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The Zika Effect

Having worked on viruses for over 40 years, I know a fair number of people in the field, and I am amazed at how many of them have started to work on Zika virus. What exactly is attracting virologists to this emerging virus?

There are probably many reasons why Zika virus would be of interest t... Read More

BacterioFiles 267 - Crust Color Cooks Communities

This episode: Cyanobacteria in biocrusts produce pigments that heat their surroundings up to 10 degrees hotter!

(7 MB, 7.6 minutes)

Show notes: 
Read More

Microbiology, Creativity, and Extra Credit!

I have long believed that there are many ways for students to learn. In several of my classes, I encourage students to use "creative" approaches to explore course concepts. In the Fall of 2015, here is what my micronauts in my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound came up with..... Read More

ASM hosts Wikipedia Edit-a-thon as part of the Year of Science

“Wikipedia is the first place people go for information about science – and everything else,” says John Tracey, Research Assistant in Education & Outreach at the Simons Foundation. The Simons Foundation has teamed up with Google to sponsor the Wikipedia Year of Science 2016, an initiative to inc... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

Virologists, start your poliovirus destruction!

I have worked on poliovirus for over thirty-six years, first as a posdoctoral fellow with David Baltimore in 1979, and then in my laboratory at Columbia University. The end of that research commences this year with the destruction of my stocks of polioviruses. Read More

Yum! Digesting ASM Resources for Food Microbiology

Food-related microbiology can be one of the most fun - or least fun - ways to interact with microbes. In the ‘most fun’ category, scientists and non-scientists alike can use microbes to create delicious foods from fermentative processes; in the ‘least fun’ category, scientists and non-scientists... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Friday

ASM Microbe is the new conference that merges the former General Meeting with the Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC) to make one microbial sciences-packed meeting with something for everyone. Why institute one new meeting instead of maintaining two separate ... Read More

Age of the Microzoo

In 3500 BCE, Egyptian rulers built a menagerie of exotic creatures within the ancient capital of Hierakonpolis. Archaeologists have found 112 animal skeletons at this site: the first zoo on Earth. But from this earliest exhibition of the natural world through today’s most famous animal displays,... Read More

ASM Announces Tools to Help Authors and Reviewers Alike

Communication of experimental results via publishing is one of the most important steps of the scientific method; if you don’t share your results, how will knowledge within a field grow? A well-written article contextualizes the author’s data into a broader scientific landscape, which allows rea... Read More

Zika Virus On and In the Brain - @profvrr has a new blog!

Read in near real-time a virologist's experiments on Zika Virus. Now with its fourth post the Zika Diaries aims to illuminate the public on what it takes to do research on this emerging outbreak. From the Racaniello Lab at Columbia Univ. -

"Now that my laboratory obtained a number of differe... Read More

TWiV 406: Pow, right in the enteroids!

The TWiV team discusses eye infections caused by Zika virus, failure of Culex mosquitoes to transmit the virus, and replication of norovirus in stem cell derived enteroids.

Hosts:  Read More

Bacterial Messages From Beyond?

H.P. Lovecraft fan and composer Reber Clark (https://reberclark.bandcamp.com/) collaborated with my undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg and myself on a science+music+HPL video. When a log phase culture of Photobacterium leignothi is poured into a Petri dish, and 10 second exposures are taken ev... Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

Drones transport microbiological samples without altering their content

Robots help sort patient samples, test clinical specimens, and analyze the results. Now a study shows that robots, in the form of drones, can help move our samples from place to place, with little effect on the analytical outcome.

Drone transport made a news splash when Amazon proposed using ... Read More

Virus y pandemias (in Spanish)

Hoy en día, en pleno siglo XXI, ¿puede un virus cambiar el mundo?, ¿puede haber una nueva pandemia mundial? En este libro explicaremos qué es un virus y cómo es la vida de un virus dentro de una célula, veremos qué es una pandemia y hablaremos sobre cómo se originan los nuevos virus de la gripe.... Read More

Virus Watch: How Mosquitoes Spread Viruses

In this episode of Virus Watch, I explain how mosquitoes spread viruses. We’ll look at how a mosquito finds a host, how it finds a blood vessel, and how it delivers viruses to a new host. Don’t blame mosquitoes for viral diseases: it’s not their fault!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wsk8a3z... Read More

New Academy Report on Microbes of the Built Environment

This past fall, experts gathered at an American Academy of Microbiology Colloquium in Washington, D.C. to discuss an important topic relevant to many parts of society: the microbiology of built environments. A summary of the experts’ answers to important questions surrounding this topic is now a... Read More

Scraping away at the complex microbial communities that cause periodontal disease

Though both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums, the related ailments are not simply different severities of the same disease, finds a new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers confirmed this by investigating the bacterial composition of the sup... Read More

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... Read More
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