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Neanderthal Viruses Found in Modern Humans

Ancient viruses from Neanderthals have been found in modern human DNA by researchers at Oxford University and Plymouth University.

The researchers compared genetic data from fossils of Neanderthals and another group of ancient human ancestors called Denisovans to data from modern-day cancer p... Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.

In this study we attemp... Read More

BacterioFiles 179 - Functionless Phages Feel Fatiguing

 This episode: Defective phages in bacterial genomes can still have burdensome effects! Why do the bacteria keep them around?


(10.4 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
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Scientists find oldest life form ever discovered - bacteria that smell like rotten eggs

Scientists have discovered what they believe to be the oldest complete example of life on earth - but the ancient creature would have smelled strongly of rotten eggs.

The remains were discovered by American scientists from Old Dominion University, in a lump of Sandstone in Western Australia.
... Read More

Giant virus revived from deep freeze in Siberian tundra

A 30,000-year-old giant virus has been revived from the frozen Siberian tundra, sparking concern that increased mining and oil drilling in rapidly warming northern latitudes could disturb dormant microbial life that could one day prove harmful to man.

The latest find, described online Monday ... Read More

Japan tests in Chile bacteria-based method to revive depleted copper mines

A Japanese government-backed firm has begun testing a new technology to extract copper by using sulphuric acid mixed with multiple species of bacteria at a mine in Northern Chile.

Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corp., known as JOGMEC, will conduct a two-year large-scale experiment to exam... Read More

H5N1 bird flu death confirmed in Alberta, 1st in North America

Alberta health officials have confirmed an isolated, fatal case of H5N1 or avian influenza, federal Health Minister Rona Ambrose said Wednesday.

But officials repeatedly emphasized that there is no risk of transmission between humans.

The infected person, an Alberta resident who recently ... Read More

Vapor "Nanobubbles" Detect Malaria Through Skin

A noninvasive technology can accurately detect even low levels of malaria infection through the skin in seconds with a laser scanner that requires no dyes, diagnostic chemicals, or needles.

As reported in a preclinical study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sc... Read More

Model Organism gone wild

Some wild clones of social amoebas farm the bacteria they eat, but this is a losing strategy if nonfarming amoebas can steal the farmers’ crops. To make the strategy work, the farmers also carry bacteria that secrete chemicals that poison free riders. The work suggest farming is complex evolutio... Read More

The Fungus That Killed Darwin’s Frog

In his second expedition to South America, Darwin discovered many new species of animals and plants. The field observations obtained throughout this 5-year expedition provided the intellectual framework for the maturation of his ideas on evolution. It also introduced the world to a tiny (2-3 cm ... Read More

New vaccine from University of Iowa protects against lethal pneumonia caused by staph bacteria

University of Iowa researchers have developed a new vaccine that protects against lethal pneumonia caused by Staphylococcus aureus (staph) bacteria, including drug-resistant strains like MRSA.

The research team was led by Patrick Schlievert, professor and chair of microbiology in the UI Carve... Read More

Successful Test in Humans of Nasal Vaccine Against Pertussis

The CHILD-INNOVAC European research programme, coordinated by Inserm, has enabled the development of an innovative vaccine that can be administered intranasally, to combat pertussis, which has shown a resurgence in developed countries in recent years. The research consortium, headed by Camille L... Read More

Ebola Virus: A Grim, African Reality

There’s nothing like an outbreak of Ebola virus disease to bring a small, struggling African nation to international notice. One week we couldn’t place it on a map; the next week, after Ebola virus disease strikes, we know the body count and the name of the capital and whether its airport has cl... Read More

Molecule Plays Important Role in Triggering Immune Response

The nucleoside adenosine—a tiny chemical structure made up of a simple base linked to a sugar—is critical for the regulation of bodily functions ranging from blood flow to tissue repair to sleep. Now, researchers at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School show that adenosine is essential in promoti... Read More

Fouchier vs the Dutch government on influenza H5N1 research

Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More

Study Shows Moms May Pass Effects of Stress to Offspring Via Vaginal Bacteria and Placenta

Pregnant women may transmit the damaging effects of stress to their unborn child by way of the bacteria in their vagina and through the placenta, suggest new findings from two animal studies presented by researchers at the University of Pennsylvania at Neuroscience 2013, the annual meeting of th... Read More

Advocating Pill, U.S. Signals Shift to Prevent AIDS

Federal health officials recommended Wednesday that hundreds of thousands of Americans at risk for AIDS take a daily pill that has been shown to prevent infection with the virus that causes it.

If broadly followed, the advice could transform AIDS prevention in the United States — from relianc... Read More

TWiV 295: A nonslip grippe and Lassa's LAMP

The TWiVome discusses an miRNA based strategy to mitigate risk of gain of function studies, and identification of a second receptor required for Lassa virus entry.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello,&n... Read More

Marine bacteria to fight tough infections

Aggressive infections are a growing health problem all over the world. The development of resistant bacteria is rampant and, in the United States, resistant staphylococci cause more deaths than AIDS on an annual basis. Researchers from the University of Copenhagen are studying a new form of trea... Read More

Germs and bacteria beautified in Invisible Portraits

Through high-tech images of microbial life, the Beaty Biodiversity Museum will gross you out and make you want to wash your hands.

Nevertheless, the museum’s current art exhibition, entitled Invisible Portraits, will entice you regardless of whether you are in Science or Arts. The exhibit dis... Read More

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