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The Microbes Living in Our Bodies Were Probably Once Evil Pathogens

Like pretty much all multi-cellular organisms, humans enjoy the benefits of helpful bacteria. (As you may have heard, there are more bacteria in the human body than cells.) These mutualistic microbes live within the body of a larger organism, and, like any good long-term houseguest, help out the... Read More

MRSA Strain in Humans Originally Came from Cattle

A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The researchers who conducted the genetic analysis of strains of Staphyl... Read More

TWiM 64 Letters

Tim writes:


Vincent and friends,


While driving around a field cutting hay lost in my science podcast playlist the episode of TWIM #61 came up and I had to listen intently as salmonella typhimurium came up as this is a common enteric issue in agriculture. When ... Read More

Ten years of virology blog

Ten years ago this month I wrote the first post at virology blog, entitled Are viruses living? Thanks to EE Giorgi for pointing out the ten year anniversary, and also for publishing an interview with me at her blog, Chimeras. Here is how this blog got started. Read More

TWiV 243: Live from ASV at Penn State



Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit, and Read More

First Look at How Individual Staphylococcus Cells Adhere to Nanostructures Could Lead to New Ways to Thwart Infections

The bacterium Staphylococcus Aureus (S. aureus) is a common source of infections that occur after surgeries involving prosthetic joints and artificial heart valves. The grape-shaped microorganism adheres to medical equipment, and if it gets inside the body, it can cause a serious and even life-t... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 146 - Engineered Escherichia Eliminates Enemies

This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!


(10 MB, 11 minutes)


A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More

"Super bacteria" cleaning up after oil spills

Norwegian researchers in Trondheim have achieved surprising results by exploiting nature's own ability to clean up after oil spills.
We all know that marine bacteria can assist in cleaning up after oil spills. What is surprising is that given the right kind of encouragement, they can be even mo... Read More

A Simple Tree Branch Can Become a Backyard Water Filter

For people in too many developing countries, clean water is often a luxury. Chlorine treatments are too expensive for small villages, boiling requires a hefty investment in fuel, and UV radiation demands regular high-tech maintenance. But now, scientists say that a simple, inexpensive water filt... Read More

How a virus spreads from animals to humans

On June 24, 2012, a 60-year-old Saudi man died from severe pneumonia complicated by renal failure. He had arrived at a hospital in Jiddah 11 days earlier, and some of his symptoms were similar to those in severe cases of influenza or SARS, but this wasn't either of those diseases.

This was so... Read More

TWiM 82 Letters

Follow-up on TWiM #81:


Dave writes:


Friends, please forgive brevity of pleasantry; sleep is overdue (internet Player FM re-podcast excellent soporific).


Fear presumptuous correction of trivia you already know, but, re: stress and arter... Read More

Human Interferon Kills Resistant H7N9 Influenza - ICAAC 2013

During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More

Meet the Germs That Infect Your Water

It's natural to expect that the water coming out of our taps is safe without worry of gastrointestinal or other infectious disease. Yet every year there are dozens of outbreaks linked to drinking water in the United States alone. In the majority of cases, a failure of proper water treatment is t... Read More

BacterioFiles 163 - Pseudomyrmex Sidekicks Stop Sprout Sickness

This episode: Ants teaming with bacteria help defend plants from bacterial pathogens!


(9.4 MB, 10.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

MWV Episode 87 - TWiV #291: Live from Colorado State University

Vincent, Rich, and Kathy and their guests Clodagh and Ron recorded this episode at the 33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Virology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.


Hosts: ... Read More

Unnecessary TB deaths to be thing of the past thanks to new mobile drug resistance test device

Thousands of deaths from tuberculosis (or TB), an infectious bacterial disease, could be prevented using a new hand-held device that is being developed to detect potentially fatal drug resistance in less than 15 minutes.

Currently neither the TB infection itself, nor those people with strains... Read More

Your Ethnicity Determines the Species of Bacteria that Live in Your Mouth

In recent years, scientists have found out all sorts of remarkable things about a group of creatures that are entirely invisible to the naked eye: the trillions of bacteria that colonize every surface of our bodies.

These organisms—collectively known as the microbiome—deeply affect our health... Read More

New Pills Deliver Bacteria, Not Drugs to Cure us

It seems that nearly every day, scientists connect another medical condition to atypical gut bacteria populations. Researchers have claimed that gut bacteria play a role not just in digestive health but even in basic brain function and mental health. Certain bacteria are so clearly good for us t... Read More

Oral bacteria resulting from poor dental hygiene shows a potential association with Alzheimer’s disease

Researchers examined samples from the brains of patients with and without dementia and found lipopolysaccharide, a component of Porphyromonas gingivalis, an oral bacterium, in four out of 10 Alzheimer’s disease brain samples.

“This clearly shows that there is an association between oral bacte... Read More

Concrete-Dissolving Bacteria Are Destroying Our Nation's Sewers

Underground in places nobody likes to look, bacteria are doing terrible things to our sewage pipes. The concrete pipes that carry our waste are literally dissolving away, forcing engineers into a messy, expensive battle against tiny microbes.

"The veins of our cities are in serious trouble, a... Read More

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