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Top secret, viruses with RNA genomes!

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

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

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

BacterioFiles 244 - Rabbit Viruses Exploding Cancer

This episode: A conversation with Audiommunity hosts about a rabbit virus that may help treat cancer while preventing the treatment from killing the patient!


(39.2 MB, 42.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
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

TWiV 381: Add viruses and Zimmer

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

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

Culture-independent discovery of new archaeal virus

What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... 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

Potential Zika virus risk estimated for 50 US cities

BOULDER - Key factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows. Read More

Microbial communication over the airwaves

Jean-Paul Latgé originally wanted to know if he could test the breath of patients with Aspergillus infections for volatile compounds produced by the fungus. His group at the Pasteur Institute in Paris thought this might be a new way of diagnosing fungal culprits like Aspergillus fumigatus that o... Read More

Zika virus infection of the nervous system

Evidence is mounting that Zika virus is neurotropic (able to infect cells of the nervous system) and neurovirulent (causes disease of the nervous system) in humans. 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

BacterioFiles 243 - Fungal Friends Facilitate Phytoextraction (feat. Cat Adams)

This episode: A conversation with Cat Adams about how fungi help plants clean up toxic zinc nanoparticles in soil!


(14.6 MB, 16 minutes)


Show notes: 
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TWiV 380: Viruses visible in le microscope photonique

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

TWiP 105: Survival of the fattest

The TWiPanosomes solve the case of the Young Man from Anchorage, and discuss how cestode parasites increase the resistance of brine shrimp to arsenic toxicity.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

TWiM #123: A microbial MAGE

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloMichael Schmidt, and Elio Schaechter


Spe... Read More

Congenital Zika Syndrome

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

Clostridium difficile in the domicile

Patients undergoing FMT have often suffered for years prior to the therapy. If their homes have been contaminated with the eradicated microbe, could patients suffer a relapse by way of reinoculation? This was the question asked by a group of physician scientists, whose findings were recently pub... Read More

BacterioFiles 242 - Corporeal Communities Create Characterizing Codes

This episode: Features of the microbial communities of people's bodies could be used to identify individuals!


(11.3 MB, 12.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Commenta... Read More

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