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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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MMP #10: Examining the gut microbiota of American Indians of Cheyenne and Arapaho ancestry.

Host: Jeff Fox with special guests, Cecil M. Lewis, Jr. and Krithivasan Sankaranarayanan.


Lewis and Krithivasan Sankaranarayanan—“Krithi”-- both fro... Read More

MMP #9: Customizing phage by swapping tail genes to target specific pathogens

Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Timothy Lu.


Lu, an Associate Professor of Biological Engineering and Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, Massachuse... 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

Register for "The Exciting and Emerging Science of Microbial Research" FREE webinar on Feb 11

You are invited to attend "The Exciting and Emerging Science of Microbial Research" FREE webinar on February 11, 2016 from 6-7 pm MT - sign up now, space is limited!
Noah Fierer, CU Assoc. Professor & CIRES Fellow, and his graduate student, Hannah Holland-Moritz, will present their research in... Read More

TWiM 125 Letters

Inspired by William:


Dear TWiMers;
Greetings from Berkeley where miracle March (water-wise) was perhaps half a miracle, but that is definitely better than none. At least we will not run out of water this summer.


I found this quasi-synthetic biology result... Read More

mSystems video introduction, or: The tl;dr version for ADAGE-based integration of gene expression datasets

We at mBiosphere know you are busy, reader! With various gels, analyses, programs, and classes to run, not to mention reports, abstracts, and grants to write, we know there are many demands made on our readers’ time (plus, dinner to plan, laundry to fold, the dog to walk...wait! Don't go! You ha... 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 352: Science art with Michele Banks

Host: Vincent Racaniello


Guest: Michele Banks


Vincent meets up with Michele Banks in Wash... Read More

Zika virus infection of the nervous system

Evidence is mounting that Zika virus is neurotropic (able to infect cells of the nervous system) and neurovirulent (causes disease of the nervous system) in humans. Read More

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

Hosts: Vincent RacanielloDickson DespommierAlan Dove and  Read More

A growing concern: why whooping cough incidence may be increasing in a highly vaccinated population

News headlines highlighting an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease often leave readers shaking their heads. These diseases – measles, chickenpox, whooping cough – could have been prevented if only the infected children had been vaccinated. Right? Well, in the case of whooping cough, the si... Read More

Cyclic-di-GMP takes center stage

How does a single-celled organism ‘know’ how to respond to its environmental conditions? Understanding microbial cell signaling is one way to determine how bacteria will react in a particular setting. In the past decade, researchers have revealed a significant role for cyclic-di-GMP in bacterial... Read More

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

Zika virus, like all other viruses, is mutating

Not long after the appearance of an outbreak of viral disease, first scientists, and then newswriters, blame it all on mutation of the virus. It happened during the Ebolavirus outbreak in West Africa, and now it’s happening with Zika virus.

The latest example is by parasitologist Peter Hotez,... Read More

New platforms for mSphere and mSystems

Earlier this month, two new ASM research journals had their official launch. mSphereTM and mSystemsTM had both published articles on their interim websites in November and December 2015 – some of which have been highlighted here on mBiosphere. On February 2nd, the journals went live on their per... Read More

TWiM #126: I’m not scared of zebrafish and mice and bears (oh my!)

The microbiome of hibernating bears, and zebrafish as a model for bacterial sepsis feature in this animal-centric episode of TWiM hosted by Vincent, Michael, and Michele.


Image: Bright-field (top) and fluorescent (bottom) images of zebrafish embryos infected with E. coli strain F11. E... Read More

TWiP 107: Parasites leave a bad taste in my gut

The TWiPtastic trio solves the case of the Surfer from Switzerland, and reveal how taste-chemosensory tuft cells in the gut regulate immune responses to parasites.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello,&n... Read More

Culture-independent discovery of new archaeal virus

What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... Read More

Will you share? Social versus selfish mechanisms affect selective conditions

The previous post mentioned the onset of antibiotic resistance as one of the scarier, if less sensationalist, outbreaks of our time. We generally discuss antibiotic resistance in medically relevant microbes (on this blog and in the news), where resistance means the ability of disease-causing mic... Read More

TWiEVO 3: Recombination is for the birds

In episode #3 of the new science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and Vincent examine another important driver of evolution: recombination. The results of two papers in which the process is studied in finches and in yeast lead to the unexpected conclusion that recombination evolves more slowly ... Read More

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