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  • WashUp.org
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  • Podcasts and Videos
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    • MicrobeWorld Video

      A video podcast by the American Society for Microbiology that highlights the latest in microbiology, life science, and related topics. ASM is composed of over 42,000 scientists and health professionals with the mission to advance the microbial sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. Click here for more information about ASM.

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    • ASM Videos
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    • This Week in Parasitism

      twip_01small

      This Week in Parasitism (TWiP) is a podcast about eukaryotic parasites hosted by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier. Following in the path of their successful podcast 'This Week in Virology' (TWiV), they strive for an informal yet informative conversation about parasites which is accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background.

      As science Professors at Columbia University, they have spent their entire academic careers directing research laboratories focused on parasites (Dick) and viruses (Vincent). Their enthusiasm for teaching inspired them to reach beyond the classroom with new media. TWiP is for everyone who wants to learn about parasites in a relaxing way.

      Music used on TWiP is composed and performed by Ronald Jenkees and used with permission.

       

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    • TWiV - Letters

      TWiV regularly receives listener email with corrections, comments, suggestions for show topics, requests for clarification, and additional information. A selection of these is archived on this page.

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    • TWiP - Letters
      TWiP regularly receives listener email with corrections, comments, suggestions for show topics, requests for clarification, and additional information. A selection of these is archived on this page.
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      72
    • The Dish

      koshland-dish Join MicrobeWorld and the Marian Koshland Science Museum for The Dish, a Café Scientifique style event that you can attend in person if you are in Washington, D.C. area or view online here.

      Rather than listening passively to a scientist discuss his or her work, the idea behind "The Dish" is to encourage audience members, in person and online, to ask questions and dig deeper into a particular subject area. The goal of the conversation between the scientist and the audience is not only to inform and entertain but to increase both the expert's and non-expert's understanding of the issues in a casual atmosphere.

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    • BacterioFiles
      The podcast for microbe lovers: reporting on exciting news about bacteria, archaea, and sometimes even eukaryotic microbes and viruses. Hosted by Jesse Noar.
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      211
    • TWiV iTunes Reviews

      This Week in Virology has been available in the iTunes Podcast section since its inception and is regularly in the iTunes list of featured science programs. The show has over 140 5 star ratings and more than 80 reviews.

      Below we highlight seveal reviews we have received from the iTunes store.

      If you would like to write your own review please do so via iTunes. Fresh reviews help keep This Week in Virology in the list of featured science podcasts.

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    • TWiP iTunes Reviews

      This Week in Parasitism has been available in the iTunes Podcast section since its inception and is regularly in the iTunes list of featured science programs. The show has over 60 5 star ratings and more than 25 reviews.

      Below we highlight seveal reviews we have received from the iTunes store.

      If you would like to write your own review please do so via iTunes. Fresh reviews help keep This Week in Parasitism in the list of featured science podcasts.

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    • This Week in Microbiology

      vincentThis Week in Microbiology (TWiM) is a podcast about unseen life on Earth hosted by Vincent Racaniello and friends. Following in the path of his successful shows 'This Week in Virology' (TWiV) and 'This Week in Parasitism' (TWiP), Racaniello and guests produce an informal yet informative conversation about microbes which is accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background.

      As a science Professor at Columbia University, Racaniello has spent his academic career directing a research laboratory focused on viruses. His enthusiasm for teaching inspired him to reach beyond the classroom using new media. TWiM is for everyone who wants to learn about the science of microbiology in a casual way.

      While there are no exams or pop quizzes, TWiM does encourage interaction with the audience via comments on specific episodes (below), vial email and voicemail at 908-312-0760. Listeners can also use MicrobeWorld to suggest topics for the show by submitting articles or papers to the site and tagging them with "TWiM". Each week Racaniello will view the tagged content and select items for discussion.

      TWiM co-hosts include Elio SchaechterMichael Schmidt, and Michele Swanson.

      Music used on TWiM is composed and performed by Ronald Jenkees and used with permission.

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    • TWiM - Letters

      mailboxTWiM regularly receives listener email with corrections, comments, suggestions for show topics, requests for clarification, and additional information. A selection of these is archived on this page.

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    • Yellowstone Revealed
      A two part video podcast documentary on the microbial wonders of Yellowstone National Park from the American Society for Microbiology and the World Foundation for Environment and Development.
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    • Unseen Life on Earth: A Telecourse
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    • Meet the Scientist

      zimmersolo

      At Meet the Scientist, we want to reveal more about scientists, the work they do, and what makes them tick. We will ask them what they are are up to now and what is next. How is the science moving forward to solve some of the intractable problems of our times? What keeps them going in a tough, competitive field? What do they see for the future of research, education, and training? We hope to show you a glimpse of what scientists are really like and what is going on in cutting-edge research today.

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      65
    • Mundo de los Microbios

      Sobre Mundo de los Microbios

      El Mundo de los Microbios es un programa educativo que consta de podcasts semanales dirigidos a mejorar la comprension y apreciacion del rol vital que los microorganismos juegan en nuestro planeta y promover la microbiologia.

      El Mundo de los Microbios produce 52 programas unicos anualmente que resaltan los procesos de descubrimiento, cambios historicos en la investigacion, asi como una variedad de carreras cientificas en la industria, academia y el gobierno.

      Cada episodio de PodCast incluye segmentos con cientificos de vanguardia y es revisado por un panel de cientificos con peritaje en diferentes campos de investigacion para asegurar la confiabilidad del contenido.

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    • This Week in Virology

      twiv

      This Week in Virology (TWiV) is a podcast – or netcast, as some prefer to call them, since you don’t need an iPod to listen – about viruses. It was begun in September 2008 by Vincent Racaniello and Dick Despommier, two science Professors at Columbia University Medical Center. Their goal was to have an informal yet informative conversation about viruses which would be accessible to everyone, no matter what their science background. We wanted to eventually bring other virologists into the conversation, to make it more varied and interesting. Alan Dove, a science writer, joined us late in 2008, and Rich Condit, a poxvirologist, joined in 2009. We’ve had a number of guests on the show and we’re always trying to get more.

      Why are we doing this? Dick, Rich, and I have spent our entire academic careers directing research laboratories, so we have a lot of knowledge to share. Plus, we both enjoy teaching. Put those two things together, and you have TWiV. If you want to learn about viruses in a relaxing way, then TWiV is for you.

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    • Program 1: The Tree of Life
      As scientists map the human genome, they find the ancient DNA of microbes at the roots of our family tree. This hour follows the quest of scientists to understand how all life on the planet - from E. coli to azaelas to us - is related.
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    • Program 2: Keepers of the Biosphere

      Microbes drive the chemistry of life. They affect the global climate. They do most of the recycling that keeps the world habitable. This hour follows scientists as they explore our reliance on this invisible world for our planet's health and well-being.

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    • Program 3: Dangerous Friends and Friendly Enemies

      Infectious diseases occur when our relationship with microbes changes or when an intruder invades. This hour follows scientists who seek to understand our most personal relationships with the microscopic world, which usually keeps us well but sometimes makes us sick.

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    • Program 4: Creators of the Future

      The 21st century challenges us to reclaim our damaged environment and feed a growing population. This hour introduces scientists who are turning to microbes for solutions and the tiny organisms who are making new cleanup technologies possible.

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    • Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth
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    • Video Podcast - Lesson Plans/Experiments
      Incorporate MicrobeWorld’s video podcast series Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth into high school or two-year college curriculum.
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    • The Book
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    • TWiM iTunes Reviews

      TWiM listeners have spent their valuable time writing comments about the podcast on iTunes, and it’s a shame that most people don’t see them. I’m putting them here as a way of thanking them for their time, and for listening. This is a work-in-progress because the comments have to be typed here by hand; for some reason you can’t copy/paste them from iTunes.

      If you would like to post a review of TWiM in iTunes, click here.

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    • TWiM - Transcripts
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    • ASM's Microbes After Hours

      In May 2012, the American Society for Microbiology launched a new Happy Hour series called “Microbes After Hours” which gathers together scientists and curious citizens at ASM headquarters in Washington DC for relaxed evenings of appetizers, local brews and exciting microbiology talks by renowned experts.  Since the inaugural session, the series has tackled topics such as “Microbes and Microbrews: the Microbiology of Brewing Beer,” “The Human Microbiome: My Microbes, Myself,” and “The Return of Influenza.”  The series has grown beyond its local roots to bring together scientists and enthusiastic learners from all over the globe through live broadcasts on MicrobeWorld.

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    • TWiV - Transcripts
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    • ASM Live

      Participate in ASM Live at asm2014 in Boston where we will be live streaming video interviews with select presenters as well as the popular podcast, This Week in Microbiology, hosted by Vincent Racaniello.

      Tapings will take place at the Boston Convention Center and meeting registrants are encouraged to attend. You can watch ASM Live below and topics will be archived immediately on YouTube and MicrobeWorld for future viewing.

      (To ask a question please post it in the chat or tweet it using the hash tag #asmlive. ASM Live is now mobile friendly.)

      Schedule

      Please note: The following schedule is preliminary and subject to change. Participants and more detail for each conference will be posted soon. All participants are invited, not confirmed. All times are listed as Eastern Standard Time. All events take place at the Boston Convention Center. 

      Sunday, May 18

      Schedule TBD

      Monday, May 20

      Schedule TBD

      Tuesday May 21

      Schedule TBD

      ASM Live Archives

      Below you will find all of the ASM Live episodes since 2009 in chronological order. To find an episode quickly please visit the archives.

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  • What is a Microbe
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    • Where They Live
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    • Virus or Bacterium?
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    • Microbial Mergers
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    • Types of Microbes
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    • Archaea

      There are three main types of archaea: the crenarchaeota (kren-are-key-oh-ta), which are characterized by their ability to tolerate extremes in temperature and acidity. The euryarchaeota (you-ree-are-key-oh-ta), which include methane-producers and salt-lovers; and the korarchaeota (core-are-key-oh-ta), a catch-all group for archaeans about which very little is known. Among these three main types of archaea are some subtypes, which include:

      archaeoglobus

      Methanogens (meth-an-oh-jins) — archaeans that produce methane gas as a waste product of their "digestion," or process of making energy.

      Halophiles (hal-oh-files) — those archaeans that live in salty environments.

      Thermophiles (ther-mo-files) — the archaeans that live at extremely hot temperatures.

      Psychrophiles (sigh-crow-files) — those that live at unusually cold temperatures.

      pyrococcusArchaea look and act a lot like bacteria. So much so that until the late 1970s, scientists assumed they were a kind of “weird” bacteria.

      Then microbiologist Carl Woese devised an ingenious method of comparing genetic information showing that they could not rightly be called bacteria at all. Their genetic recipe is too different.

      So different Woese decided they deserved their own special branch on the great family tree of life, a branch he dubbed the Archaea.

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    • Viruses

      When is a life form not a life form? When it's a virus.

      Viruses are strange things that straddle the fence between living and non-living. On the one hand, if they're floating around in the air or sitting on a doorknob, they're inert. They're about as alive as a rock. But if they come into contact with a suitable plant, animal or bacterial cell, they spring into action. They infect and take over the cell like pirates hijacking a ship.

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    • Bacteria
      skinMany of us know bacteria only as “germs,” invisible creatures that can invade our bodies and make us sick.

      Few know that many bacteria not only coexist with us all the time, but help us do an amazing array of useful things like make vitamins, break down some garbage, and even maintain our atmosphere.

      Bacteria consist of only a single cell, but don't let their small size and seeming simplicity fool you. They're an amazingly complex and fascinating group of creatures. Bacteria have been found that can live in temperatures above the boiling point and in cold that would freeze your blood. They "eat" everything from sugar and starch to sunlight, sulfur and iron. There's even a species of bacteria—Deinococcus radiodurans—that can withstand blasts of radiation 1,000 times greater than would kill a human being.

      contactdental

      Classification

      leucothrix

      Bacteria fall into a category of life called the Prokaryotes (pro-carry-oats). Prokaryotes' genetic material, or DNA, is not enclosed in a cellular compartment called the nucleus.

      Bacteria and archaea are the only prokaryotes. All other life forms are Eukaryotes (you-carry-oats), creatures whose cells have nuclei.

      (Note: viruses are not considered true cells, so they don't fit into either of these categories.)

      What Difference Does It Make?

      Does a bacterium’s cell wall, shape, way of moving, and environment really matter?

      Yes! The more we know about bacteria, the more we are able to figure out how to make microbes work for us or stop dangerous ones from causing serious harm. And, for those of us who like to ponder more philosophical questions like the origins of the Earth, there may be some clues there as well.

      How Long They’ve Been Around

      cyano

      Like dinosaurs, bacteria left behind fossils. The big difference is that it takes a microscope to see them. And they are older.

      Bacteria and their microbial cousins the archaea were the earliest forms of life on Earth. And may have played a role in shaping our planet into one that could support the larger life forms we know today by developing photosynthesis.

      Cyanobacteria fossils date back more than 3 billion years. These photosynthetic bacteria paved the way for today's algae and plants. Cyanobacteria grow in the water, where they produce much of the oxygen that we breathe. Once considered a form of algae, they are also known as blue-green algae.

      Bacteria are among the earliest forms of life that appeared on Earth billions of years ago. Scientists think that they helped shape and change the young planet's environment, eventually creating atmospheric oxygen that enabled other, more complex life forms to develop. Many believe that more complex cells developed as once free-living bacteria took up residence in other cells, eventually becoming the organelles in modern complex cells. The mitochondria (mite-oh-con-dree-uh) that make energy for your body cells is one example of such an organelle.

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    • Fungi
      Fungi straddle the realms of microbiology and macrobiology.

      They range in size from the single-celled organism we know as yeast to the largest known living organism on Earth — a 3.5-mile-wide mushroom.

      Dubbed “the humongous fungus,” this honey mushroom (Armillaria ostoyae) covers some 2,200 acres in Oregon’s Malheur National Forest.

      arm_decayarm_mushrooms

      The only above-ground signs of the humongous fungus are patches of dead trees and the mushrooms that form at the base of infected trees. (See image on left.)

      It started out 2,400 years ago as a single spore invisible to the naked eye, then grew to gargantuan proportions by intertwining threads of cells called hyphae.

      Under a microscope, hyphae look like a tangled mass of threads or tiny plant roots. This tangled mass is called the fungal mycelium, and ismush_illus the part of the famous honey mushroom that spreads for miles underground.

      If mushrooms and other fungi can get so huge, why mention them on a site about microorganisms?

      Visible fungi such as mushrooms are multicellular entities, but their cells are closely connected in a way unlike that of other multicellular organisms.

      Plant and animal cells are entirely separated from one another by cell walls (in plants) and cell membranes (in

      animals). The dividers between fungal cells, however, often have openings that allow proteins, fluids and even nuclei to flow from one cell to another. A few fungal

      species have no cell dividers: just a long, continuous cell dotted by multiple nuclei spread throughout.

      nema_seq1The zoospores have no cell wall, are uniflagellated, and may swim for 24 hours on endogenous energy reserves. On contact with a suitable surface (e.g., a nematode cuticle), the zoospore encysts by withdrawing its flagellum and surrounding itself with a thick cell wall and then adhering to the surface. The fungi Arthrobotrys oligospora can capture a nematode when it merely touches the outside of its trap.

      Animation

      nema_capture_labeled

      (Click on image above to view animation.)

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    • Protista

      Algae, Protozoa, Slime Molds, and Water Molds

      p_dinoani

      Protists are eukaryotic creatures <you-carry-ah-tick>, meaning their DNA is enclosed in a nucleus inside the cell (unlike bacteria, which are prokaryotic <pro-carry-ah-tick> and have no nucleus to enclose their DNA. They’re not plants, animals or fungi, but they act enough like them that scientists believe protists paved the way for the evolution of early plants, animals, and fungi. Protists fall into four general subgroups: unicellular algae, protozoa, slime molds, and water molds.

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  • Did You Know?
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    • Everyday Roles
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    • Evolution in Action
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    • How Do They Do That?
      As you read the pages of this Web site, you might have come across things that made you pause and say, "now how do they do that?" Well, here's where you can find out at least some of the answers. Click on the links below to find out how microbes manage to do some of the amazing things they do.
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    • Microbial Record Holders
      The biggest of the big! The baddest of the bad! The oldest of the ancients! This is where you'll find all the microbial record holders, microbes that beat all others hands down in a variety of categories. This is our microbial Book of World Records.
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  • Microbiologists
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    • Tools of the Trade
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      • Culture Equipment

        When microbiologists want to identify microbes in a sample or study microbes in-depth, they often try to culture, or grow, the microbial cells in their labs. The scientists can then manipulate the cells or their environments to see what effects these changes have on the organisms.

         

         

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    • Careers
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    • Genetic Tools
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    • Career Profiles

      Anyone with an interest in science and the desire to explore the mysteries of life can become a microbiologist. You can, too.

      Here's your chance to see what some microbiologists have to say about their work, why they do it and how they came to be scientists. Reading their profiles, you can get a sense of what it's like to be a microbiologist and maybe pick up some tips on how you can pursue a science career.

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  • History of Microbiology
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  • Handwashing
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  • Teachers' Resources
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  • Footer
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  • Backend Submitted Content
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  • Backend Submitted Content
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  • WashUp.org
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  • Footer
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  • Microbiologists
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  • Uncategorised
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