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More Food from Fungi?

To feed an exploding global population, scientists have called for a doubling of food production over the next 40 years. Genetic manipulation might seem the best way to quickly boost characteristics essential to plant growth and crop yields. New findings from different laboratories, however, sug... Read More

Toothpaste With Triclosan/copolymer Kills Harmful Germs, Study Finds

The human mouth is home to an estimated 800 to 1,000 different kinds of bacteria. The warm and moist environment, along with hard tooth surfaces and soft tissues, prove to be optimal factors in boosting germ growth. Many of these bacteria are harmful and can form a film on teeth called "dental p... Read More

Why the Japanese Can Easily Digest Sushi

Porphyran, a polysaccharide present in the cell walls of a red algae that is used notably in the preparation of sushi, is broken down specifically by an enzyme called porphyranase. This new enzymatic activity has been identified in marine bacteria and, surprisingly, in the bacteria that populate... Read More

In the beginning, there were Ribosomes

Reading this reminded me of a guiding principle often espoused by my father: KISS - Keep It Simple, Stupid! Read More

First Clinical Evidence of Anti-Cancer Drug Triggering Viral Infection

Important advances in the fight against cancer have come as researchers proved that viruses and cancers interact in ways that were previously unknown to scientists.

A new study led by UNC scientists shows that a common cancer drug can activate a viral infection that, paradoxically, can help a... Read More

Yogurt helps cancer medicine go down

A bacteria commonly found in probiotic yogurt has been shown to be a safe and effective way to deliver gene therapies to treat cancer. Research, to be published by a team in UCC today, shows that harmless bacteria (bifidobacteria) have a natural ability to travel through the body and grow inside... Read More

An automated system for detecting TB

One of the difficulties of diagnosing tuberculosis is that there is no simple blood or urine test. Instead, a laboratory technician must take a sample of sputum coughed up from the lungs, stain it and inspect it under a microscope for the telltale bacteria, which resemble long-grain rice. It tak... Read More

Lifeline for 'Antibiotic of Last Resort': Mechanism That Triggers Resistance to Vancomycin Identified

A new study led by the scientific director of the Michael G. DeGroote Institute for Infectious Disease Research has uncovered for the first time how bacteria recognize and develop resistance to a powerful antibiotic used to treat superbug infections.

Gerry Wright, a professor in the Departmen... Read More

Cold fronts linked to European H5N1 outbreaks

Avian influenza (H5N1) outbreaks in Europe during the winter of 2005-2006 occurred at the edge of cold weather fronts, according to researchers from Princeton University and the Erasmus Medical Centre, Rotterdam, the Netherlands. Their results, published April 8 in the open-access journal PLoS P... Read More

Harnessing the Web and supercomputers to track pathogens as they evolve

Pathogens can now be easily tracked in time and space as they evolve, an advance that could revolutionize both public health and inform national security in the fight against infectious diseases. Developed by researchers that include scientists at the American Museum of Natural History, Supramap... Read More

Prevalence of HIV in Africa is leading to new strains of Salmonella

Scientists at the University of Liverpool have discovered that dangerous strains of Salmonella are beginning to emerge in people infected with HIV in Africa.

Their research has found that, in adults with HIV, new African Salmonellae can cause severe disease by invading cells in the blood and ... Read More

Medicine goes mobile: iPhone apps take vitals, track viruses

On tiny keypads and greasy touch screens, doctors, nurses, NPs and physicians assistants these days are doing a lot more than checking email and phone messages. Increasingly, health care workers are using their iPhones and other smart phones to track patient information, take vital statistics an... Read More

HIV invades through leaky cells: study

HIV infects women by weakening a cell barrier in the reproductive tract that normally keeps viruses out, Canadian researchers have discovered. HIV breaks down the tight bonds between epithelial cells, which usually form a protective layer that prevents viruses from infecting other cells.

This... Read More

Modified virus splits water

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) researchers have found a novel way to mimic the process by which plants use sunlight to split water into hydrogen and oxygen. They used a modified virus as a "biological scaffold" that can assemble the nanoscale components needed to split a water molec... Read More

Cellulosic Ethanol: Expanding Options, Identifying Obstacles

Agricultural Research Service (ARS) scientists are figuring out how to turn wheat straw into ethanol "gold," and learning more about the bacteria that can "infect" ethanol plants and interfere with fuel production.

At the ARS National Center for Agricultural Utilization Research (NCAUR) in Pe... Read More

UC study tests vaccine against bacteria

An experimental vaccine could be the newest weapon against a dangerous bacterial infection on the rise in hospitals and nursing homes around the United States.

Doctors at the University of Cincinnati and University Hospital are part of a national clinical trial testing a C. difficile - or C. ... Read More

TWiV 77

Wladimir writes:


In regard to your question as to cases of known alteration of host behavior by virus that increases the rate of contact among hosts (Twiv 70), the most dramatic example is given by rabies. This extraordinary virus can convert a neurologically and behaviorally... Read More

TWiV 77: Non-nuclear proliferation



On episode #77 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Alan, and Rich revisit circovirus contamination of Rotarix, then discuss poxvirus-like replication of mimivirus in the cell cytoplasm, and whether... Read More

Poliovirus vaccine safety

The contamination of the rotavirus vaccine Rotarix with porcine circovirus 1 DNA was revealed by deep sequencing. The same technique was also used to demonstrate that oral poliovirus vaccine does not contain viruses that can cause poliomyelitis. Read More

New method of in-barrel fermentation allows for cask ale to be served on the go

A brewing trick could enable cask ales, unfiltered and unpasteurized beer, to be served on trains, aircraft and cruise ships. While ale normally takes two days to settle after each jolt, British brewer Marston's has developed a cask beer that can be poured a minute after the barrel has been move... Read More

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