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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Identifying milk components that promote a healthy infant microbiome

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

Microorganisms Spreading Holiday Cheer

This holiday season, as you open a bottle of your favorite wine to share with family and friends, consider making a toast to Saccharomyces cerevisiae (also known as “brewer’s yeast”) which is a species of yeast that is commonly used for making wine and beer. Yeast is absolutely essential to wine... Read More

TWiV 400: Harold '400' Varmus, a scientist for all seasons

The TWiV team is together in New York City for a conversation with Nobel Laureate Harold Varmus about his remarkable career in science.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

TWiP 113: Flying pigs

The TWiP ternion solve the case of the Man from Mexico, and discuss a transgenic toxoplasma vaccine for chickens using Eimeria tenella.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Whole-genome sequencing can help ID hospital outbreaks

Drug-resistant infections are becoming one of the scariest epidemics since the advent of antibiotic discovery. Although microbes like methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), vancomycin-resistant Klebsiella pneumoniae, and multidrug-resistant Pseudomonas aeruginosa are responsible for... 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

A microbial mystery in the Namib Desert

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

TWiV 399: Zika la femme

The latest Zika virus news from the ConTWiVstadors, including a case of female to male transmission, risk of infection at the 2016 summer Olympics, a DNA vaccine, antibody-dependent enhancement by dengue antibodies, and sites of replication in the placenta.


Hosts:  Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Sunday

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

Are Viruses Alive?

Plenty of people have weighed in on the question, 'Are Viruses Alive?' Here is my answer - different from all the others. Read More

Zika virus in Brazilian non-human primates

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

Changing the mindset of a pathogen-based vaccine

It’s hard to turn on the news at the moment and not hear about the latest emerging disease, Zika. The filovirus joins a cadre of infectious diseases spread by arthropod vectors – meaning the disease is passed between infected individuals via insect bites. A long list of microbes are spread this ... Read More

Scientists, share your Zika virus reagents!

Today I learned that a number of investigators refuse to share their samples of Zika virus with other laboratories.

There are countless stories about scientists not sharing reagents because they want to be the first to make a discovery. This behavior allows them to publish first, secure more ... Read More

Phage diffusion on a bacterial lawn: not all plaques are created equal

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

THE RIDDLE OF THE R.I.D.L _ Zika virus Comics (Playlist)

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

E. coli, Salmonella, and Norovirus - oh my!

This upcoming Monday, Chipotle restaurants across the country will close as its employees discuss food safety and safe food handling. The restaurant was in the news throughout the last half of 2015, beginning with an outbreak of E. coli in Seattle (which was kept secret!), followed by another E.... Read More

New bat gammaherpesvirus may help understand bats' role in zoonoses

Many emerging viruses (such as SARS-CoV, Ebola virus, and the Henipavirus genus) are thought to have zoonotic reservoirs in the regional bat populations. Bats offer a threat to spreading these viruses because their flight capacity makes them readily mobile. Also, there are a whole lot of them: w... Read More

TWiM #137: The battle for oxygen

Highlights of the Recent Advances in Microbial Control meeting in San Diego, and expansion of a gut pathogen by virulence factors that stimulate aerobic respiration.


Hosts: 


Vincent Racaniello, <... 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

TWiEVO 1: When (scientific) worlds collide

Nels and Vincent launch a new podcast on evolution, This Week in Evolution (TWiEVO) and start by discussing how the field has changed through recent mergers of evolutionary and experimental biology in the post-genome era. Read More
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