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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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An achilles heel for Clostridium difficile infections?

Clostridium difficile is a dangerous superbug. Infections with this bacterium can cause life-threatening diarrhea, and they are most likely to affect the elderly or people with health problems who spend a lot of time in hospitals (where C. difficile flourishes). The Centers for Disease Control a... Read More

TWiV 426: I'm Axl, and I'll be your cervid today

The sages of TWiV explain how chronic wasting disease of cervids could be caused by spontaneous misfolding of prion protein, and the role of the membrane protein Axl in Zika virus entry into cells.


Hosts:  Read More

BacterioFiles 271 - Dictyostelium Delivers DNA Deathtraps

This episode: Slime molds have special cells that capture and kill bacteria using traps made of DNA!


(11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)


Show notes: 



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TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.


Hosts:  Read More

Ferreting out an improved Ebola animal model

We’ve previously covered the importance of diagnostics in disease control and treatment. This is vital to controlling disease progression and transmission, but epidemiology studies can’t always show how a disease progresses or transmits. This is where scientists need a well-characterized animal ... Read More

Student Thoughts On The First Day of Microbiology Class

I teach Microbiology at the University of Puget Sound every fall semester. The swiftly changing field of microbiology has depth and breath...and I was interested to learn what my students thought of the topic at the beginning of the first day of class. We will revisit this subject at the end o... Read More

One microbial pathogen 'disguised' as another leads to misdiagnoses

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s likely a duck – so goes the saying that illustrates the simplest explanation is usually the right one. But what about duck decoys used in conjunction with bird calls? Misidentification can be a deadly error – and the same goes for microbes. Mi... Read More

TWiV 420: Orthogonal vectors

The TWiV gurus describe how to use an orthogonal translation system to produce infectious but replication-incompetent influenza vaccines.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Environmental disturbances decrease the variability of microbial populations

A central pursuit of microbial ecology is to accurately model changes in microbial community composition in response to environmental factors. This goal requires a thorough understanding of the drivers of variability in microbial populations. However, most microbial ecology studies focus on the ... Read More

Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More

TWiV 428: Lyse globally, protect locally

The TWiVsters explain how superspreader bacteriophages release intact DNA from infected cells, and the role of astrocytes in protecting the cerebellum from virus infection.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

You don't win friends with (precut) salad

Given that the holidays are right around the corner, many of us will be trying to eat healthy outside of celebratory meals, and that includes turning to salad as a healthy meal option. Salads do provide fresh nutrients, but new research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggests pre-cut ... Read More

TWiM 147 Letters

Kala writes:


Dear Micro Crew,


Hello from frozen Ireland, it's 5 degrees Celsius but feels like -2, cloudy and generally miserable haha


I was wondering if you could give me some advice as I am stuck between a micr... Read More

TWiV 434: Live long and pupate

The esteemed TWiVumvirate reveal the discovery of a new negative stranded RNA virus of wasps that regulates longevity and sex ratio of its parasitoid host.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello,... Read More

Antibiotic stewardship - a community effort

As we highlighted in our previous blog, antibiotic stewardship – the careful use of appropriate antibiotic administration – can have positive effects. A small change from a difference in clinical lab reporting led to less drug use, which led to fewer drug-resistant infections. When we think of a... Read More

TWiV 417: O is the loneliest letter

The Fellowship of the Virus trace the early history of HIV in North America, based on genome sequences obtained from late 1970s archival sera, which also reveal that Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero.


Hosts:  Read More

TWiV 435: Two virus particles walk into a cell

The TWiVome discuss the blood virome of 8,420 humans, and thoroughly geek out on a paper about the number of parental viruses in a plaque.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

My first year at the wheel: reflections on ASM

Perhaps with more enthusiasm than originality, I feel compelled at the end of the year to look back on what has happened in my life. The compulsion is even stronger this December, since the end of the calendar year coincides with my first year at the helm of ASM as its CEO.

When I joined AS... Read More

Microbiology Myths Debunked: Scientific Analysis of the Five Second Rule

While walking through your house, you drop a granola bar you were eating. Quick – do you pick it up and eat it? Is the ground too dirty to eat from? Does the amount of time the food sits on the ground matter? Will more microbes gather onto the snack as you decide whether or not to continue noshi... Read More
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