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A transmissible cancer of soft-shell clams

A leukemia-like cancer is killing soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America. The cancer is transmitted between animals in the ocean, and appears to have originated in a single clam as recently as 40 years ago. Read More

Engineering the Human Microbiome Shows Promise for Treating Disease

In the not too distant future each of us will be able to colonize our gut with genetically modified “smart” bacteria that detect and stamp out disease at the earliest possible moment. This scenario may sound like the premise for a sci-fi flick, but it is a very real possibility. Microbiome engin... Read More

Antibacterial Fabrics Kill Dangerous Germs In A Matter Of Minutes

Up to 1 in 25 patients with hospital-acquired infections. It may be that standard hand-washing and sterilization procedures in hospitals aren't enough, which is where these new fabrics that can kill bacteria come in.

University researchers in Australia have shown how cotton fabrics impregnate... Read More

Interview of Dr. Sikandar K Sherwani, Chairman of MAP

Mr. Sikandar K Sherwani, chairman of Microbiology Association of Pakistan (MAP).
He is a Lecturer of Microbiology (Sp. Immunology & Infectious Diseases) at the Department of Microbiology in Federal Urdu University for Arts, Science & Technology (FUUAST). He is also a research scholar at Immunol... Read More

Bacteria are more promiscuous than expected, since plasmids invade unexpectedly diverse fraction of soil bacteria

Conjugal plasmids provide microbes with full complements of new genes. Conjugal plasmid transfer is deemed responsible for the rapid spread of antibiotic resistance among microbes. While broad host range plasmids are known to confer transfer abilities to diverse hosts in pure culture, the extent... Read More

ICAAC 2014 - Tests for Rapid Detection of Antibiotic Resistant Bacteria

Rapid detection of antibiotic resistance is vital in assessing the appropriate antibiotic therapy for an infection. Participants will present data on two new inex... Read More

TWiV 286: Boston TWiV party

Vincent and Alan meet up with Julie and Paul at the General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology in Boston, to talk about their work on the pathogenesis of poliovirus and measles virus.


Hosts: V... Read More

TWiM 97 Letters


Dennis writes:
hi Doc,


A paper just published in nature:


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nature14098.pdf


reports an effective antibiot... Read More

Media Lab Conversations Series: Guts and Genius

Click "source" to watch this fantastic video conversation.

Your gut is a genius. Inside it exists an astonishing ecosystem of trillions of micro-organisms—more than 10 times the number of human cells in our bodies! This ecosystem of microbes—the human gut microbiota—deeply influences our phy... Read More

Breastfeeding helps children grow friendly gut bacteria

The presence of lactic acid bacteria in intestinal flora is important for the healthy development of the immune system in children's early years. Now, a Danish study that tracked over 300 children in their first 3 years of life, found that longer breastfeeding encouraged lactic acid bacteria to ... Read More

Revealed: how bacteria drill into our cells and kill them

A team of scientists has revealed how certain harmful bacteria drill into our cells to kill them. Their study shows how bacterial ‘nanodrills’ assemble themselves on the outer surfaces of our cells, and includes the first movie of how they then punch holes in the cells’ outer membranes. The rese... Read More

Four Ways Spacefaring Microbes Could Muck Up The Solar System

When scientists launch a spacecraft into space, they're also launching thousands of bacteria along with it.

This article was originally published in the January 2015 issue of Popular Science.

To prepare the Curiosity rover for its trip to Mars, NASA scrubbed it with alcohol and baked it at... Read More

Chagas disease - a new public health threat for Americans?

Chagas disease - a parasitic infection that can cause severe heart disease and death if not caught and treated early - affects millions of people worldwide, mainly in Latin America. Now, new research suggests it is increasingly being seen in the southern US and poses an emerging potential public... Read More

9 Amazing and Gross Things Scientists Discovered About Microbes This Year

We can’t see them, but they are all around us. On us. In us. Our personal microbes—not to mention those in the environment around us—have us outnumbered by orders of magnitude, but scientists are only beginning to understand how they influence our health and other aspects of our lives. It’s an i... Read More

This Bizarre Organism Builds Itself a New Genome Every Time It Has Sex

Oxytricha trifallax lives in ponds all over the world. Under an electron microscope it looks like a football adorned with tassels. The tiny fringes are the cilia it uses to move around and gobble up algae. What makes Oxytricha unusual, however, is the crazy things it does with its DNA.

Unlike... Read More

DNA Sequencing Diagnoses Boy's Mysterious Bacterial Disease

For the first time, doctors have used DNA-sequencing technology to diagnose and treat a boy in an emergency. It's a big step for DNA sequencing—that the technology is able to work so quickly, and to help a patient directly. As useful as DNA sequencing is for research and genetic counseling, befo... Read More

Acute flaccid paralysis of unknown etiology in California

In February 2014 I wrote about children in California who developed a poliomyelitis-like paralysis, also called acute flaccid paralysis or AFP. However, the cause of this paralysis was not known. The CDC has released its study of these cases and concludes “The etiology of AFP with anterior myeli... Read More

Mosquito-borne virus chikungunya worries CDC

A debilitating, mosquito-borne virus called chikungunya has made its way to North Carolina, health officials say. It's the state's first reported case of the virus.
The patient was likely infected in the Caribbean, according to the Forsyth County Department of Public Health. Chikungunya is prim... Read More

Meet Dr. Armpit, Changing Body Odor With Bacteria

Here’s an undeniable fact: In samples collected from seven of New York’s subway platforms, scientists discovered that we're surrounded in plumes of microbes wafting off other people’s skin. Here’s another undeniable fact: Those bacteria colonize all of our glands and follicles and the entire epi... Read More

Summer Research, Undergraduate Students, Lab Themed Desserts, and Bdellovibrio!

In this blog post, I discuss our Summer Research Program's "Lab Themed Dessert" competion, for which one of my students created a cake "sculpture" of Bdellovibrio attacking and invading E. coli. It was tasty, informative, and fun! My student clearly thought about Bdellovibrio a LOT during the ... Read More
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