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ASMCUE Happenings 2016

No matter the niche field a scientist pursues, there is one aspect of almost all career paths that scientists have in common: teaching. Whether lecturing a quorum of undergraduates about bacterial genetics, mentoring a research fellow as they learn the lab protocols, or presenting an invited lec... Read More

Outbreak of H7N2 Flu in Cats

Many mBiosphere readers will know that the influenza A virus infects multiple species, and this ability to infect birds, humans, and other mammals such as pigs is one of the ways virions can exchange genetic information, leading to new viruses able to cause major outbreaks. However, few mBiosphe... Read More

Microbial Awards Season in Biology 350!

I like to encourage my students to explore the intersection between art and microbiology. Science + art = awesome! In any event, in this blog post, I describe two microbial art competitions in my microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound. I think my micronauts did some remarkable w... Read More

A Tiny Zika Laboratory

So far in this series I’ve written a good deal about our work on Zika virus, but I have said little about the people who are doing the science.

My lab at Columbia University Medical Center is very small, consisting of three people—Amy Rosenfeld, Audrey Warren, and me. Let me tell you about ... Read More

Tracking how bacteria threaten newborns

For years, researchers have struggled to get a handle on Group B streptococcus (GBS), in the hopes of improving neonatal outcomes. GBS are a bacteria commonly found in the vagina, rectum, and urinary tract of women. In healthy women, the bacteria are commensal, simply living without causing dise... Read More

How to be a successful food borne pathogen: step 1, grow on food

Food microbiology is an important issue we cover on this blog, because food safety is vital to prevent foodborne illness. The use of technologies like whole-genome sequencing help identify and pinpoint the source of microbial contaminants, but how do microbes become contaminants in the first pla... Read More

Commonly Cited Stat of 10 Bacteria for Every 1 Human Cell Is Wrong

In a new paper, researchers debunk the common myth that in the human microbiome, bacteria outnumber human cells 10-to-1. By examining the colon, the researchers estimate that the total number of bacteria in the human microbiome is 38 trillion (for the average 70-kg man). For comparison, the auth... Read More

Flaviviruses unexpectedly shut off host translation

It was a peer review request that got Alessia Ruggieri and her group at University of Heidelberg to look more closely at how Dengue virus manipulates the cellular translation and stress machineries during infection.

In a previous study, Ruggieri showed that Hepatitis C virus infection induced... Read More

TWiV 423: Dry, well formed, and light brown

The TWiV academia discuss induction of diarrhea by the capsid protein of an astrovirus, and association of a fungal RNA virus with white-nose syndrome of North American bats.


Hosts: Vinc... Read More

Microbiomes in far-flung places: characterizing the arctic Inuit gut microbiome

The hamlet of Resolute Bay is a tiny Arctic village in the Nunavut territory of Canada with a population that hovers at or below 300. Over hundreds of perhaps even thousands of years, the traditional Inuit diet in Resolute Bay and elsewhere has been dictated by the Arctic environment. The diet i... Read More

Researchers Use Innovating Methods to Study Vertical Transmission of Microbes

It has been assumed that mothers pass on gut microbes to their infants during and just after delivery, a process called vertical transmission, but because of technical restraints, the evidence of this occurring has been limited. Previous cultivation-free studies have observed the same microbial ... Read More

"The Amazing Adventures of the Virologists” Part One - Vaccines _ 6

"Hivi and his team of viruses (Ebola, Pox,..etc) believe they can win the battle, but the Virologists (who are real famous professors) beat them. However, new viruses pop-up, it will be a long battle. This makes the story very interesting and ever so engaging."
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ACKNOWLEDGMEN... Read More

Technological advances reveal finer details about chronic infection

How do chronic infections change over time? This is the broad question addressed in recent research published in the Journal of Virology. In their study, a team of scientists headed by Fabio Luciani investigated a hepatitis B virus infection over a course of 15 years.

Hepatitis B virus (HBV) ... Read More

BacterioFiles 281 - Prokaryote Partners Produce Plastic

This episode: Microbes with complementary abilities help each other grow and produce useful stuff from the air!


(12 MB, 13.2 minutes)


Show notes: 


Journal Paper:

Smith MJ, Francis MB. 2016. Read More

ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi on World AIDS Day 2016

I hope we have all had an opportunity over the past holiday weekend to give thanks for what we have—it is important to step back and reflect from time to time on the many benefits and advantages we have. It can help us realize what we have achieved, and the multitude of people and resources that... Read More

A bacterial role in breast cancer development and prevention

Microbial infection is implicated in an ever-growing number of types of cancer. Adding to the already long list of microbial-associated cancers, an increasing body of evidence suggests breast cancer may also be associated with a specific microbial milieu. A report in Applied and Environmental Mi... Read More

BacterioFiles 286 - Prokaryote Prevents Pregnancy Pathogen

This episode: Bacteria in mosquito cells can block transmission of Zika virus!


(8.1 MB, 8.9 minutes)


Show notes: 


News item
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Chlorhexidine use may select for colistin resistance

Infection control is a vital part of maintaining a safe healthcare facility, and the use of biocides and disinfectants to eliminate potential pathogens is an important part of infection control strategy. Pathogens can spread among patients via transfer to surfaces like doors, floors, and counter... Read More

BacterioFiles 270 - Bacteria Block Bug Babies

This episode: Insect gut microbes can be engineered to act as birth control, population control, or disease control for bugs!


(13.3 MB, 14.5 minutes)


Show notes: 



Read More

Interlab Reproducibility in Bacterial Genotyping by Whole-Genome Sequencing

One of the most important aspects of a new laboratory protocol is its reproducibility (as previously discussed on ASM’s Microbial Sciences blog). A protocol must produce the same results when performed by different scientists at different labs, and this is especially important when considering n... Read More
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