Breast milk provides an inexpensive, nutrient-filled source of food for babies. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO recommend new mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies for the first six months of life, and continue up to two years (supplemented with other fo... Read More
Host: Vincent Racaniello
Guest: Michele Banks
Vincent meets up with Michele Banks in Wash... Read More
Drug-resistant infections are becoming one of the scariest epidemics since the advent of antibiotic discovery. Although microbes like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa are responsible for... Read More
Today I learned that a number of investigators refuse to share their samples of Zika virus with other laboratories.
There are countless stories about scientists not sharing reagents because they want to be the first to make a discovery. This behavior allows them to publish first, secure more ... Read More
The Namib Desert is different than other deserts: it has an unusual geographic feature that differentiates it from most others. This desert (map, right) is where you can find ‘fairy circles,’ or circular areas absent of growth in an already plant-scarce environment. These deadened circles are su... Read More
An important and sometimes overlooked issue of infrastructure is food security. American agriculture and related industries represent $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars and 17% of U.S. jobs. These workers provide the meat, eggs, dairy, and produce that many take for granted will end up on grocery shelve... Read More
Fecal transplants are increasingly being used for refractory Clostridium difficile and other gastrointestinal disorders. While fecal donors are screened for various infectious diseases, it is unclear whether viruses can in fact be transmitted during fecal transplants. Now a new study shows that ... Read More
If you have always wanted to know what coral reefs and the human oral cavity have in common, listen as guests David Pride and Forest Rohwer talk about their work on the microbiomes and viromes of these two environments, and you'll also understand why mucus is cool.
Hosts: Read More
It’s hard to turn on the news at the moment and not hear about the latest emerging disease, Zika. The filovirus joins a cadre of infectious diseases spread by arthropod vectors – meaning the disease is passed between infected individuals via insect bites. A long list of microbes are spread this ... Read More
Many emerging viruses (such as SARS-CoV, Ebola virus, and the Henipavirus genus) are thought to have zoonotic reservoirs in the regional bat populations. Bats offer a threat to spreading these viruses because their flight capacity makes them readily mobile. Also, there are a whole lot of them: w... Read More
Four virologists discuss our current understanding of Zika virus biology, pathogenesis, transmission, and prevention, in this special live episode recorded at the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, DC.
Host: Read More
Like us, bacteria have their own microbial attackers, in the form of bacteria-specific viruses called bacteriophage, or phage. These phage come in a variety of flavors but can be broadly categorized into virulent, which immediately begin to replicate and lyse (burst) the infected cell quickly, a... Read More
Dear TWIM Team,
First of all, thanks for the supremely informative and entertaining podcast. As a biologist who stumbled into my passion for microbiology almost by accident (as a student, I began my research as a herpetologist and was converted wh... Read More
We’ve had a whirlwind of amazing talks, poster sessions, and networking sessions so far at ASM Microbe 2016. In our previous two Dispatches from ASM Microbe, we’ve covered microbiomes, for which research ranges from extremely basic (Which microbes are present? How do we quantify them?) to clinic... Read More
Nels and Vincent launch a new podcast on evolution, This Week in Evolution (TWiEVO) and start by discussing how the field has changed through recent mergers of evolutionary and experimental biology in the post-genome era. Read More
Today it is well known that viruses may contain DNA (poxvirus, mimivirus) or RNA (influenza virus, Zika virus), but for many years it was thought that genomes were only made of DNA. The surprise at finding only RNA in a virus is plainly evident in a 1953 letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor to J... Read More
This episode: Viruses can cause host cells to inhibit other viruses!
(8 MB, 8.75 minutes)
Data from several clinical studies in Brazil establish a strong link between infection of pregnant women with Zika virus and a variety of birth defects collectively called congenital Zika syndrome.
In the latest study conducted in Rio de Janeiro, the authors enrolled 88 pregnant women who had... Read More
A eukaryote without a mitochondrion, and using a phage enzyme to eliminate intracellular bacteria are two topics discussed by the TWiMers on this episode.
Image (right): An entry in the ASM Agar Art Contest which bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the TWiM hosts.
Host... Read More