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Using TALEs to turn off any gene in E. coli

UW-Madison researchers engineered TALEs to transcriptionally repress any gene in E. coli. The results, published in Nature Chemical Biology, offer a new way to fine-tune bacterial physiology. Although TALEs have long been used for gene editing or transcriptional activation, this is one of the fi... 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

The classic and current studies of bacterial endospore morphology

Recently, one of the Journal of Bacteriology Classic Spotlight series highlighted the numerous studies on bacterial spores that have been published in the journal throughout the years. Bacterial endospores, the resilient and relatively quiescent bacterial structures first identified in the 1800s... Read More

Skin infections rife among high school wrestlers, say CU Anschutz researchers

DENVER (Feb. 3, 2016) - The first national survey of skin infections among high school athletes has found that wrestlers have the highest number of infections, with football players coming in a distant second, according to researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. Read More

How Forest Loss Is Leading To a Rise in Human Disease

In Borneo, an island shared by Indonesia and Malaysia, some of the world’s oldest tropical forests are being cut down and replaced with oil palm plantations at a breakneck pace. Wiping forests high in biodiversity off the land for monoculture plantations causes numerous environmental problems, f... Read More

Under the weather? A blood test can tell if antibiotics are needed

DURHAM, N.C. -- Researchers at Duke Health are fine-tuning a test that can determine whether a respiratory illness is caused by infection from a virus or bacteria so that antibiotics can be more precisely prescribed. Read More

Microbiology Myths Debunked: Scientific Analysis of the Five Second Rule

While walking through your house, you drop a granola bar you were eating. Quick – do you pick it up and eat it? Is the ground too dirty to eat from? Does the amount of time the food sits on the ground matter? Will more microbes gather onto the snack as you decide whether or not to continue noshi... Read More

Motherboard: Your Showerhead Is Crammed Full of Bacteria That Scientists Want to Study

Scientists know very little about the kinds of bacteria that we interact with on a daily basis in our homes. Researchers from Colorado, and North Carolina are interested in what kinds of microbes are living in your shower head.

They are hoping to find out where Nontuberculous mycobacteria is... Read More

Microbial Conversations: A free ASM public science event @ the MIT Museum THIS SATURDAY, June 18!

Whether you're in town for ASM Microbe 2016 and looking for something to do with friends or family, or you're local to the Boston-area, come out to our "Microbial Conversations" public science event at the MIT Museum! Join us for short, sharp conversations about a variety of topics in microbiolo... 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 412: WO, open the borders and rig the infection

The TWiVome reveal the first eukaryotic genes found in a bacteriophage of Wolbachia, and how DNA tumor virus oncogenes antagonize sensing of cytoplasmic DNA by the cell.


Hosts: Vincent Ra... Read More

Immune system maintains a memory of past infections by priming genes for future encounters

Our ability to fight off recurrent infections, such as colds or flu, may lie in the 'immunological memory' found in a newly discovered class of gene regulatory elements, according to research from the University of Birmingham, supported by the BBSRC and Bloodwise. Read More

Study reveals how herpes virus tricks the immune system

With over half the U.S. population infected, most people are familiar with the pesky cold sore outbreaks caused by the herpes virus. The virus outsmarts the immune system by interfering with the process that normally allows immune cells to recognize and destroy foreign invaders. How exactly the ... Read More

TWiM 141 Letters

Tom writes:


For the article letter about microbial batteries, I think CV refers to Capacitance times Voltage, which is stored charge. In electronics, current is abbreviated I not C.


The claim in the letter got me thinking about microbial batteries and I wrote ... Read More

UK will need to act faster when inevitable next Ebola emerges

Ad hoc, uncoordinated and late. That’s how the UK government’s response to West Africa’s Ebola outbreak has been described in a report published on Monday by the House of Commons Science and Technology Select Committee.

The report calls for changes to enable the UK to identify threats earlier... 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

Novel small-molecule antiviral compound protects monkeys from deadly Ebola virus

Rhesus monkeys were completely protected from Ebola virus when treated three days after infection with a compound that blocks the virus's ability to replicate. These encouraging preclinical results suggest the compound, known as GS-5734, should be further developed as a potential treatment, acco... Read More

Enhanced virus transduction may lead to more effective gene therapy

A benefit of the voluminous wealth of research produced is that it allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants – we can take advantage of established facts, tools, and datasets. This may mean using a mutant library to find genes in your organism that are important for the process you study; ac... 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

People with rage disorder twice as likely to have latent toxoplasmosis parasite infection

Individuals with a psychiatric disorder involving recurrent bouts of extreme, impulsive anger--road rage, for example--are more than twice as likely to have been exposed to a common parasite than healthy individuals with no psychiatric diagnosis. Read More
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