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FDA to ban sale of raw oysters from Gulf of Mexico

"Federal officials plan to ban sales of raw oysters harvested from the Gulf of Mexico unless the shellfish are treated to destroy potentially deadly bacteria _ a requirement that opponents say could deprive diners of a delicacy cherished for generations.

The plan has also raised concern among... Read More

When science is lacking, good leadership is critical

Laura Kahn, research scholar at Princeton University's Program on Science and Global Security, has written a column on how leaders' decisions on infectious disease policy can impact world health for better or worse.

"Since the middle of the twentieth century, more than 330 novel infectious d... Read More

CDC: Contaminated beef may be linked to 2 deaths

"Two deaths and 26 other illnesses may be linked to fresh ground beef that has been recalled because it might be contaminated with E. coli bacteria, a federal health official said Monday.

One of the deaths involved a New York adult with several underlying health conditions, said Lola Scott Ru... Read More

A MRSA strain five times more lethal than other strains

A strain of MRSA that causes bloodstream infections is five times more lethal than other strains and has shown to have some resistance to the potent antibiotic drug vancomycin used to treat MRSA, according to a Henry Ford Hospital study.

The study found that 50 percent of the patients infecte... Read More

Critics blast Kellogg's claim that cereals can boost immunity

Kellogg, the nation's largest cereal maker, is being called to task by critics who object to the swine flu-conscious claim now bannered in bold lettering on the front of Cocoa Krispies cereal boxes: "Now helps support your child's IMMUNITY."

Of all claims on cereal boxes, "this one belongs in... Read More

P. aeruginosa and its antibiotic and host immune response shield

Researchers from the University of Copenhagen and the Technical University of Denmark along with other collaborators in Denmark and the US found that the bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa can 'switch on' production of molecules that kill white blood cells – preventing the bacteria being eliminate... Read More

Swine flu is spreading a new hands-off etiquette

John Stevenson hasn't stopped patronizing the local gym, but after his workout, he is wiping down his machines with spray disinfectant and paper towels. Sales associate Janet Lininger is having customers swipe their own credit cards (she's relieved to have recently shifted from the intimate-appa... Read More

Studies Begin to Shape New Image of DNA

Most of us carry a mental picture of DNA in its iconic form – the famous double helix unveiled by Francis Crick and James Watson. But researchers are beginning to develop a new picture of DNA that shows the molecule’s more dynamic side, which is capable of morphing into a large number of comple... Read More

Microbes' globe-trotting has made them less diverse

There are more microbes on Earth than there are stars in the universe. They occupy every ecological niche, from deep-sea vents to the human gut. So you'd expect them to be staggeringly diverse. But the latest studies suggest there may be far less variation than thought.

David Wilkinson of Liv... Read More

Austrian Designer Imagines Clothing Created From Your Body’s Bacteria

There is definitely something haunting about rendering the invisible “visible,” particularly when it comes to dissecting layers of the corporeal self. Austrian designer Sonja Bäumel goes one step further with her “(In)visible Membranes: Life on the Human Body and Its Design Applications” project... Read More

FDA smackdown pits bacteria against bacteria

The 10 tomatoes sitting in a Tupperware tub at the Food and Drug Administration seem to be doing nothing more than rotting, slowly. But an invisible battle is raging on the surface of the fruit, with provocative implications for food safety and the war that humans have been waging against bacter... Read More

Major Advance In Human Antibody Therapy Against Deadly Nipah Virus

A collaborative research team from the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences (USU), Australian Animal Health Laboratory and National Cancer Institute, a component of the National Institutes of Health, reports a major step forward in the development of an effective therapy against ... Read More

An Epidemic of Fear: How Panicked Parents Skipping Shots Endangers Us All

Amy Wallace, freelance writer and editor-at-large at Los Angeles Magazine, has published a in-depth feature in Wired exploring why many Americans shun vaccinations and place trust in the pseudoscience around topics such as autism, H1N1 and many other illnesses. While a good chunk of this article... Read More

Scientists Propose New Explanation For Flu Virus Antigenic Drift

Influenza viruses evade infection-fighting antibodies by constantly changing the shape of their major surface protein. This shape-shifting, called antigenic drift, is why influenza vaccines -- which are designed to elicit antibodies matched to each year's circulating virus strains -- must be ref... Read More

Zombie Creatures: What Happens When Animals Are Possessed by a Parasitic Puppet Master?

From fungi to flies, some parasitic species have figured out how to control their host's behavior to get what they need. See what happens when bugs go really bad with this slide show from Scientific American. Read More

Timeline: The secret history of swine flu

Six months ago, swine flu emerged as a massive threat to global health. It seemed to come out of nowhere, but this timeline explains how the origins of the H1N1 pandemic go back more than a century. Read More

Autoimmune disease cells harnessed to fight cancer

Autoimmune disease has devastating consequences for healthy tissue. Now, in mice, the same cells that can drive the body to destroy its own tissue have been used to fight cancerMovie Camera.

The cells are a recently discovered type of immune cell called Th17. These cells play a key role in au... Read More

Swine Flu Hit Millions in Spring, Agency Says

There were 1.8 million to 5.7 million cases of swine flu in the country during the epidemic’s first spring wave, according to a new estimate from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention released Thursday.

From 9,000 to 21,000 people were hospitalized as a result, and up to 800 died fr... Read More

Doctors Kill Parasitic Worms By Poisoning the Bacteria in Their Innards

In some African villages, nearly everyone is infected with Mansonella perstans, a parasitic worm that’s remarkably hard to kill. It’s resistant to standard anti-worm medications, but researchers have learned that an old antibiotic can vanquish the tiny beasts — in a roundabout way.

The parasi... Read More

Gastroenterologists explore relationship between bacteria in the gut and breast cancer

The human body contains billions of microorganisms, and microbial cells found in the human gut are estimated to outnumber human cells by ten-to-one in healthy adults. However, little is known about the ways in which these minute life forms influence health and disease.

That is why gastroenter... Read More

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