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Virus Watch: Building Zika Virus

In this new video episode of Virus Watch, you'll see how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it binds to an antibody that blocks infection. All in gorgeous three dimensional views provided by recent structure studies. Read More

Diagnostic guidelines for bloodstream infections aim to shorten time to accurate therapy

One of the most dangerous places for an infection to occur is in the bloodstream. Septicemia, when microbes are present in the blood, not only allows bacteria access to other internal organs through the highway of our circulatory system, but also can cause a massive inflammatory response, leadin... Read More

Rubella virus and birth defects

Amidst the fear surrounding Zika virus, remember that there are over 100,000 children born each year with birth defects caused by infection with rubella virus.

Rubella virus is a member of the Togaviridae family, which also includes chikungunya virus. The genome is a 9.7 kilobase, positive st... Read More

Shiga toxin: no preassembly required

The molecular order of events is important in virulence, and a new paper published in the Journal of Bacteriology looks at the order of events necessary for bacterial toxin delivery to a host cell. Specifically, the authors looked at the assembly of Shiga toxin, produced by Shigella dysenteriae ... Read More

Researchers hope hybrid compounds can sensitize and inhibit malaria parasites in one blow

Because of its safety, efficacy, and affordability, chloroquine remains the treatment of choice for all Plasmodium species, except in regions with chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum. Chloroquine-resistant protists are treated with combination therapy, which includes artemisinin-derived molecule... Read More

Colors of Superbug !

Methicillin Resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) isolated from animals. The organism was grown on seven different agar medium. On blood agar (Centre), it forms small to medium sized colonies surrounded by weak beta-hemolysis. It shows diverse types of color in different chromogenic medium- pin... Read More

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

TWiM 129 Letters

Steven writes:


Dear Vincent et al,


Firstly, congratulations for keeping up such a wide range of thought provoking podcasts, and maintaining such a tremendous output. I find they all leave me with more questions than answers, which is, I think, a sign of good s... Read More

Zika virus

The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from?
Read More

New promise for treatment of enterovirus infection

Feeling a bit under the weather? There’s a decent chance you’re suffering from an infection with an enterovirus. Enteroviruses are a commonly encountered virus, especially in the summer and fall. They can cause a variety of symptoms, from cold-like symptoms such as runny nose or fever to more se... Read More

Toward development of microarrays to test water safety

Imagine taking an ocean-side vacation, with the sun, sand, and water lulling you to relaxed bliss. After day at the beach, you experience an intense bout of stomach cramps and – more delicately put – GI distress. A rare day off is ruined because of a bug you picked up. Next, imagine a situation ... 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

TWiV 398: Permission to be intuitive

Vincent speaks with Sandy Weller about her career and her work on the mechanisms of synthesis, maturation, cleavage and packaging of viral DNA genomes.


Host: Vincent Racaniello 


Guest: ... Read More

Enhanced virus transduction may lead to more effective gene therapy

A benefit of the voluminous wealth of research produced is that it allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants – we can take advantage of established facts, tools, and datasets. This may mean using a mutant library to find genes in your organism that are important for the process you study; ac... 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

TWiP 112: A NOD to a tricky helminth

The TWiP trio solve the case of the Woman from Washington Heights, and reveal how helminth infection protects mice deficient in the Crohn's disease gene NOD2 from intestinal disease by inhibiting colonization with an inflammatory bacterial species.


Hosts:  Read More

Microbiology, Cartoons, and Take Home Lessons!

In this blog post, I describe how I had students create their own cartoon depicting microbiological ideas and concepts that most tickled their fancy. I did this on their final exam, and the students came up with really interesting and entertaining ideas. IT's always interesting to see what stu... Read More

Communicating your science via social media

ASM aims to promote and advance the microbial sciences in a myriad of ways. In addition to promoting scientific education and discoveries, we also hope to engage the public with the diverse world of microbes! Last year, we held our first Agar Art contest, to highlight the often-overlooked beauty... Read More

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

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
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