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Two birds with one stone: E. faecium cotransfers drug resistance determinants by homologous recombination

The Gram-positive bacterium Enterococcus faecium is a member of the ESKAPE pathogens for which drug resistance has been a growing problem. How E. faecium becomes drug resistant has been a long-standing question, and is the focus of a new study now available in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemothera... Read More

Fighting Zika with Functional Fashion

Function is often thought of as the tradeoff for high fashion, but who says you can’t have both? Fawn Jordan, 2016-2017 DC Fashion Incubator Designer in Residence, is seeking to unite the two to help protect women against potentially Zika-transmitting mosquitoes. Her recent collection combines t... Read More

"Motility Wars: A New Hope."

My undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg has made real progress adapting a GoPro camera to help us watch microbial interactions. Here are two swimming foci of Photobacterium leignothi encountering one another! Read More

And they're off! An overview of ASM resources on Olympic-related infectious disease reports

The opening ceremony for the Summer Olympics 2016 will be held this Friday, marking the onset of two weeks of competition between the world’s best athletes. The world has been focused on Brazil and its preparedness – not only for the infrastructure required for the games, but also for any potent... Read More

Diversity and Activity of Communities Inhabiting Plastic Debris in the North Pacific Gyre

Marine plastic debris is a growing concern that has captured the general public’s attention. While the negative impacts of plastic debris on oceanic macrobiota, including mammals and birds, are well documented, little is known about its influence on smaller marine residents, including microbes t... Read More

UTMB researchers find how Ebola disables the immune system

A new study at The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston sheds light on how Ebola so effectively disables the human immune system.

Virologist Alex Bukreyev, UTMB professor and senior author of the study, said the research team engineered versions of the Ebola virus in order to study... Read More

Cloning competition drives student and mentor excellence

Mentoring scientific teams in a project-oriented competition, like engineers can do through the ASCE Concrete Canoe National Competition or the SAE Supermileage Competition, is rare in the microbial sciences. Mentoring a team through this experience allows scientists impart different skills than... Read More

What does the structure reveal about a colony collapse disorder-associated virus

Colony collapse disorder (CCD) has caused such a profound drop in honeybee populations that even the U.S. Congress is addressing the issue: Senator Jeff Merkley (D-Oregon) has proposed the Pollinator Recovery Act to preserve pollinator habitat. The rapid decline in these important pollinators af... Read More

TWiM 144 Letters

Kayla writes:


Hey there TWIM team


I am a Veterinary Microbiologist in Cork in Ireland!


Long time listener of all the TWIX series and I love everyone of them.


I work in a diagnostic lab in cork and the only thing that gets me through the day is ... Read More

Maternal high-fat diet during pregnancy can affect baby's gut microbes

A new study by researchers at Baylor College of Medicine found that, "babies born to mothers who consumed a high-fat diet during pregnancy had a gut microbiome that was distinctly different from the one in babies of mothers on a non-high-fat diet".
Noteably, researchers found that, "the micro... Read More

Using a 'living antibiotic' to tackle disease

It is the first time the predatory bacterium Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus has been successfully used as an injected anti-bacterial therapy and represents an important step in the fight against drug-resistant infections, or ‘superbugs’.

Shigella infection is responsible for over 160 million illn... Read More

TWiV 409: A Nef is enough

Jeremy joins the TWiVeroids to tell the amazing story of how the function of the HIV-1 protein called Nef was discovered and found to promote infection by excluding the host protein SERINC from virus particles.


Hosts:  Read More

Drug-resistant 'nightmare bacteria' show worrisome ability to diversify and spread

A family of highly drug-resistant and potentially deadly bacteria may be spreading more widely—and more stealthily—than previously thought, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard.

Researchers examined carbapenem resi... Read More

And now for something completely different: optimistic news from the world of antibiotic stewardship

There’s no way to avoid the news of a growing concern for drug-resistant infections. In both life-threatening and relatively superficial infections, the ability to successfully treat microbial infections with antimicrobials is decreasing. Our only recourse is to use the drugs we have carefully w... Read More

Scientists learn how to ramp up microbes' ability to make memories

Some microbes can form memories—although, inconveniently for scientists who study the process, they don’t do it very often.

Rockefeller University researchers and their colleagues at the University of California, Berkeley, have found a way to make bacteria encode memories much more frequently... Read More

TWiM #153: Covert pathogenesis

The TWiM team ventures into preprint space with an analysis of type VI secretion across human gut microbiomes, and provide insight into urinary tract infection: how bladder exposure to a member of the vaginal microbiota triggers E. coli egress from latent reservoirs.


Hosts: Vincent Ra... Read More

Climate change affects Swedish reindeer herding and increases tularemia

In northern Sweden, data from certain weather stations have shown that the snow season has been shortened by over two months in the last 30 years, which has huge effects on reindeer herding. Also, the climate sensitive human infection tularemia has tenfolded over the same period and is much more... Read More

Monkeys in zoos have human gut bacteria

Science Daily Article Summary:
"Monkeys in captivity lose much of their native gut bacteria diversity and their gut bacteria ends up resembling those of humans, new research shows. The results suggest that switching to a low-fiber, Western diet may have the power to deplete most normal primate... Read More

ASM Urges Public Health Actions and Funding to Combat Zika Emergency

Washington, DC – August 5, 2016 – Current events linked to the Zika virus make aggressive public health actions and funding to combat this emerging infectious disease more crucial than ever. Newly reported Zika cases in Florida are the first examples of US infection spread by local mosquitos. ... Read More

Onward toward a Zika vaccine

On Monday, August 1, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that pregnant women not travel to Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, because health officials in Florida had found that mosquitoes there are actively transmitting Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that ca... Read More
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