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TWiM #65: Leanness is transmissible

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello and Michele Swanson.


Vincent and M... Read More

TWiM 65 Letters

Alexandra writes:


Dear TWIM-ers,


When I began listening to TWIV almost a year ago, I had just switched majors from philosophy to biology. I am now writing to you good people at TWIM at the end of my first undergraduate summer research gig, where I have had qui... Read More

Reducing assembly complexity of microbial genomes with single-molecule sequencing

A new paper released in Genome Biology on September 13 from lead author Sergey Koren at the National Biodefense Analysis and Countermeasures Center offers a thorough overview of Pacific Biosciences' SMRT® Sequencing for microbes, from per-genome cost to potential for assembling complete genomes.... Read More

Recruiting E. coli to combat hard-to-treat bacterial infections

The notorious bacteria E. coli is best known for making people sick, but scientists have reprogrammed the microbe — which also comes in harmless varieties — to make it seek out and fight other disease-causing pathogens. The researchers’ report appears in the journal ACS Synthetic Biology and de... Read More

TB vaccine developed at McMaster University

McMaster University researchers are about to launch Canada’s first tuberculosis (TB) vaccine clinical trial with a vaccine totally designed, manufactured and tested within McMaster.

"The exciting thing for McMaster is that this is translational research that has gone from the basic science wh... Read More

DOES DEADLY FROG FUNGUS LURK IN INSECTS?

An ancient skin fungus that has been killing frogs, salamanders, and other amphibians may be hiding in invertebrates such as insects.

The skin fungus, Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd), also known as amphibian chytrid, got attention in 1993 when dead and dying frogs began turning up in Quee... Read More

Antarctica's Salt-Loving Microbes Swap DNA

Microbes living in Antarctica's saltiest lake swap huge chunks of genetic material as a means of surviving their harsh environment, a new study finds.

The single-celled organisms, called haloarchaea for their salt-loving ways, are biologically distinct from bacteria, algae and other tiny crea... Read More

My Dishwasher Is Trying to Kill Me: Extreme Conditions Suit Pathogenic Fungus

A potentially pathogenic fungus has found a home living in extreme conditions in some of the most common household appliances, researchers have found. A new paper published in the British Mycological Society journal, Fungal Biology, published by Elsevier, shows that these sites make perfect habi... Read More

Plasmas attack bacterial cells on several levels

As they destroy bacteria very efficiently, plasmas constitute an alternative to chemical disinfectants and potentially to antibiotics, as well. How they achieve this effect has been investigated by biologists, plasma physicists and chemists at the Ruhr-Universität (RUB). Cold atmospheric-pressur... Read More

Legionella bacteria found in compost products

A study conducted at the University of Strathclyde investigating the presence of Legionella in compost, has found that the bacteria exist in a significant number of commercial products.

The research, the first substantial analysis of Legionella in UK composts, suggests that the bacteria are a... Read More

Hacking Bacteria To Do Our Bidding: Photos

Scientists regularly tap into biological systems to find solutions for human problems. Although they work with plants and viruses in the lab, bacteria have many advantages as a starting point. When programmed in certain ways, bacteria can store data, clean dangerous waste, produce film-like imag... Read More

Incidence of asymptomatic human influenza A(H5N1) virus infection

When virologists Fouchier and Kawaoka were isolating avian influenza H5N1 viruses that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol, there was consternation from some quarters that such viruses might escape from the laboratory and cause a pandemic in humans. Part of the fear came from the fact that t... Read More

Your Smartphone Could Help Fight Disease

For the majority of history, germs were an unknown entity. Their effects, from fermentation to illness were known, and yet no one exactly knew the cause. Then, nearly 350 years ago, Antoine van Leeuwenhoek, a one-time draper, looked through a flat lens made of ground glass and saw for the very f... Read More

Highland honey kills bacteria, Glasgow study suggests

Honey from bees kept in the Highlands is effective in treating infections, according to new research.

Glasgow University's School of Veterinary Medicine, which did the testing, said it could potentially be used for treating humans and animals.

Manuka honey, which is largely exported from N... Read More

A hidden genetic code for better designer genes

How rare 'words' in bacterial genes boost protein production. Scientists routinely seek to reprogram bacteria to produce proteins for drugs, biofuels and more, but they have struggled to get those bugs to follow orders. But a hidden feature of the genetic code, it turns out, could get bugs with... Read More

UC Davis Researchers Find How Viral Infection Disrupts Neural Development in Offspring, Increasing Risk of Autism

Activating a mother’s immune system during her pregnancy disrupts the development of neural cells in the brain of her offspring and damages the cells' ability to transmit signals and communicate with one another, researchers with the UC Davis Center for Neuroscience and Department of Neurology h... Read More

E. coli Keeps Its Powder Dry

Whether inhabiting soil, fresh water, or marine ecosystems, bacteria are constantly facing the threat of numerous and effective predators such as protists, nematodes, or phages. To defend against such predation, bacteria have evolved a number of strategies, including getting larger in size, movi... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 137 - Germ's Jammer Jumpstarts Genes

This episode: Pathogen's CRISPR-Cas system (for defense against viruses) can be modified to change gene expression in mammals!




Download Epis... Read More

'Facts' of C. Diff Transmission Challenged

A sophisticated genetic analysis of Clostridium difficile cases is challenging the conventional wisdom that symptomatic patients are responsible for most transmission in hospitals.

Whole-genome sequencing of C. difficile isolates from more than 1,200 patients found that only 35% were related ... Read More

Government Shutdown Would Halt Seasonal Influenza Program

If the government shuts down in the absence of a budget agreement, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would be unable to support its seasonal influenza program that monitors the spread of flu, the Obama administration has announced.

The program is part of a series of initiati... Read More

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