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TWiM #154: Rigor, lotteries, and moonshots

At Microbe 2017 in New Orleans, the TWiM team speaks with Arturo Casadevall about his thoughts on the pathogenic potential of a microbe, rigorous science, funding by lottery, and moonshot science.


Hosts:  Vincent Racaniello, Read More

History Lesson - The Day the US Senate Tried to Change the Name of Salmonella

In an attempt to preserve and defend the good name of the salmon fished in his state, Senator Warren Magnuson (D-WA), introduced in 1969 a bill in the US Senate pro­po­sing to change the name of Salmonella  to the more in­oc­cu­ous sounding Sanella. In some circles it may seem com­for­ting to th... Read More

MetaPalette: a k-mer Painting Approach for Metagenomic Taxonomic Profiling and Quantification of Novel Strain Variation

Taxonomic profiling is a challenging first step when analyzing a metagenomic sample. This work presents a method that facilitates fine-scale characterization of the presence, abundance, and evolutionary relatedness of organisms present in a given sample but absent from the training database. We ... Read More

Health Status Disparities and the Microbiome

Bacteria of the microbiome are essential aspects of human health. The best example is in the human gut. Home to nearly three pounds of bacteria (with recent estimates at 3.8·1013 bacteria), our gut uses its microbiome to neutralize toxic byproducts of digestion, stimulate digestion, assist with ... Read More

Global warming collapses symbiotic gut bacteria, killing host insects

A new study shows that when heat-susceptible bacteria living symbiotically in the guts of insects are exposed to increased temperatures, both the bacteria and the insect are negatively impacted and can die. The study, reported online this week in the journal mBio®, illustrates another way globa... Read More

Testing staphylococci for oxacillin resistance - why is it so complicated?

Be honest – do the cases in the lefthand table make you break into hives? It’s not an uncommon response! S. aureus is a sneaky bacterium, throwing susceptibility curve-balls like those to the left on a regular basis. Not to mention the non-aureus staphylococci, which we are now routinely identif... Read More

Scientists Identify Novel Technique to Build Better Vaccine Adjuvants

At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, researchers are using a practical method, bacterial enzymatic combinatorial chemistry (BECC), to generate functionally diverse molecules that can potentially be used as adjuvants. We spoke with the scientists involved to discuss the results and applicati... Read More

Structure of a lipid A phosphoethanolamine transferase suggests how conformational changes govern substrate binding

Interesting research on multidrug-resistant gram-negative bacteria and the proteins they use to evade drugs and the immune system. Read More

Are Medical Laboratories becoming Factories?

In what ways might medical laboratories now be perceived as factories? And where does the similarity end? Read more...

Read More

BacterioFiles 297 - Defenders Develop Disease Decrease

This episode: Beneficial microbes defend roundworms against a pathogen and pressure it to evolve to cause less disease!


(7.7 MB, 8.4 minutes)


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Long Read: How Miraculous Microbes Help Us Evolve Better, Faster, Stronger

Smithsonian.com delves into the weeds of horizontal gene transfers (HGT) in bacteria. A feat that is largely unique to bacteria, it allows bacteria to trade DNA with other bacteria.

Bacteria can "exchange DNA as easily as we might exchange phone numbers, money or ideas".

Explore some of ... Read More

"The Amazing Adventures of the Virologists” Part One - Chapter _ 1

“We Are Very Much Thankful to:
Prof. Vincent Racaneillo (USA) - Columbia University
A. Prof. Andrew Marsh (UK) - University of Warwick
A. Prof. Gulfaraz Khan (UAE) - United Arab Emirates University
Dr. Ryan McNamara (USA) – University of Chapel Hill, NC
Dr. Sharon Kuss (USA) - UT Southweste... Read More

Zika virus in Nicaragua with Eva Harris, PhD #EIDA2Z

Eva Harris, PhD, University of California, Berkley, is interviewed by Vincent Racaniello, PhD, Columbia University, New York, about the status of Zika virus in Nicaragua. Harris has developed a multidisciplinary approach to study the molecular virology, pathogenesis, immunology, epidemiology, cl... Read More

“Too soft, too generous, too nice, and too slow…”

The role of clinical microbiology laboratories in antimicrobial stewardship is often under-rated. This needs to change. Where are the issues and what can be done about them?
Read More

The Power of the Microbiology Report Comment.

Looking to change people's behavior with regards to microbiology sampling? Look no further than the result report... Read More

mSphereDirect: A Publishing Experiment Starts To Yield Results

In January, ASM launched a publishing experiment, mSphereDirect, which allows scientists to control the review process and speed up the time-to-publication after submission. To answer questions about its users and user experience, we gathered preliminary data by speaking with the scientists who ... Read More

Cyanophages: Maximizing the Photo– and Redirecting the –Synthesis

Daniel Haeusser, an Assistant Professor in the Biology De­part­ment of Canisius College in Buffalo, New York, discusses the misconception of assuming that photosynthesis exists as single process of strict coupling between energy conversion and carbohydrate production. Read More

"The Good and Bad of Lab Automation"

I am talking here specifically about automation of the bacterial culture process, using Kiestra TLA (installed in my own lab early 2016), Copan WASP, etc. A useful bullet point summary for those who are considering a business case for their own laboratory. Read More

"Tricky Trichomonas"

"What is the best way to test for Trichomonas vaginalis in a cost effective manner? It's a classic trade-off between money and assay sensitivity." Read More

Geomicrobiology

Hello Everyone,
While teaching geomicrobiology to Undergraduate student i found some strange and intersting view regarding the topic.

Excerpts from the topic

"But when I came to 2nd part, explaining microorganism, this was the part which left me most confused and should I say most star... Read More
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