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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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BacterioFiles 275 - Building Bacterial Batteries

This episode: Scientists build a battery out of microbes and electrodes that can store and release electricity repeatedly!


(7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes)


Show notes: 


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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

TWiV 405: All the world's a phage

The TWiXers discuss a study on vertical transmission of Zika virus by Aedes mosquitoes, and uncovering Earth's virome by mining existing metagenomic sequence data.


Hosts: Vincent Rac... Read More

MMP #13: Redetermining the ratio of microbial to human cells – correcting the widely held view that this ratio is 10 to 1

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Ron Milo and Shai Fuchs.


Ron Milo of Weizmann Institute of Science in Rehovot, Israel, and Shai Fuchs at the Hospital for Sick Children in Toronto, Canada, talk with Jeff Fox about their efforts, with Ron Sender at Weizmann, to redetermine the ratio... Read More

Carbapenem-resistant bacteria isolated from a pig farm in the United States

While carbapenems aren’t allowed to be given to feedlot animals, other beta-lactam antibiotics are. This is a large class of drugs that includes extended-spectrum cephalosporin drugs. There is no direct line between the use of these extended-spectrum cephalosporins and selection for carbapenem r... 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

Microbial communication over the airwaves

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

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

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

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

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

TWiV 415: Ebola pipettors and the philosopher's clone

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

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

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

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

TWiV 414: Zika in the guys with Diamond

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

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

TWiM 135 Letters

Reed writes:


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

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

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
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