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Zika from sex, the byway but not the highway

Can Zika virus be sexually transmitted? Perhaps in very rare cases, but the main mode of transmission is certainly via mosquitoes. That’s why I’ve shamelessly stolen a quote on this topic from Dr. William Schaffner of Vanderbilt University: Mosquito transmission is the highway, whereas sexual tr... 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

Why neural stem cells may be vulnerable to Zika infection

Zika's hypothesized attraction to human neural stem cells may come from its ability to hijack a protein found on the surface of these cells, using it as an entryway to infection. In Cell Stem Cell on March 30, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco show that the AXL surface r... 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

National hospital hand-washing campaign effective but expensive

Many hospital patients were protected from a dangerous bug and at least 96 years of life will be saved each year, said Professor Nicholas Graves from QUT's Institute of Health and Biomedical Innovation (IHBI). 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

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

Anti-bacterial fabric holds promise for fighting superbug

Antibiotics have proven to be a valuable weapon in the fight against infectious bacteria. However, due to the excess use of antibiotics in conventional treatments, overtime antibiotics have become less effective. Read More

Ancient clay remedy proves its antibacterial powers in the lab

Near Kisameet Bay on the central coast of British Columbia sits a deposit of clay that covers 5 acres and spans a depth up to 42 feet in places. This vast smear formed 10,000 years ago as glacial melt filled a granite basin and fine minerals silted out.

The ancient clay likely holds secrets t... Read More

Listeria: Hypervirulent strains with cerebral and placental tropism

Researchers from the Institut Pasteur, Inserm, CNRS and Paris Descartes - Sorbonne Paris Cité University recently published a large-scale study in Nature Genetics based on almost 7,000 strains of Listeria monocytogenes -- the bacterium responsible for human listeriosis, a severe foodborne infect... Read More

Impact of climate change on parasite infections depends on host immunity

New research demonstrates how climate change and the immune reaction of the infected individual can affect the long-term and seasonal dynamics of parasite infections. The study, led by Penn State University scientists, assessed the infection dynamics of two species of soil-transmitted parasites ... 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

Using TALEs to turn off any gene in E. coli

UW-Madison researchers engineered TALEs to transcriptionally repress any gene in E. coli. The results, published in Nature Chemical Biology, offer a new way to fine-tune bacterial physiology. Although TALEs have long been used for gene editing or transcriptional activation, this is one of the fi... Read More

TWiM 141 Letters

Tom writes:


For the article letter about microbial batteries, I think CV refers to Capacitance times Voltage, which is stored charge. In electronics, current is abbreviated I not C.


The claim in the letter got me thinking about microbial batteries and I wrote ... 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

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

How Forest Loss Is Leading To a Rise in Human Disease

In Borneo, an island shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, some of the world’s oldest tropical forests are being cut down and replaced with oil palm plantations at a breakneck pace. Wiping forests high in biodiversity off the land for monoculture plantations causes numerous environmental problems, f... Read More

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

The classic and current studies of bacterial endospore morphology

Recently, one of the Journal of Bacteriology Classic Spotlight series highlighted the numerous studies on bacterial spores that have been published in the journal throughout the years. Bacterial endospores, the resilient and relatively quiescent bacterial structures first identified in the 1800s... Read More

TWiV 412: WO, open the borders and rig the infection

The TWiVome reveal the first eukaryotic genes found in a bacteriophage of Wolbachia, and how DNA tumor virus oncogenes antagonize sensing of cytoplasmic DNA by the cell.


Hosts: Vincent Ra... Read More

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