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
Jean-Paul Latgé originally wanted to know if he could test the breath of patients with Aspergillus infections for volatile compounds produced by the fungus. His group at the Pasteur Institute in Paris thought this might be a new way of diagnosing fungal culprits like Aspergillus fumigatus that o... Read More
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
Breast milk provides an inexpensive, nutrient-filled source of food for babies. Because of this, the American Academy of Pediatrics and the WHO recommend new mothers to exclusively breast feed their babies for the first six months of life, and continue up to two years (supplemented with other fo... Read More
Zika virus RNA has been detected in New World monkeys from the Northeast region of Brazil. This finding suggests that primates may serve as a reservoir host for the virus, as occurs in Africa. Read More
Plenty of people have weighed in on the question, 'Are Viruses Alive?' Here is my answer - different from all the others. Read More
Jeremy, Aaron, and Ted join the TWiV team to discuss their work on identifying a single amino acid change in the Ebola virus glycoprotein from the West African outbreak that increases infectivity in human cells.
Hosts: Read More
In Zanzare, the new comic from Cimaza (www.cimazacomics.com/), we are plunged head-first into the global mystery of the Zika virus. We meet the mosquitoes (in Italian: zanzare) implicated in its spread; but the insects plead their innocence, saying it's all a misunderstanding. They lay their cas... Read More
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
Michael Diamond visits the TWiV studio to talk about chikungunya virus and his laboratory's work on a mouse model of Zika virus, including the recent finding of testicular damage caused by viral replication.
Hosts: Read More
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
This episode: Bacteria with their own magnetic compass can also clean up and recover toxic but valuable elements!
(6.1 MB, 6.7 minutes)
Dear Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michelle,
I've just recently finished TWiM number 133 and wanted to comment about the use of the term "secondary metabolite" throughout the episode and often in the primary literature. Michael pointed out that a se... Read More
This episode: Killing pathogens by attaching magnetotactic bacteria to them and then raising the heat with magnetic fields!
(10.6 MB, 11.6 minutes)
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
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
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
Polio returns to Nigeria, Zika virus spreads in Miami, and virus infection of plants attracts bumblebees for pollination, from the virus gentlepeople at TWiV.
Despite increasing awareness of Klebsiella pneumoniae as a public health risk, there has been relatively little understood about its mechanisms of pathogenesis.
The bacterium, estimated to be the third most common cause of hospital-acquired infections in the United States in a recent study, c... Read More
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