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Prion contamination in the emergency room

Here is a follow-up to last week’s article that described a case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in a Texas resident caused by ingestion of BSE-contaminated beef 14 years ago.

A 59 year old male patient was admitted to the trauma unit in Lancaster, PA with a self-inflicted gunshot wound ... Read More

Clostridium difficile in the domicile

Patients undergoing FMT have often suffered for years prior to the therapy. If their homes have been contaminated with the eradicated microbe, could patients suffer a relapse by way of reinoculation? This was the question asked by a group of physician scientists, whose findings were recently pub... Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Honoring the Memory of Another

The late Edward Leadbetter had a huge impact on my life as an academic, and a microbiologist. In this post, I try to give some appreciation to what he meant to me. Read More

BacterioFiles 252 - Small Cells Supervise Circadian Cycles

This episode: In mice, high-fat diets affect their gut microbes, which in turn disrupts their circadian cycles and metabolic health!


(8.6 MB, 9.35 minutes)


Show notes: 
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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

TWiV 367: Two sides to a Coyne

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Dickson DespommierAlan Dove, Read More

Transgenic pigs resistant to foot-and-mouth disease

Foot-and-mouth disease virus (FMDV) infects cloven-hoofed animals such as cattle, pigs, sheep, goats, and many wild species. The disease caused by this virus is a substantial problem for farmers because infected animals cannot be sold. Transgenic pigs have now been produced which express a short... Read More

TWiV 371: Sympathy for the devil

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

TWiV 380: Viruses visible in le microscope photonique

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove Read More

Predicting UTI antibiotic resistance

By now, the news of a colistin-resistant E. coli isolate from a patient in the United States is widespread, with many major news sources covering the story. Most outlets highlighted the ease of future transfer of the plamid-borne mcr-1 gene between bacteria, the role of agricultural antibiotic u... Read More

TWiV 384: Agent 003, a view to a fish kill

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and  Read More

TWiV 372: Latent viral tendencies

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloAlan DoveRich Condit Read More

A Green Thumb for Ocean Microbes

MIT-WHOI Graduate student Kristen Hunter-Cevera describes the challenges and obstacles involved with growing marine microbes (in her case, Synechococcus) in a laboratory setting, and outlines the value of her research in understanding marine biogeochemistry. Read More

8th grader petri dishes - seeking help to identify colonies

I did a study of hand washing and hand sanitizer. Is anyone on the list willing to help me identify what grew from my unwashed and even washed hands? I attach three photos representing the yellow, white and orange growths found after several days on agar plates. Thank you so much in advance. Read More

Viral variation in single cells

It is well known that virus populations display phenomenal diversity. Virus populations are dynamic distributions of nonidentical but related members called a quasispecies. This diversity is restricted in single cells, but is restored within two infectious cycles. Read More

Portraits of Microbiologists Using Luminous Bacteria as "Paint."

My wife Jennifer Quinn​ hits it out the park: a portrait of Kenneth Nealson​ and the late Woody Hastings "painted" with luminous bacteria, giving them props for the early days of quorum sensing---where the basic principles were first uncovered in bioluminescent microbes. This principle of "aut... Read More

HIV cure research: NIH scientists create 2-headed protein to deplete HIV reservoir

Scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have created a protein that awakens resting immune cells infected with HIV and facilitates their destruction in laboratory studies. The protein potentially could contribute to a cure for HIV infection by helping deplete the reservoir of long-... Read More

TWiP 110: Malaria at the Bronx Zoo

The TWiP trio visit the Bronx Zoo where Paul solves the case of the Four Year Old with Pulmonary Edema, and talks about his career as the Chief Veterinarian and Director of the Zoological Health program for the Wildlife Conservation Society.


Hosts:  Read More

BacterioFiles 253 - Probiotics Promote Protective Pathway

This episode: In mice and fruit flies, Lactobacillus species induce gut cells to protect themselves from reactive oxygen compounds!


(8.2 MB, 8.9 minutes)


Show notes: 
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