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TWiEVO 6: Butterflies are free to shuffle

In this month's episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and I discuss the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. In this study of Amazonian butterflies, the authors show that distinct patterns are a consequence of enhancer shuffling. Enhancers are DNA sequences that control trans... Read More

Demystifying secondary bacterial pneumonia

In some individuals, an influenza A virus infection can cause asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to travel to the lungs where it can trigger severe, sometimes deadly, secondary pneumonia. S. aureus is one of the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia in cases of seasonal... Read More

Microbial responses to land management practices

Microbial communities are essential drivers of soil functional processes such as nitrification and heterotrophic respiration. Although there is initial evidence revealing the importance of soil type in shaping microbial communities, there has been no in-depth, comprehensive survey to robustly es... Read More

50 Awesome Holiday Gift Ideas for Microbiologists

Need the perfect holiday gift for the microbiologist in your life? We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome microbiology related gift ideas. It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things, only with more bacteria! Check it out and show your microbe-lovers how much you care this holiday season.... Read More

A chromosome in every cell: PprA funcitons in chromosome segregation after Deinococcus radiodurans irradiation

Exposure to reactive oxygen species, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to UV light – all of these are dangerous because of their potential to alter DNA sequences. Changes in DNA can affect a protein coding sequence, potentially influencing its function, but changes in regulatory regions c... Read More

Just a spoonful of L-arginine helps the biofilm go down

Many components of our oral hygiene regimens are meant to keep cariogenic bacteria at bay: sodium fluoride in ACT interferes with electron transport and ATP synthesis, the essential oils in Listerine have antiseptic effects, and abrasives – small, insoluble particles in toothpaste – help remove ... Read More

A Microbial Ocean Feast: Who Ate What?

Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More

False impressions in predatory publishing

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be the easiest way to make a buck. That’s the primary motivation for camouflaging within an already-established brand: Sunbucks, McDowell’s, and Mountain Lightening all rely on brand recognition – of a brand that isn’t their own. W... Read More

Scientists identify a new route of TB transmission

In the year 2000, Kathleen Alexander, DVM, PhD, now a professor, at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, was working as a government veterinarian in Botswana, when a sickly banded mongoose wandered onto the grounds where she worked. When the mamm... Read More

And now for something completely different: optimistic news from the world of antibiotic stewardship

There’s no way to avoid the news of a growing concern for drug-resistant infections. In both life-threatening and relatively superficial infections, the ability to successfully treat microbial infections with antimicrobials is decreasing. Our only recourse is to use the drugs we have carefully w... Read More

Additives to boost vaccine responses not sufficient to protect obese mice from influenza

At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., scientist Stacey Schultz-Cherry has been studying the impact of obesity on influenza severity.

“We saw during the 2009 flu pandemic that there’s an epidemiological link between people getting severe flu and being obese,” says Schultz... Read More

TWiP 114: Plant potions perturb Plasmodium

The TWiP troika solve the case of the Female from the Bronx, and reveal how feeding on different plants affects mosquito capacity to transmit malaria.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Cross-respiration breathes life into a periodontal pathogen

Microbiome research has revealed that there are good guy and bad guy bacteria living together in complex communities on our skin, in our mouths, throughout our guts and pretty much everywhere in between. But what do you call a good guy bacterium that is aiding and abetting a disease culprit?

... Read More

Free webinar on CMR guidelines provides CME credit

Some of the most popular segments at conferences, such as Microbe 2016 coming up in in Jun, are those that give continuing medical education (CME) credit to participants. These CME credits are an important part of being an active medical professional: they keep participants current on best pract... Read More

Colonial Variation in Serratia marcescens

A common denizen of the undergraduate microbiology laboratory, Serratia marcescens is well known for the production of a bright red pigment, prodigiosin. Prodigiosin has been investigated over many years for its possible antimicrobial, antifungal, and even antitumor effects. Still, the relevan... Read More

TWiV 399: Zika la femme

The latest Zika virus news from the ConTWiVstadors, including a case of female to male transmission, risk of infection at the 2016 summer Olympics, a DNA vaccine, antibody-dependent enhancement by dengue antibodies, and sites of replication in the placenta.


Hosts:  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

Broad-spectrum antimicrobials: Considering ‘Holobiont’ welfare

The discovery of antibiotics (also referred to as antimicrobials) is perhaps the most revolutionary outcome in the medical sciences during the twentieth century, and has allowed medical practitioners to treat a wide range of bacterial infections; and therefore, antimicrobials are the most common... Read More

TWiP 113: Flying pigs

The TWiP ternion solve the case of the Man from Mexico, and discuss a transgenic toxoplasma vaccine for chickens using Eimeria tenella.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

#microMOOCSEM: the first microbiology massive online open course by Twitter (in Spanish)

Veintinueve profesores e investigadores de 20 universidades y centros de investigación van a colaborar para impartir el primer curso mundial online gratuito vía Twitter sobre microbiología. La iniciativa está coordinada y organizada por el grupo de Docencia y Difusión de la Microbiología de la S... Read More
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