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Researchers Sequence Genome from 1979 Russian Anthrax Outbreak



Bacillus anthracis had been studied by multiple countries as a potential biological weapon because of the stability of its spores and its ability to cause acute pulmonary disease. While offensive anthrax weapons development programs were halted in the United States and United Kingdom in the ... Read More

Stilton Cheese, Alexis de Toqueville, and turning ASM into the Tesla of Scientific Societies

“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More

¿Is it possible to teach microbiology with Twitter?

Here, we present the results of our pioneering experience teaching a full Basic Microbiology course via Twitter (#microMOOCSEM), consisting of 28 lessons of 40-45 minutes duration each, at a tweet per minute rate during 10 weeks. Read More

A Microbial Death Star

Star Wars – an epic story of war between the forces of good and evil in a galaxy far, far away. The Death Star – the ultimate weapon of destruction. The story is science fiction, but it could be considered an analogy for the constant battle between our immune system and microbial pathogens. Beli... Read More

Time for the #LuxArt2016 Voting!

I enjoy having my microbiology students explore their creativity in interesting ways. One approach is to have my micronauts "paint" on Petri dishes using luminous bacteria. In the past, I have inviting people to "vote" on their favorites, and hand out microbiologically themed gifts. This has ... Read More

Young Inventors Work On Secret Proteins To Thwart Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria

Three young inventors and students at Stanford University are working to develop proteins that fight antibiotic resistant bacteria. They are optimistic they have found something that works. The proteins the team is developing attack "something that's essential to bacterial survival". But they wo... Read More

TWiM 147 Letters

Kala writes:


Dear Micro Crew,


Hello from frozen Ireland, it's 5 degrees Celsius but feels like -2, cloudy and generally miserable haha


I was wondering if you could give me some advice as I am stuck between a micr... Read More

Deep sea microbes may be key to oceans’ climate change feedback

Microbes are hardly the poster-children of climate change, but they have far more impact than polar bears on Earth’s carbon cycle – and therefore on our climate. A new study published Friday in Science Advances finds that seabed bacteria and archaea (which look like bacteria but have very differ... Read More

One Page "Nanobiographies" of #MicrobialTermPapers!

I had my #Bio350 micronauts write one page "Nanobiographies" of their #MicrobialTermPapers. I'm very pleased. Read More

TWiV 431: Niemann-Pick of the weak

The TWiVirions reveal bacteriophage genes that control eukaryotic reproduction, and the biochemical basis for increased Ebolavirus glycoprotein activity during the recent outbreak.


Hosts:  Read More

Induction of Acinetobacter baumannii natural competence

Bacteria acquire and spread genetic information through several means. Some bacteria form a long, thin tube called a pilus, mediating transfer of DNA by direct cell-to-cell contact, in a process known as conjugation. Some bacterial take up environmental DNA and incorporate it into their existing... Read More

SUBMIT MICROBE ABSTRACTS NOW: ONE IN FIVE ACCEPTED WILL BE ORAL PRESENTATION

The call for abstracts is now open for Microbe 2017, the premier microbiology conference hosted by the American Society for Microbiology. This is your opportunity to submit your important research in the microbial sciences to the largest scientific audience, with a 50% higher chance of presentin... Read More

Cellphone-sized device quickly detects the Ebola virus

The worst of the recent Ebola epidemic is over, but the threat of future outbreaks lingers. Monitoring the virus requires laboratories with trained personnel, which limits how rapidly tests can be done. Now scientists report in ACS' journal Analytical Chemistry a handheld instrument that detects... Read More

Zika virus shrinks and destroys testicles in mice

Most of the research to understand the effects of Zika infections has focused on pregnant women and birth defects. But new study in mice that focuses on the male reproductive system raises serious concerns about its effects on men.

Three weeks after male mice were infected with Zika, their te... Read More

UNC scientists named to European Union-funded global Zika research consortium

Aravinda de Silva, PhD, professor of microbiology and immunology, and Stefan Metz, PhD, a post-doc in de Silva's lab, make up one of only two U.S. teams to be named to the European Union-funded worldwide initiative. Sponsored by the European Union's Horizon 2020 Programme, the consortium is inve... Read More

April Showers Bring May Flowers - But Microbes Keep them Growing

Just as humans have a complex relationship with microorganisms, some make us sick while others aid our health, plants too coexist with a mixture of mostly helpful but sometimes harmful microbes.

While geosmin may overwhelm our noses, plants are able to detect a number of compounds produced b... Read More

Microbe-rich environment associated with lower rates of asthma

A new cross-sectional study comparing the asthma and environmental profiles of children aged 7-14 years, from Amish households in Indiana, and Hutterite households in South Dakota found that:
1. Dust extracts from Amish households were found to have higher concentrations of endotoxins and alle... Read More

How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

TWiV 417: O is the loneliest letter

The Fellowship of the Virus trace the early history of HIV in North America, based on genome sequences obtained from late 1970s archival sera, which also reveal that Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero.


Hosts:  Read More

Bacteria in your mouth may trigger arthritis

Investigators at Johns Hopkins report they have new evidence that a bacterium known to cause chronic inflammatory gum infections also triggers the inflammatory “autoimmune” response characteristic of chronic, joint-destroying rheumatoid arthritis (RA). The new findings have important implication... Read More
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