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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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TWiV 416: Scattered seeds dormant

The multi-dimensional TWiV-brane brings you the entries in the haiku/limerick contest, and explain how a giant virus infects a host within another host (it has to do with predators!).


Hosts:  Read More

Skin bacterium releases enzyme that may protect against damage and disease

The study - from Lund University in Sweden and published in the journal Scientific Reports - investigates a skin bacterium called Propionibacterium acnes. Senior author Dr. Rolf Lood, from Lund's Department of Clinical Sciences, explains:

"The name originates from the fact that the bacterium ... Read More

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

War and peace in the human gut: Probing the microbiome

Human well being often flourishes under conditions of cooperation with others and flounders during periods of external conflict and strife.

According to Athena Aktipis, a researcher at Arizona State University's Biodesign Institute, microbes within the body--collectively known as the microbi... Read More

Bid to beat baby chest infection boosted by immune study

Babies at risk of a serious lung infection could be helped by a therapy based on the body's natural immune defences. Read More

UMMS scientists use CRISPR to discover Zika and dengue weaknesses

Scientists at the University of Massachusetts Medical School (UMMS) have performed the first CRISPR/Cas9 screen to discover human proteins that Zika virus needs for replication. This work, led by Abraham Brass, MD, PhD, assistant professor in microbiology & physiological systems, reveals new lea... Read More

Microbes Found on New York City ATM Keypads Mostly from Human Skin, Food

Mapping and identifying all the microbes across New York City is no small feat. Just ask Jane Carlton. About three years ago, Carlton, director of the Center for Genomics and Systems Biology, and professor of biology, at New York University and colleagues won an NYU grand challenge grant for the... Read More

Antimicrobial in Common Toothpaste Doesn't Impact Gut, Oral Microbiome

Washington, DC - May 18, 2016 - Personal hygiene products such as soaps and toothpastes that contain the antibiotic triclosan do not have a major influence on microbial communities or endocrine function, according to a small, randomized trial. The study findings were published online May 18th in... Read More

Virus Watch: Zika Edition

Virus Watch is a new weekly video series that explores the amazing world of viruses. This week: the latest research on Zika virus, including finding virus in Brazilian monkeys, dengue antibodies helping Zika virus infection, and brain organoids to study how Zika virus causes microcephaly. Read More

Researchers hope hybrid compounds can sensitize and inhibit malaria parasites in one blow

Because of its safety, efficacy, and affordability, chloroquine remains the treatment of choice for all Plasmodium species, except in regions with chloroquine-resistant P. falciparum. Chloroquine-resistant protists are treated with combination therapy, which includes artemisinin-derived molecule... Read More

Will the flu kill you? It may depend on your birth year

Your birth year predicts—to a certain extent—how likely you are to get seriously ill or die in an outbreak of an animal-origin influenza virus, new research suggests.

Until now, scientists thought that previous exposure to a flu virus conferred little or no immunological protection against ne... Read More

Microbes After Hours: Spillover: Zika, Ebola, & Beyond

Throughout the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. What's behind their increase, and can we do anything to combat these dangerous foes? Spillover: Zika, Ebola & Beyond, from HHMI's Tangled Bank Studios, investigates the rise of spillove... Read More

An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

Antiviral therapy prolongs survival in immune tolerant hepatitis B patients

April 15, 2016, Barcelona, Spain: A new study, presented today at The International Liver Congress™ 2016 in Barcelona Spain, demonstrates that the use of antiviral therapy for patients in the immune tolerant phase of Hepatitis B (HBV) prolongs overall survival and reduces the risk of the most co... Read More

First case of acute myelitis in a patient infected with Zika virus

A first case of acute myelitis following infection with Zika virus has been reported for the first time by a research team from Inserm Unit 1127 Brain and Spinal Cord Institute (Inserm/CNRS/Sorbonne University) and neurologists at Pointe-à-Pitre University Hospital and the University of the Anti... Read More

Getting closer to understanding Zika virus, one genome at a time

Several papers published in Genome Announcements recently describe the sequences of new Zika virus isolates. Scientists have known the genomic sequence of at least one Zika virus isolate since 2007, but continue to publish newly isolated strains. What is the importance of these additional sequen... Read More

First-in-man trial of MERS vaccine begins at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research

SILVER SPRING, Md. - The Walter Reed Army Institute of Research (WRAIR) began vaccinations today in a Phase 1 clinical trial to evaluate the safety and immune response of a vaccine candidate to prevent Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS). Read More

Bacteria in Smokeless Tobacco Products May be a Health Concern

Washington, DC - August 26, 2016 - Several species of bacteria found in smokeless tobacco products have been associated with opportunistic infections, according to a paper published August 25 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Read More

Curcumin may help overcome drug-resistant tuberculosis

New research indicates that curcumin--a substance in turmeric that is best known as one of the main components of curry powder--may help fight drug-resistant tuberculosis. In Asia, turmeric is used to treat many health conditions and it has anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and perhaps even antica... Read More

Moving beyond metagenomics to find the next pandemic virus

I was asked to write a commentary for the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences to accompany an article entitled SARS-like WIV1-CoV poised for human emergence. I’d like to explain why I wrote it and why I spent the last five paragraphs railing against regulating gain-of-function experi... Read More
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