In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... Read More
This is a paper from the Geomicrobiology lab at the Jackson School of Geosciences at the University of Texas at Austin. It was recently published in a special issue of Geomicrobiology Journal focused on geomicrobiology of subsurface microorganisms in cave environments.
In this study we attemp... Read More
This episode: Engineered bacteria can be made to produce many different useful kinds of biofilm!
(10.5 MB, 11.5 minutes)
Readers of this blog will remember the furor sparked by Fouchier’s experiments in 2011 in which he developed an avian influenza H5N1 isolate that could transmit among ferrets by aerosol. When Fouchier was ready to publish the results, the Dutch government required that Fouchier apply for an expo... Read More
I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released early estimates of the effectiveness of this season’s influenza vaccine in preventing influenza infection. Estimated vaccine effectiveness is 62%. But even if you get infected after immunization, you are likely to have reduced illness, ... Read More
The TWiVers discuss the growing Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, and an epidemic of respiratory disease in the US caused by enterovirus D68.
This episode: Bacterial nanowires are made of the cells' outer membranes!
(9.75 MB, 10.6 minutes)
The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed the benthic microbial fuel cell (BMFC) as a persistent power supply for marine-deployed applications. The BMFC operates on the bottom of marine environments where it oxidizes organic matter residing in sediment with oxygen in overlying water. The... Read More
If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More
The TWiV gang answers follow-up questions about the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, then discuss treatment of disseminated multiple myeloma with oncolytic measles virus.
Students learn in many different ways than simply taking tests. In my Microbiology course, I have students write a length term paper (a "Microbiography"). As part of this process, students create one page "summaries" of their microbial topic, which I call "Nanobiographies." In this blog post,... Read More
Our bodies are made up by cells containing our own DNA. Plus 10 times as many with foreign DNA. The bacteria found on our skin, and inside our organs (intestine, vagina, mouth, nose, etc.) are referred to as our “microbiome”, outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1, and make up a vital organ with ind... Read More
Vincent visits the Rocky Mountain Laboratories in Hamilton, Montana and speaks with Marshall, Sonja, and Byron about their work on tick-born flaviviruses, innate immunity, and prion diseases.
The risk of being infected with human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) is substantially enhanced in individuals with other sexually transmitted diseases. For example, infection with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) increases the risk ratio of acquiring HIV from 2 to 4. Explanations for t... Read More
El podcast del Microbio Nº273 summarize the paper by Wei et al ( Cell Host & Microbe, 2012) about the possible link betwween dia... Read More
The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has sickened over 14,000 people and has killed over 5,100. Health workers from around the world are attempting to halt this deadly disease. On November 19th, the American Society for Microbiology featured two of these health workers, Dr. Joseph ... Read More
Viruses are obligate intracellular parasites, which means that they must enter a cell to reproduce. As virions are too large to diffuse passively across the plasma membrane, cellular pathways for uptake of extracellular materials provide entry routes. The first step in entry is adherence of viru... Read More