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A video podcast by the American Society for Microbiology that highlights the latest in microbiology, life science, and related topics. ASM is composed of over 42,000 scientists and health professionals with the mission to advance the microbial sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide. Click here for more information about ASM.
Rob Knight studies the diversity of microbial communities. For every person, microbes outnumber human cells by a factor of ten. Rob has found that this large population of microbes differs based on which part of your body they inhabit (head, hands, gut, etc.).
These same microbes vary widely in type from person to person. Unlike the human genome which is 99.9% alike from person to person, people are 80 to 90% different in their microbial make up.
Rob shares what the microbiome project as been able to learn about these variances among the microbes on and in us and how probiotic therapies might be developed to help treat specific issues related to a person's microbiome.
Ecosystem level therapies such as stool transplants that recolonize a person's gut microbiome have shown promising results. The question then is, do we know enough about therapies that alter someone's microbial flora to avoid the same kind of problems that non-native species have wreaked on other natural environments?
Rob also discusses a project he's been working on in Bangladesh which brings powerful computing analysis to scientists who don't have the resources to utilize advanced computing in their research.
Filmed in Vancouver, Canada at the 2012 AAAS meeting.
Sheldon Campbell sings about microbiology. Dr. Campbell teaches microbiology at Yale School of Medicine and he uses music to enhance his lectures. He has one song for every block of lectures he gives on a major topic.
Songs he's written include a song about fungi, tick borne disease, tuberculosis and one that reviews all of microbiology in eight minutes.
Dr. Campbell hasn't done any testing to see if his songs are more effective at getting his message across but he does get the occasional student who says they remembered something on a test because of his music. The students seem to enjoy it, if not at first, "by the end of the course they're singing along."
Dr. Campbell uses his love of music to enhance his teaching because he believes that if you bring something of yourself into your teaching you'll be a much more engaging and effective teacher.
Professor zur Hausen talks about the beginnings of his work on the human papilloma virus (HPV) starting in 1972 with a group he setup to look at the "isolation and characterization of the viruses in genital warts."
This group would lead to the discovery of HPV 16 and 18 (the leading cause of cervical cancer) amongst many other types.
The discovery of these two particular strains of HPV led to insights into the cancer causing properties of HPV which would result in the production of the HPV vaccine.
Vincent and Professor zur Hausen also discuss other virus related cancers including the possibility that colon cancer is a product of a virus and the application of the HPV vaccine to males as well as females.
Filmed on location in Manchester, England at the 2013 Society for General Microbiology conference.
The master ingredient in beer is yeast -- a microbe -- and every step in the brewing process helps the yeast do its job better. Watch this live streamed video from the American Society of Microbiology to learn more about how microbes are selected, grown, and manipulated in modern breweries to develop a wide variety of flavors and textures!
Speakers include ...
Dr. Charles Bamforth, University of California, Davis
Rebecca Newman, Dogfish Head Craft Brewery
A recorded version of a live streaming video episode of This Week in Microbiology (TWiM), a podcast about unseen life on Earth, with Vincent Racaniello, a Higgins Professor in the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at Columbia University. In Denver, Racaniello, co-host Michael Schmidt, and guests discuss E. coli, one of the most commonly isolated organisms in the clinical microbiology laboratories, and rhinoviruses, agents of the common cold and lower respiratory tract disease.
Vincent and Robert recorded this episode at the 53rd ICAAC in Denver, where they talked about polyomaviruses.
Dr. Jeffrey Almond began his career as an academic virologist studying influenza. Eventually Jeffrey started his own lab and began studying picornaviruses working on an oral polio vaccine strain.
Following twenty years in academics and major contributions in the eradication of polio worldwide, Jeffrey transitioned into a career in industry working on vaccine development at Sanofi Pasteur.
In March of 2013, Jeffrey was at the Society for General Microbiology's Spring conference to give the Colworth Prize Lecture awarded biennially for an outstanding contribution in an area of applied microbiology. Jeffrey's talk was titled: Vaccines R&D: challenges for the 21st century.
On this episode, Vincent Racaniello talks with Dr. Almond about the future of vaccines, his transition from academia to industry and his prize lecture.
David Bhella, Ph.D., MRC Centre for Virus Research, accepts the Peter Wildy Prize for Microbiology Education, awarded annually by the Society for General Microbiology for an outstanding contribution to microbiology education. Recorded live March 25, 2013 in Manchester, UK, at the Manchester Convention Centre.
In addition to his research, David participates with the Glasgow Science Centre in public outreach to help teach students the processes behind his science.
Due to his work, David received the 2013 Peter Wildy Prize for Microbiology Education. David's acceptance speech detailed his work with students as well as the stunning images he has produced through his work in electron-cryomicroscopy in particular a project he did with artist Murray Robertson called Molecular Machines which features animated 3D images from virus research.
On this episode, Vincent Racaniello talks with David about the Wildy Prize, his work with electron-cryomicroscopy, public outreach and his passion for combining science and art.
How can something too small to be seen with the naked eye be powerful enough to bring down something like the U.S. Government? It turns out that microbes, mostly invisible, have the extraordinary capacity to affect our lives – through outbreaks of disease and the spread of fear. Twice in history, microbes have even brought the U.S. Government to a halt!
Filmed live at the D.C. headquarters of the American Society for Microbiology, learn more about the Yellow Fever outbreak of 1792 that caused the fledgling Congress to flee and the Anthrax scare of 2001 that also shut down government buildings and agencies.
Guest speakers include ...
Dr. Marshall Bloom, Rocky Mountain Laboratories, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease
Dr. Douglas Beecher, Federal Bureau of Investigation