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CDC confirms Zika virus does cause microcephaly

For the first time, US disease experts have agreed that the mosquito-borne Zika virus does indeed cause babies to be born with abnormally small heads — a condition known as microcephaly. Until now, the two conditions were linked — but experts didn’t know for sure if Zika caused the brain-damaged... Read More

TWiV 405: All the world's a phage

The TWiXers discuss a study on vertical transmission of Zika virus by Aedes mosquitoes, and uncovering Earth's virome by mining existing metagenomic sequence data.


Hosts: Vincent Rac... Read More

Diverse fungi inhabit chronic wounds and inhibit healing

Gruesome, ghastly, grisly. These are the words that popped into my head when I googled images of diabetic foot ulcers—one of the most common chronic wounds creating a silent and costly epidemic in healthcare.

Perhaps even more shocking is the mortality rate connected to these open wounds, wh... Read More

Hepatitis C tied to increased risk of Parkinson's

MINNEAPOLIS - The hepatitis C virus may be associated with an increased risk of developing Parkinson's disease, according to a study published in the December 23, 2015, online issue of Neurology®, the medical journal of the American Academy of Neurology. Parkinson's disease is considered the sec... Read More

Why do some infections persist? Blame bacterial socialism, says new study

New research to be published January 13 in the journal Scientific Reports shows that some bacterial cultures adopt an all-for-one/one-for-all strategy that would make a socialist proud in preparing for the possibility of an antibiotic onslaught. Read More

Why flu is worse in eldery ?

Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.

Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More

First reported autopsy of patient with MERS coronavirus infection provides critical insights

Philadelphia, PA, February 5, 2016 - Since 2012, at least 1,500 individuals have developed Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS), resulting in more than 500 fatalities. Only now are results being reported of the first autopsy of a MERS patient, which was performed in 2014. Not only do these fi... Read More

More than 2 million people co-infected with HIV and hepatitis C

An estimated 2.3 million people living with HIV are co-infected with hepatitis C virus (HCV) globally, a new study by the University of Bristol and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine has found. Read More

Slavery carried bilharzia parasites from West Africa to the Caribbean, genomics confirms

The bilharzia-causing parasite, Schistosoma mansoni, first infected humans as they fished in lakes in East Africa and was spread, first to West Africa and then to the New World by slave traders in 16th-19th Centuries, genomics reveals. Read More

Novel Herpes Virus Isolated from Bat Cells

Washington, DC – February 17, 2016 – Researchers from Maryland and New York have identified a novel herpes virus in cells taken from a bat. The work, published this week in mSphere, the American Society for Microbiology’s new open access journal, could lead to better understanding of the biology... Read More

Improving the quality of dairy products

Bitter tasting yogurt or cheese may not make it to your refrigerator, but it is produced and the result of pesky bacteria. The microbial composition of raw milk impacts the quality, shelf life, and safety of processed milk and other dairy products. Controlling the quality of these products is tr... Read More

Looking back at 15 top stories from 2015

In June 2015, mBioblog became mBiosphere, expanding its scope to all of the research journals published by the American Society of Microbiology. To commemorate the end of the year, we’d like to highlight our most popular stories since the switch. The below stories are fifteen of the top stories ... Read More

TWiP 116: One drug to rule them all

The TWiPtoids solve the case of the Thai Fisherman with Chronic Diarrhea, and reveal a potential new drug for treatment of leishmaniasis, Chagas diseases, and sleeping sickness.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Mosquito-eating fish used to fight Zika virus in Latin America

With the Zika virus spreading toward the United States, threatening pregnant mothers and the 2016 Olympics, aid workers have placed hope in a familiar fish.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia-based non-profit Operation Blessing helped avert an outbreak of the West Nile virus in Ne... Read More

Probiotics come with bold health claims, but the science is shaky

“Good bacteria,” or probiotics, are everywhere these days, in pills and powders marketed as super supplements. Probiotics are said to improve digestive and immune health. They’re touted as potential treatments for conditions ranging from inflammatory bowel disease to eczema to tooth decay. Some ... Read More

Vincent Racaniello: Earth’s Virology Professor

A new blog written by undergraduate students from the School of Genetics and Microbiology, Trinity College Dublin features Vincent Racaniello, PhD, host of This Week in Virology.

"Most students studying science at university will inevitably become familiar with the names and works of a wide r... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe: Entire series

Things have been quiet on mBiosphere lately. We've been busy updating from ASM Microbe, covering some of the fascinating research presented there. The first Microbe meeting, which combines the former general meeting and ICAAC, was a whirlwind of poster presentations, lectures, seminars, book sig... Read More

Yale study suggests immune response to flu causes death in older people, not the virus

New Haven, Conn.-- A new Yale-led study suggests that death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself. The insight could lead to novel strategies for combating flu in the most vulnerable patients, said the resear... Read More

New platforms for mSphere and mSystems

Earlier this month, two new ASM research journals had their official launch. mSphereTM and mSystemsTM had both published articles on their interim websites in November and December 2015 – some of which have been highlighted here on mBiosphere. On February 2nd, the journals went live on their per... Read More

MMP #13: Redetermining the ratio of microbial to human cells – correcting the widely held view that this ratio is 10 to 1

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Ron Milo and Shai Fuchs.


Ron Milo of Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, talk with Jeff Fox about their efforts, with Ron Sender at Weizmann, to redetermine the ratio... Read More

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