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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Your viruses could reveal your travel history, and more

The genomes of two distinct strains of the virus that causes the common lip cold sore, herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1), have been identified within an individual person -- an achievement that could be useful to forensic scientists for tracing a person's history. The research also opens the d... Read More

Getting closer to understanding Zika virus, one genome at a time

Several papers published in Genome Announcements recently describe the sequences of new Zika virus isolates. Scientists have known the genomic sequence of at least one Zika virus isolate since 2007, but continue to publish newly isolated strains. What is the importance of these additional sequen... Read More

Moving to Zika Virus

I have worked on polio virus in my laboratory at Columbia University for 35 years. When that virus is eradicated--perhaps in the next few years--we will have to destroy all of our virus stocks. When that happens, I can either go home, or find another virus.

When Zika virus stepped into the w... Read More

Reducing infectious malaria parasites in donated blood could help prevent transmission

A technique for reducing the number of infectious malaria parasites in whole blood could significantly reduce the number of cases of transmission of malaria through blood transfusion, according to a collaboration between researchers in Cambridge, UK, and Kumasi, Ghana. Read More

A virus-like particle vaccine against RSV is safe and effective in mice

Pneumonia remains a serious worldwide problem, especially among the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Over 900,000 children die each year due to the disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b bein... Read More

Cause of Maryland Food Poisoning Outbreak Traced to Asia

Washington, DC – April 6, 2016 – Vibrio parahaemolyticus caused an outbreak of food poisoning in Maryland in 2010. The pathogen strain sequenced from patients proved to be the same strain as one of those found in raw oysters from local restaurants, strong evidence that the oysters were the sourc... Read More

Global E. coli Testing Market to be Worth US$2.1 bn by 2022, Driven by Rising Demand for Enzyme Substrate Kits

Escherichia coli (E.coli) is a Gram negative rod-shaped bacteria commonly found in intestines of warm blooded animals. Majority of the E.coli strains are harmless, however certain strains are known to cause serious medical complications.The rising number of supportive initiatives from government... Read More

Pandemic E. coli strain H30 cloaks its stealth strategies

The difficulty in subduing the pandemic strain of drug-resistant E. coli, called H30, may go beyond patient vulnerability or antibiotic resistance. This form of the disease-pathogen may have an intrinsic ability to cause persistent, harmful, even deadly infections. Read More

TWiV 386: The dolphins did it

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloRich Condit, and  Read More

Neanderthals may have been infected by diseases carried out of Africa by humans

A new study suggests that Neanderthals across Europe may well have been infected with diseases carried out of Africa by waves of anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens. As both were species of hominin, it would have been easier for pathogens to jump populations, say researchers. This might ... Read More

Typhoid toxin increases host survival and promotes asymptomatic infection

Genotoxins damage the genetic material in cells and can cause mutations and cancer. Some bacteria code for and produce genotoxins. A study published on April 7th in PLOS Pathogens reports the surprising finding that one of them, typhoid toxin, actually increases survival of the infected host and... Read More

NIH launches large clinical trials of antibody-based HIV prevention

Enrollment has begun in the first of two multinational clinical trials of an intravenously delivered investigational antibody for preventing HIV infection. Known as the AMP Studies, for antibody-mediated prevention, the trials will test whether giving people an investigational anti-HIV antibody ... Read More

Canadian innovation for killing mosquito eggs could help Zika fight

Toronto, Canada - With Canadian Government funding, a team of innovators from Canada and Mexico have successfully tested a low cost, environmentally-friendly way of destroying the eggs of the mosquito genus that spreads dengue, and likely spreading the Zika virus. Read More

An Earth Day Shout-out to Microbes

So another Earth Day has come and gone. How did you spend yours? If you spent the entire day asleep, you used about half a kilogram of oxygen. Since I assume that you are alive and kicking, you probably consumed more oxygen than that. If you went about your normal business during the day, you pr... Read More

New mouse model to aid testing of Zika vaccine, therapeutics

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has established a mouse model for testing of vaccines and therapeutics to battle Zika virus. Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... Read More

Trophoblasts resistant to Zika/Zika in the mouse

Two unrelated studies on the Zika virus--one ruling out a theory for how Zika may be passing through the human placenta and another on using mouse models to trace Zika pathogenesis--appear April 5 in Cell Host & Microbe. Read More

Zika virus in Brazilian non-human primates

Zika virus RNA has been detected in New World monkeys from the Northeast region of Brazil. This finding suggests that primates may serve as a reservoir host for the virus, as occurs in Africa. Read More
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