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Zika Virus On and In the Brain - @profvrr has a new blog!

Read in near real-time a virologist's experiments on Zika Virus. Now with its fourth post the Zika Diaries aims to illuminate the public on what it takes to do research on this emerging outbreak. From the Racaniello Lab at Columbia Univ. -

"Now that my laboratory obtained a number of differe... Read More

Virus Watch: Building Zika Virus

In this new video episode of Virus Watch, you'll see how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it binds to an antibody that blocks infection. All in gorgeous three dimensional views provided by recent structure studies. Read More

A new vaccine has developed by Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday his country had developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus which has killed thousands of people in west Africa.

But Putin, who is famed for his talent for headline-grabbing announcements, did not give any name for the vaccine, nor did he say how... Read More

Scientists identify a new route of TB transmission

In the year 2000, Kathleen Alexander, DVM, PhD, now a professor, at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, was working as a government veterinarian in Botswana, when a sickly banded mongoose wandered onto the grounds where she worked. When the mamm... Read More

Bacteria for PET Degradation Discovered

Scientists from Kyoto Institute of Technology (Japan) found a species of bacteria that can grow on polyethylene terephthalate (PET) and treat it as the energy and carbon source, providing a biologic way to break down plastics. Read More

Early-life bacterial colonizers may influence later development of asthma

This past weekend, I went to visit a friend and meet his twin toddler boys for the first time. Though both boys eagerly ran around the playground we visited, one was just slightly less active. “He has asthma,” his dad explained to me, “but his brother doesn’t.” Why would two boys with the same e... Read More

Enhanced virus transduction may lead to more effective gene therapy

A benefit of the voluminous wealth of research produced is that it allows us to stand on the shoulders of giants – we can take advantage of established facts, tools, and datasets. This may mean using a mutant library to find genes in your organism that are important for the process you study; ac... Read More

TWiM #127: Subway Snowblowers and Men in Black

The TWiM team explores microbes in snowblower vents on the ocean floor, and cleavage of antibody molecules by a Mycoplasma protease.


Image (right): Photograph of the ‘Subway’ snowblower vent on the sea floor at Axial Seamount, Juan de Fuca Ridge. Visible are white ‘snow’ in the vent a... Read More

TWiM 127 Letters

Stefan writes:


Just discovered this nice episode.
Well made and nicely discussed comment on our pack-hunting paper; quick reply to the question what would happen if you add one single amoebae: it would multiply and a clonal pack would do the same thing as observe... 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

BacterioFiles 250 - Bacteria Boost Berry Borer Beetle Babies

This episode: Gut bacteria make it possible for coffee berry borer beetles to live entirely on caffeine-rich food!


(6.9 MB, 7.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
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TWiV 387: Quaxxed

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove, and  Read More

Magnetotactic bacteria remove and recover rare elements

While our human biochemical reactions are limited, our ingenuity is not, and scientists are able to exploit microbes for our benefit, such as in chemical spills. Using microbes to degrade or sequester toxic molecules is one form of bioremediation, and has many various applications. Famously, sci... Read More

How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

Why flu is worse in eldery ?

Death from influenza virus in older people may be primarily caused by a damaging immune response to flu and not by the virus itself, new research suggests.

Ninety percent of the deaths attributed to flu each year worldwide occur in people aged 65 and older. To understand why older adults are ... Read More

Assessing gram stain error rates

Because of its simplicity and the rapid time-to-result turnaround, gram staining plays an important role in clinical microbiology. Learning the cell structure helps eliminate potential disease etiologies: learning an isolate is a gram-negative rod doesn’t tell you what the diagnosis is, but it h... Read More

Antibodies to dengue virus enhance infection by Zika virus

It has been speculated that the development of neurological disease and fetal abnormalities after Zika virus infection may be due to the presence of antibodies against other flaviruses that enhance disease. In support of this hypothesis, it has been shown that antibodies to dengue virus enhance... Read More

MMP #12: Hydrogen from ground rocks can furnish microbial ecosystems with energy to drive growth.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Jon Telling.


Jon Telling of Bristol University in Bristol, United Kingdom talks with Jeff Fox about his findings suggesting that the grinding of glaciers over rocks can liberate hydrogen, which, in turn, drives the growth of methanogens within microb... Read More

Stilton Cheese, Alexis de Toqueville, and turning ASM into the Tesla of Scientific Societies

“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More

A Microbial Ocean Feast: Who Ate What?

Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More
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