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How Bacteria in Placenta Could Help Shape Human Health

The placenta is full of microbes, a new study finds, raising questions about how that ecosystem and mothers' oral health influence the risk of pre-term birth.

Even before a baby is born a microbial ecosystem takes up residence in the placenta, creating a microbiome that may help shape the new... Read More

Bacterial food web may be key to cystic fibrosis

Cystic fibrosis patients suffer from chronic bacterial infections and thick mucous in their lungs, due largely to a combination of microbial infections and resulting inflammation. A common pathogen, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, which can lay dormant in healthy individuals, becomes virulent in the lun... Read More

Scientists for Science

Scientists for Science are confident that biomedical research on potentially dangerous pathogens can be performed safely and is essential for a comprehensive understanding of microbial disease pathogenesis, prevention and treatment. The results of such research are often unanticipated and accrue... Read More

Adoption of the fist bump as a greeting could substantially reduce the transmission of infectious disease between individuals

Could a fist bump be a cleaner, better way for people to greet each other, especially in germy hospitals? British researchers have done an experiment that seems to say yes.

They tested just how many bacteria are transferred hand to hand during a handshake, a high-five and a fist bump. Handsha... Read More

TWiV 281: The Salk legacy with Peter L. Salk

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Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guest: Peter L. Salk


Vincent meets up with Peter L. Salk to talk about development ... Read More

New Drugs Use Cell "Garbage Disposal" to Kill Bacteria

A new class of molecules called acyldepsipeptides—ADEPs—may provide a new way to attack bacteria that have developed resistance to antibiotics.

Researchers have discovered a way to increase the potency of ADEPs by up to 1,200 times. Their findings appear in the Journal of the American Chemica... Read More

TB bacteria mask their identity to intrude into deeper regions of lungs

TB-causing bacteria appear to mask their identity to avoid recognition by infection-killing cells in the upper airways. The bacteria call up more permissive white blood cells in the deeper regions of the lungs and hitch a ride inside them to get into the host’s body.

These findings are report... Read More

In Search of the Perfect Gut Microbiome with a Tribe of Tanzanian Hunter-Gatherers

It might sound strange to say that humans have forgotten what human-food is, but many scientists believe this is the case. For thousands of years, the environment in which humans lived evolved at a glacial pace—our nutrition and culture changed slowly, and our bodies adapted to it at a matching ... Read More

Stanford University Bioengineer Creates Organic Microbe-Powered Video Games

Bioengineer Ingmar Riedel-Kruse of Stanford University has created a series of games where players control organic microbes.

The games, which you can see showcased in the video below, places a collection of single-celled protozoans called paramecia in a thumbnail-sized chamber with electrode-... Read More

Small microbes almost killed all life on Earth, study suggests

Tiny microbes on the bottom of the ocean floor may have been responsible for the largest extinction event our planet has ever seen, according to a new study.

These microbes of death were so small, that 1 billion of them could fit in a thimble-full of ocean sediment, and yet, they were almost... Read More

TWiP 66 letters

 


Andre writes:


Dear Vincent,


To my great delight, I just discovered your podcasts twiv, twim and twip.


The first twip I heard, about Strongyloides stercoralis, although informative and interesting, seemed to have several inaccuracies. I w... Read More

'Paleo Ale' Brewed From Yeast Found On A 40-Million-Year-Old Whale Fossil

A Virginia brewer soon plans to serve a beer made from yeast found hanging out on a 40-million-year-old whale fossil, the blog Symbiartic reports. Depending on your disposition, I imagine you're reacting in one of two ways right now, "Yecchh!" or "Cool!" The beer will be called Bone Dusters Pale... Read More

TWiV 265: This year in virology

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove Read More

Ebola’s ‘Fist’: U.Va. Unlocks How Deadly Virus Smashes Into Human Cells

Researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have discovered how the deadly Ebola virus punches its way into the cytoplasm of cells. The finding identifies an important target for blocking the infection process of this incurable disease that many fear may be used for bioterror.
... Read More

Should variola virus, the agent of smallpox, be destroyed?

Later this month (May 2014) the World Health Assembly will decide whether to destroy the remaining stocks of variola virus – the agent of smallpox – or to allow continued research on the virus at WHO-approved laboratories. We are interested in your opinion on this issue. Please follow the link t... Read More

Using tobacco to thwart West Nile virus

An international research group led by Arizona State University professor Qiang "Shawn" Chen has developed a new generation of potentially safer and more cost-effective therapeutics against West Nile virus, and other pathogens. The therapeutics, known as monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and their de... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Where Pathogens Can Linger on Airplanes

Many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers given the long time spent in crowded air cabins. New research shows disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week. Participants discuss ... Read More

Light zaps viruses: How photosensitization can stop viruses from infecting cells

A UCLA-led team of researchers has found evidence that photosensitizing a virus's membrane covering can inhibit its ability to enter cells and potentially lead to the development of stronger, cheaper medications to fight a host of tough viruses.

The UCLA AIDS Institute study, published in th... Read More

Microvores: A Chemical Romance

An illustrated short story of the day in the life of a mircrobe who is self aware. Read More

The Energizer Bacterium

Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.

Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More

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