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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Potential pathway for emergence of zoonotic malaria identified

Boston, MA - The parasite responsible for a form of malaria now spreading from macaques to humans in South Asia could evolve to infect humans more efficiently, a step towards enhanced transmission between humans, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The resear... Read More

The Zika Effect

Having worked on viruses for over 40 years, I know a fair number of people in the field, and I am amazed at how many of them have started to work on Zika virus. What exactly is attracting virologists to this emerging virus?

There are probably many reasons why Zika virus would be of interest t... Read More

New study finds that vaccinating mothers against flu can protect newborns

Each year, influenza causes between 250,000 and half a million deaths around the world. Pregnant women and young infants have a higher risk of complications related to influenza; these complications can easily lead to death. The problem is particularly severe in the developing world, where acces... Read More

New Model Sheds Light on Secondary Bacterial Pneumonia

Washington, DC – August 9, 2016 – For years, researchers have known that the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) can trigger severe, sometimes deadly secondary bacterial pneumonia, in some people who are subsequently infected with influenza A virus, but scientists have not known exactly h... Read More

High protein diet could reduce obesity in dogs

“There are many gut microbiome studies on humans and rodents, but not a whole lot on dogs, in particular,” says Johnny Li, a computational biologist at the Nestle Purina PetCare Company, in St. Louis. He recently led a study on the connection between diet and intestinal bacteria on 64 dogs — 32 ... Read More

Vaccinations are more effective when administered in the morning

New research from the University of Birmingham has shown that flu vaccinations are more effective when administered in the morning. Read More

Regular dental visits may help prevent pneumonia, study shows

That twice-yearly trip to the dentist could do more than keep teeth and gums healthy: It may decrease the risk of pneumonia by reducing bacteria in the mouth, suggests research being presented at IDWeek 2016™.

Bacteria that commonly cause pneumonia include streptococcus, haemophilus, staphylo... Read More

New tools to detect new virus

In fall 2015, a new human hepegivirus (HHpgV-1) was identified by using a novel, high throughput sequencing technique. Concerns were raised that this virus was found in blood to be used for transfusions, potentially passing on the infection. But without tools to test for its presence, there was ... Read More

Tuberculosis virulence factor identified, may be target for new drug

Scientists have discovered the mechanism that hijacks the immune system's response to tuberculosis, revealing an important new drug target for the disease that kills more than 1 million people each year.

Herman Sintim, Purdue University's Drug Discovery Professor of Chemistry, collaborated wi... Read More

An Earth Day Shout-out to Microbes

So another Earth Day has come and gone. How did you spend yours? If you spent the entire day asleep, you used about half a kilogram of oxygen. Since I assume that you are alive and kicking, you probably consumed more oxygen than that. If you went about your normal business during the day, you pr... Read More

Small and extremely resilient—the secrets of black fungi

Highly resistant to stresses, black fungi are real champions among microorganisms. With the support of the Austrian Science Fund FWF, a research team in Vienna discovered that the fungi owe their qualities to hitherto unknown proteins and special processes at cellular level.

They are true sur... Read More

Parasites help brine shrimp cope with arsenic habitat contamination

Artemia (the scientific name of the small crustacean that is also commonly known as 'sea monkey') is famous for being able to live in extreme environments and has become a model organism used to test the toxicity of chemicals in water. In addition, Artemia can produce dormant eggs, known as cyst... Read More

BacterioFiles 271 - Dictyostelium Delivers DNA Deathtraps

This episode: Slime molds have special cells that capture and kill bacteria using traps made of DNA!


(11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)


Show notes: 



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Should You Map Your Microbiome?

Biologists are beginning to understand how the trillions of microbes in and on our bodies shape our health. But differences between any two people’s microbial populations are enormous. Most people share around 99 percent of their DNA with the person next to them, but they have a significantly sm... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

Smart Microscope Adapts to Changes in Live Specimens

Recent advances in imaging technology have provided unprecedented views of biological events as they unfold in living organisms. Researchers routinely create movies of processes such as cells dividing and differentiating into the neurons, muscle, and skin in a Petri dish or in tiny embryos, such... Read More

Global E. coli Testing Market to be Worth US$2.1 bn by 2022, Driven by Rising Demand for Enzyme Substrate Kits

Escherichia coli (E.coli) is a Gram negative rod-shaped bacteria commonly found in intestines of warm blooded animals. Majority of the E.coli strains are harmless, however certain strains are known to cause serious medical complications.The rising number of supportive initiatives from government... 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)


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How lack of oxygen makes bacteria cause acne and how to stop it

It’s like Jekyll and Hyde. One moment bacteria on the skin are harmless, the next they are causing a full-on spotty break out. Now researchers have discovered exactly why this happens – a breakthrough that could yield new acne treatments, possibly in two years.

Richard Gallo of the University... Read More

ASM hosts Wikipedia Edit-a-thon as part of the Year of Science

“Wikipedia is the first place people go for information about science – and everything else,” says John Tracey, Research Assistant in Education & Outreach at the Simons Foundation. The Simons Foundation has teamed up with Google to sponsor the Wikipedia Year of Science 2016, an initiative to inc... Read More
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