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A transmissible cancer of soft-shell clams

A leukemia-like cancer is killing soft-shell clams along the east coast of North America. The cancer is transmitted between animals in the ocean, and appears to have originated in a single clam as recently as 40 years ago. Read More

TWiM #129: Dried and wrinkled, smooth and mucoid

The arrival in the US of plasmid-mediated resistance to colistin antibiotics, a last line of defense against many gram-negative bacilli, and a quorum sensing system in a eukaryote are topics of this episode hosted by Vincent, Michael, and Michele.


Image (right): Etest used to determin... Read More

MMP #2: Ultrasmall bacteria with Birgit Luef and Chris Brown

Host: Jeff Fox Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Windshield Wiper Fluid: A Source of Legionnaires?

A form of bacteria responsible for respiratory illness, including the deadly pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease, may be able to grow in windshield washer fluid and was isolated from nearly 75% of school buses tested in one district in Arizona. The participant will discuss findings from ... Read More

A WORD on the constraints of influenza virus evolution

Evolution proceeds by selection of mutants that arise by error-prone duplication of nucleic acid genomes. It is believed that mutations that are selected in a gene are dependent on those that have preceded them, an effect known as epistasis. Analysis of a sequence of changes in the influenza vir... Read More

Hepatitis B viruses in bats

Hepatitis B virus (HBV, illustrated) is a substantial human pathogen. WHO estimates that there are now 240,000,000 individuals chronically infected with HBV worldwide, of which 25% will die from chronic liver disease or hepatocellular carcinoma. The hepatitis B virus vaccine is highly effective ... Read More

A promising Ebolavirus antiviral compound

Remember Ebolaviruses? Many people are still working on vaccines and therapeutics. Here is a very nice story on a promising antiviral compound that is very effective at preventing disease in monkeys. But it doesn't work in mice - it's degraded. You know what they say - mice lie, monkeys exaggera... Read More

Viral fiber art

Viruses inspire many different types of art, but I was unaware of the number of people who make viruses out of fiber! Keep reading for some photographs of what I have found. Read More

Induction of Acinetobacter baumannii natural competence

Bacteria acquire and spread genetic information through several means. Some bacteria form a long, thin tube called a pilus, mediating transfer of DNA by direct cell-to-cell contact, in a process known as conjugation. Some bacterial take up environmental DNA and incorporate it into their existing... Read More

How E. coli could help tackle those sweet cravings

The study researchers found that placing a small, detoxified amount of E. coli in the guts of mice led to an increase in levels of leptin - known as the "satiety hormone."

Within 7 days of the increase, the number of sweet taste receptors on the rodents' tongues reduced, diminishing their ap... Read More

A virus-like particle vaccine against RSV is safe and effective in mice

Pneumonia remains a serious worldwide problem, especially among the young, elderly, and immunocompromised. Over 900,000 children die each year due to the disease, and respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common viral cause (Streptococcus pneumoniae and Haemophilus influenzae type b bein... Read More

Potential Zika virus risk estimated for 50 US cities

BOULDER - Key factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows. Read More

Microbe/Mineral Affinities

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

A chromosome in every cell: PprA funcitons in chromosome segregation after Deinococcus radiodurans irradiation

Exposure to reactive oxygen species, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to UV light – all of these are dangerous because of their potential to alter DNA sequences. Changes in DNA can affect a protein coding sequence, potentially influencing its function, but changes in regulatory regions c... Read More

ASM holds Zika press conference

Tomorrow begins a Special President’s Edition ASM Conference, hosted by the American Society for Microbiology in collaboration with the American Society for Virology. The conference, “What Does the Biology of Flaviviruses Tell Us About Zika: The Importance of Fundamental Virus Biology” highlight... Read More

Microbes of the Built Environment

ASM hosted a Twitter Chat on Microbes of the Built Environment. You may have missed the chat, but you can read the storified version of our conversation! See what our expert panelists had to say, and join us next time on ‪#‎ASMChats‬! http://bit.ly/27I9vH1 Read More

Stilton Cheese, Alexis de Toqueville, and turning ASM into the Tesla of Scientific Societies

“Stefano, you seem like a smart person. Can I ask you why you decided to take a job with a scientific society?” I had just helped myself to a slice of a very sharp Stilton cheese, after a wonderful dinner supported by wonderful wine. All of a sudden the Stilton seemed even sharper. The question ... Read More

TWiV 393: Lovers and livers

The TWiVerati revisit possible sexual transmission of Zika virus, and reveal how a cell protein that allows hepatitis C virus replication in cell culture enhances vitamin E mediated protection against lipid peroxidation.


Hosts:  Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Ed Yong!

Each Fall, I teach a freshman writing class about symbioses and parasitism. I was very lucky to get some pretty famous people to "Skype" or "Google Hang Out" in to visit my class. Last Fall, one of my "tele-speakers" was the fabulous science writer and very funny fellow Ed Yong. The students ... Read More

TWiEVO 6: Butterflies are free to shuffle

In this month's episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and I discuss the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. In this study of Amazonian butterflies, the authors show that distinct patterns are a consequence of enhancer shuffling. Enhancers are DNA sequences that control trans... Read More
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