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Targeting the gut microbiome to fight heart disease

Is the way to treat heart disease through a person's stomach? According to a new study, the answer is yes. Researchers have found that a compound found in red wine, resveratrol, reduces the risk of heart disease by changing the gut microbiome.

Cardiovascular disease remains the leading cause ... Read More

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

BacterioFiles 246 - Prowling Protist Predator Packs

This episode: Amoebas in soil gang up on and eat much larger roundworms!


(10.5 MB, 11.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper
... Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

TWiV 383: A zillion Zika papers and a Brazilian


Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and  Read More

Using citizen science to engage students

Scientists and science educators now recognize the value in explaining what fields don’t understand, in addition to facts supported by years of experimental data. Citizen science projects, which emphasize accessibility of scientific technologies and methods for everyone, allow people without yea... Read More

Nonpathogenic viruses transferred during fecal transplants

Fecal transplants are increasingly being used for refractory Clostridium difficile and other gastrointestinal disorders. While fecal donors are screened for various infectious diseases, it is unclear whether viruses can in fact be transmitted during fecal transplants. Now a new study shows that ... Read More

BacterioFiles 245 - Plant Prokaryotes Produce Protective Plaques

This episode: Bacteria around rice roots help protect plants from arsenic toxicity!


(10.1 MB, 11 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

TWiP 106: Trematode stormtroopers in snail wars

The TWiP triumvirate solves the case of the Missionary in Kenya, and review the finding of a soldier caste in flatworms that parasitize snails.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

A biofilm model that accounts for cell aggregates

Whether you’ve Google-searched “biofilm” to learn more yourself, taken courses covering the subject, or are deeply embedded in biofilm-related research, you’ve probably encountered a model similar to the one below, which represents biofilm maturation. In the current model, a biofilm begins with ... Read More

Top secret, viruses with RNA genomes!

Today it is well known that viruses may contain DNA (poxvirus, mimivirus) or RNA (influenza virus, Zika virus), but for many years it was thought that genomes were only made of DNA. The surprise at finding only RNA in a virus is plainly evident in a 1953 letter from Harriett Ephrussi-Taylor to J... Read More

Shiga toxin: no preassembly required

The molecular order of events is important in virulence, and a new paper published in the Journal of Bacteriology looks at the order of events necessary for bacterial toxin delivery to a host cell. Specifically, the authors looked at the assembly of Shiga toxin, produced by Shigella dysenteriae ... Read More

Communicating your science via social media

ASM aims to promote and advance the microbial sciences in a myriad of ways. In addition to promoting scientific education and discoveries, we also hope to engage the public with the diverse world of microbes! Last year, we held our first Agar Art contest, to highlight the often-overlooked beauty... Read More

BacterioFiles 244 - Rabbit Viruses Exploding Cancer

This episode: A conversation with Audiommunity hosts about a rabbit virus that may help treat cancer while preventing the treatment from killing the patient!


(39.2 MB, 42.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

#microMOOCSEM: the first microbiology massive online open course by Twitter (in Spanish)

Veintinueve profesores e investigadores de 20 universidades y centros de investigación van a colaborar para impartir el primer curso mundial online gratuito vía Twitter sobre microbiología. La iniciativa está coordinada y organizada por el grupo de Docencia y Difusión de la Microbiología de la S... Read More

TWiV 381: Add viruses and Zimmer

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

TWiEVO 6: Butterflies are free to shuffle

In this month's episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and I discuss the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. In this study of Amazonian butterflies, the authors show that distinct patterns are a consequence of enhancer shuffling. Enhancers are DNA sequences that control trans... Read More

Culture-independent discovery of new archaeal virus

What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... 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
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