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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

TWiV 393: Lovers and livers

The TWiVerati revisit possible sexual transmission of Zika virus, and reveal how a cell protein that allows hepatitis C virus replication in cell culture enhances vitamin E mediated protection against lipid peroxidation.


Hosts:  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

Foot and mouth disease virus: a global threat to agriculture

An important and sometimes overlooked issue of infrastructure is food security. American agriculture and related industries represent $1.5 trillion U.S. dollars and 17% of U.S. jobs. These workers provide the meat, eggs, dairy, and produce that many take for granted will end up on grocery shelve... 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

BacterioFiles 266 - Solar Cyborg Cells Capture Carbon

This episode: Adding exotic elements to convert spore-forming bacteria into light-capturing cyborgs that convert carbon dioxide into useful chemicals!


(9.7 MB, 10.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
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

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 129 Letters

Steven writes:


Dear Vincent et al,


Firstly, congratulations for keeping up such a wide range of thought provoking podcasts, and maintaining such a tremendous output. I find they all leave me with more questions than answers, which is, I think, a sign of good s... Read More

BacterioFiles 264 - Small Cells Stimulate Satiety

This episode: Proteins from gut bacteria seems to affect hunger and satiety in their (rodent) hosts!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Ne... 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

TWiP 112: A NOD to a tricky helminth

The TWiP trio solve the case of the Woman from Washington Heights, and reveal how helminth infection protects mice deficient in the Crohn's disease gene NOD2 from intestinal disease by inhibiting colonization with an inflammatory bacterial species.


Hosts:  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

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

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 133 Letters

Arthur writes:


Hello TWIMers!


I'm a graduate student working in mycoplasmology and I  must say I've been overjoyed to hear the past few episodes mention our tiny friends!


Elio's mention of their unique mechanism of moving ("Gliding Motility") made... 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

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

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

Congenital Zika Syndrome

Data from several clinical studies in Brazil establish a strong link between infection of pregnant women with Zika virus and a variety of birth defects collectively called congenital Zika syndrome.

In the latest study conducted in Rio de Janeiro, the authors enrolled 88 pregnant women who had... Read More
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