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MGH team broadens utility of more compact CRISPR-Cas9 by increasing its targeting range

A team of Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators has shown that a method they developed to improve the usefulness and precision of the most common form of the gene-editing tools CRISPR-Cas9 RNA-guided nucleases can be applied to Cas9 enzymes from other bacterial sources. In a paper r... Read More

Less effective antimalarial therapies can help fight malaria better

Oxford University scientists have found that the more effective way to beat malaria is to use less effective drugs some of the time. Read More

How immunity to RSV develops in childhood but deteriorates in adults

The leading infectious cause of severe respiratory disease in infants, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), is also a major cause of respiratory illness in the elderly. Approved vaccines do not yet exist, and despite the development of partial immunity following infection during childhood, individ... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Sunday

We’ve had a whirlwind of amazing talks, poster sessions, and networking sessions so far at ASM Microbe 2016. In our previous two Dispatches from ASM Microbe, we’ve covered microbiomes, for which research ranges from extremely basic (Which microbes are present? How do we quantify them?) to clinic... Read More

A microbial mystery in the Namib Desert

The Namib Desert is different than other deserts: it has an unusual geographic feature that differentiates it from most others. This desert (map, right) is where you can find ‘fairy circles,’ or circular areas absent of growth in an already plant-scarce environment. These deadened circles are su... Read More

Vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus shows promise in early trial

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health researchers say a new candidate vaccine against respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) made with a weakened version of the virus shows great promise at fighting the disease, the leading cause of hospitalization for children under the age of one in the U... 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

BacterioFiles 264 - Small Cells Stimulate Satiety

This episode: Proteins from gut bacteria seems to affect hunger and satiety in their (rodent) hosts!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Ne... Read More

Tug of war among bacteria

At the University of Cologne, biophysicists in the lab of Professor Berenike Maier were now able to show how differential mechanical forces can lead to cell sorting in biofilms, thereby determining their architecture. In their publication in the journal eLife, the team headed by the biophysicist... Read More

DRUG FROM BANANAS MAY FIGHT FLU VIRUS

Bananas contain a substance that, when changed slightly by scientists, shows promise to fight a wide range of viruses, including the flu. Read More

Scientists, share your Zika virus reagents!

Today I learned that a number of investigators refuse to share their samples of Zika virus with other laboratories.

There are countless stories about scientists not sharing reagents because they want to be the first to make a discovery. This behavior allows them to publish first, secure more ... Read More

Dengue: Asymptomatic people transmit the virus to mosquitoes

Scientists at the Institut Pasteur in Cambodia, the Institut Pasteur in Paris and the CNRS provided proof that people infected by dengue virus but showing no clinical symptoms can actually infect mosquitoes that bite them. It appears that these asymptomatic people - who, together with mildly sym... Read More

CRISPR/Cas9 used for rapid functional study of cancer-causing genes

In a novel use of the CRISPR/Cas9 system, which can be deployed to switch genes off, researchers from Germany, the UK and Spain have developed a multiplexed screening approach to study and model cancer development in mice. The scientists mutated genes in the adult mouse liver uncovering their ca... Read More

TWiP 112: A NOD to a tricky helminth

The TWiP trio solve the case of the Woman from Washington Heights, and reveal how helminth infection protects mice deficient in the Crohn's disease gene NOD2 from intestinal disease by inhibiting colonization with an inflammatory bacterial species.


Hosts:  Read More

NIH study finds factors that may influence influenza vaccine effectiveness

The long-held approach to predicting seasonal influenza vaccine effectiveness may need to be revisited, new research suggests. Currently, seasonal flu vaccines are designed to induce high levels of protective antibodies against hemagglutinin (HA), a protein found on the surface of the influenza ... Read More

Changing the mindset of a pathogen-based vaccine

It’s hard to turn on the news at the moment and not hear about the latest emerging disease, Zika. The filovirus joins a cadre of infectious diseases spread by arthropod vectors – meaning the disease is passed between infected individuals via insect bites. A long list of microbes are spread this ... 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

Phage diffusion on a bacterial lawn: not all plaques are created equal

Like us, bacteria have their own microbial attackers, in the form of bacteria-specific viruses called bacteriophage, or phage. These phage come in a variety of flavors but can be broadly categorized into virulent, which immediately begin to replicate and lyse (burst) the infected cell quickly, a... Read More

Zika virus: 5 things to know

A concise "Five things to know about.... Zika virus infection" article for physicians highlights key points about this newly emerged virus in CMAJ (Canadian Medical Association Journal) Read More

TWiM 133 Letters

Arthur writes:


Hello TWIMers!


I'm a graduate student working in mycoplasmology and I  must say I've been overjoyed to hear the past few episodes mention our tiny friends!


Elio's mention of their unique mechanism of moving ("Gliding Motility") made... Read More

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