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Induction of Acinetobacter baumannii natural competence

Bacteria acquire and spread genetic information through several means. Some bacteria form a long, thin tube called a pilus, mediating transfer of DNA by direct cell-to-cell contact, in a process known as conjugation. Some bacterial take up environmental DNA and incorporate it into their existing... Read More

TWiEVO 8: Everyone’s a little bit Neanderthal

Many years ago, Homo sapiens mated with Neanderthals. Today a small percentage of our genome remains Neanderthal, and in a study discussed on this episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, we show that some important genes of our innate immune response - the early response against path... Read More

Announcing ASM's Agar Art 2016 Winners

Thank you to everyone who created a log phase masterpiece, to our esteemed judges, and to everyone who voted for People's Choice on Facebook! We received 117 amazing entries from 26 countries and 17 U.S. states. Special congratulations to our winners! View this year’s winners... Read More

TWiM #129: Dried and wrinkled, smooth and mucoid

The arrival in the US of plasmid-mediated resistance to colistin antibiotics, a last line of defense against many gram-negative bacilli, and a quorum sensing system in a eukaryote are topics of this episode hosted by Vincent, Michael, and Michele.


Image (right): Etest used to determin... Read More

TWiM 129 Letters

Steven writes:


Dear Vincent et al,


Firstly, congratulations for keeping up such a wide range of thought provoking podcasts, and maintaining such a tremendous output. I find they all leave me with more questions than answers, which is, I think, a sign of good s... Read More

Combination therapy cures tick-borne illness in mice

New Haven, Conn.--A novel combination therapy cures an emerging infectious disease, babesiosis, which is transmitted by the same ticks that transmit the agents of Lyme disease, said Yale researchers. This "radical" therapy not only clears the infection but also prevents the recurrence that often... Read More

New study finds that vaccinating mothers against flu can protect newborns

Each year, influenza causes between 250,000 and half a million deaths around the world. Pregnant women and young infants have a higher risk of complications related to influenza; these complications can easily lead to death. The problem is particularly severe in the developing world, where acces... Read More

The Mushroom Farmer Versus Drug-Resistant Superbugs

The rise of drug-resistant bacteria is sobering. Just last week, colistin-resistant E. coli––a “superbug” resistant to the antibiotic that’s considered the last resort for combatting particularly dangerous types of infections––landed in the U.S. Soon, public health officials anticipate, infectio... Read More

Technological advances reveal finer details about chronic infection

How do chronic infections change over time? This is the broad question addressed in recent research published in the Journal of Virology. In their study, a team of scientists headed by Fabio Luciani investigated a hepatitis B virus infection over a course of 15 years.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ... Read More

BacterioFiles 254 - Clostridium Consolidates Combustibles Conversion

This episode: Engineering bacteria to convert cellulose directly into useful biofuels and chemicals can be tricky!


(13.9 MB, 15.2 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

TWiV 392: Zika virus!

Four virologists discuss our current understanding of Zika virus biology, pathogenesis, transmission, and prevention, in this special live episode recorded at the American Society for Microbiology in Washington, DC.


Host:  Read More

UMMS scientists offer first look at how our cells can 'swallow up and quarantine' Zika

WORCESTER, MA - Eight weeks after receiving their first samples of Zika virus, scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have shown that a very small protein we all have in our bodies, interferon-induced protein 3 (IFITM3), can dramatically reduce the ability of Zika vi... Read More

Low risk of dengue infection predicted for foreign visitors to Rio Olympics

In 2014, before the FIFA World Cup opened in Brazil, there were fears that many of the 600,000 foreign visitors expected for the world's largest soccer tournament would acquire dengue fever. Their numbers could reach hundreds or even thousands, according to some predictions. Read More

American Society for Microbiology - Zika Virus Press Conference 2016 @ASMZika

Watch a panel of Zika virus experts who speak about the latest developments on Zika virus research and a wide range of fields that touch on flaviviruses.

Moderated by:

Lynn Enquist, Ph. D.
ASM President and Zika conference convener, Henry L. Hillman Professor in Molecular Biology and Pro... Read More

TWiP 111: Bug bites

The TWiP trio solve the case of the bug bites all in a row, and talk about a secreted Toxoplasma protein that is central to the parasite's manipulation of host cells.


Hosts: Vincent Racan... Read More

MMP #13: Redetermining the ratio of microbial to human cells – correcting the widely held view that this ratio is 10 to 1

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Ron Milo and Shai Fuchs.


Ron Milo of Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, talk with Jeff Fox about their efforts, with Ron Sender at Weizmann, to redetermine the ratio... Read More

ASM holds Zika press conference

Tomorrow begins a Special President’s Edition ASM Conference, hosted by the American Society for Microbiology in collaboration with the American Society for Virology. The conference, “What Does the Biology of Flaviviruses Tell Us About Zika: The Importance of Fundamental Virus Biology” highlight... Read More

New tools to detect new virus

In fall 2015, a new human hepegivirus (HHpgV-1) was identified by using a novel, high throughput sequencing technique. Concerns were raised that this virus was found in blood to be used for transfusions, potentially passing on the infection. But without tools to test for its presence, there was ... Read More

New method gives scientists a better look at how HIV infects and takes over its host cells

Viruses attack cells and commandeer their machinery in a complex and carefully orchestrated invasion. Scientists have longed probed this process for insights into biology and disease, but essential details still remain out of reach.



A new approach, developed by a team of researchers led ... Read More

Early-capture HIV study allows for characterization of acute infection period

Acute HIV infection (AHI) contributes significantly to HIV transmission and may be important for intervention strategies seeking to reduce incidence and achieve a functional cure. In a study by the U.S. Military HIV Research Program (MHRP), Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, published in Th... Read More
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