejiggered the tree to account for these microscopic new life forms. Read More

Young Inventors Work On Secret Proteins To Thwart Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Three young inventors and students at Stanford University are working to develop proteins that fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are optimistic they have found something that works. The proteins the team is developing attack "something that's essential to bacterial survival". But they wo... Read More

Flu vaccine shows promise for reducing risk of influenza-associated atrial fibrillation

Philadelphia, PA, February 2, 2016 - Influenza is significantly associated with an increased risk of new-onset atrial fibrillation, which could be reduced through influenza vaccination, according to new findings reported HeartRhythm. Read More

TWiM #138: Learning to love uranium and the A-baum

The TWiM team brings you a bacterium from a Colorado field site that grows on uranium, and copper resistance in the emerging pathogen Acinetobacter baumannii.


Hosts: 


Vincent Racaniello, 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

Newly discovered HIV genome modification may put a twist on vaccine and drug design

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have discovered that HIV infection of human immune cells triggers a massive increase in methylation, a chemical modification, to both human and viral RNA, aiding replication of the virus. The study, published February 22, 2016... Read More

Zika Sharing

Of all the scientific results that my laboratory has produced over the years, I am most satisfied by those that maximally benefit the field. In this category falls the assay for determining the titer of Zika virus in plaque forming units per milliliter.

In ‘Counting Zika Virus’ I described o... Read More
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