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Will the flu kill you? It may depend on your birth year

Your birth year predicts—to a certain extent—how likely you are to get seriously ill or die in an outbreak of an animal-origin influenza virus, new research suggests.

Until now, scientists thought that previous exposure to a flu virus conferred little or no immunological protection against ne... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

UMMS scientists use CRISPR to discover Zika and dengue weaknesses

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have performed the first CRISPR/Cas9 screen to discover human proteins that Zika virus needs for replication. This work, led by Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor in microbiology & physiological systems, reveals new lea... Read More

Ferreting out an improved Ebola animal model

We’ve previously covered the importance of diagnostics in disease control and treatment. This is vital to controlling disease progression and transmission, but epidemiology studies can’t always show how a disease progresses or transmits. This is where scientists need a well-characterized animal ... Read More

Green Monkeys Acquired Staphylococcus aureus From Humans

Washington, DC – July 29, 2016 - Many deadly diseases that afflict humans were originally acquired through contact with animals. New research published in ASM’s Applied and Environmental Microbiology shows that pathogens can also jump the species barrier to move from humans to animals. The study... Read More

Gut microbes may play a role in Parkinson's disease

Many people with Parkinson’s disease also experience digestive symptoms (like constipation) for some time before their diagnosis. But until recently, research on the degenerative disease and how to treat it has focused on understanding how Parkinson’s works in the brain.

In a new study out th... Read More

Mechanism of Probiotic Health Promotion Revealed

Washington, DC – December 2, 2016 – In several clinical trials, the probiotic bacterium Lactobacillus paracasei DG has been shown to promote health, but until now, the mechanism has remained a black box. New research now suggests that the health benefits arise from communication between the prob... Read More

MdlM119: Las secuencias CRISPR: Su descubrimiento y sus futuras aplicaciones

El sistema CRISPR, su descubrimiento y posibles applicaciones:  En el episodio de hoy contamos con la presencia del Dr. Francisco Mojica de la Universidad de Alicante. 


Aprovechamos una visita suya a la Universidad de Puerto Rico para poder compartir la trayectoria de uno de... Read More

Student Thoughts On The First Day of Microbiology Class

I teach Microbiology at the University of Puget Sound every fall semester. The swiftly changing field of microbiology has depth and breath...and I was interested to learn what my students thought of the topic at the beginning of the first day of class. We will revisit this subject at the end o... 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

BacterioFiles Special - Novozymes' Nathan Cude

This episode: An interview with Dr. Nathan Cude, team leader at Novozymes BioAg Alliance, working on finding and bringing to market soil microbes that can help crops grow!


(14.1 MB, 15.4 minutes)


Show notes: 
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TWiM 146 Letters

Jonathan writes:


Hello TWiM Team,


I'm sure it's a long shot but here's hoping for #12!


I was catching up on a SciFri podcast recently and came across this story and just had to share it with you all. (Dr. Racaniello, I think Dixon would also appreciate this but I'll le... Read More

BacterioFiles 278 - Fungal Family Friends and Foes

This episode: Some fungi change from making plants sick to being helpful to plants! How do plants react to them?


(8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)


Show notes: 


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6th Global Experts Meeting on Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Cardiac Medications

Conference Series LLC is a renowned organization that organizes highly notable pharmaceutical conferences throughout the globe. Currently we are bringing “6th Global Experts Meeting on Cardiovascular Pharmacology and Cardiac Medications” (Cardiac Pharmacology 2017) scheduled to be held during Ap... 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

A superbug resistant to every available antibiotic in the U.S. kills Nevada woman

If it sometimes seems like the idea of antibiotic resistance, though unsettling, is more theoretical than real, please read on.

Public health officials from Nevada are reporting on a case of a woman who died in Reno in September from an incurable infection. Testing showed the superbug that ha... Read More

BacterioFiles 287 - Producing Potent Pathogen Prophylaxes

This episode: Polymer-coated bacteria make really good vaccines!


(9.2 MB, 10 minutes)


Show notes: 


News item



Jou... Read More

Environmental disturbances decrease the variability of microbial populations

A central pursuit of microbial ecology is to accurately model changes in microbial community composition in response to environmental factors. This goal requires a thorough understanding of the drivers of variability in microbial populations. However, most microbial ecology studies focus on the ... Read More

TWiV 411: Chicken runs

The TWiVeroos examine a reverse spillover of Newcastle disease virus vaccines into wild birds, and identification of a protein cell receptor for murine noroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More
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