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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

A new vaccine has developed by Russia

Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday his country had developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus which has killed thousands of people in west Africa.

But Putin, who is famed for his talent for headline-grabbing announcements, did not give any name for the vaccine, nor did he say how... Read More

TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.


Hosts:  Read More

BacterioFiles 283 - Phages Furnish Photosynthetic Fortifications

This episode: Viruses infecting photosynthetic bacteria could transfer immunity to other viruses between their hosts!


(6.8 MB, 7.4 minutes)


Show notes: 


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Treatment of Ebola virus infection with brincidofovir

The Liberian man who was diagnosed with Ebola virus infection after traveling to Dallas, Texas, was treated with an antiviral drug called brincidofovir. This drug had originally been developed to treat infections with DNA-containing viruses. Why was it used to treat an Ebola virus infection? Read More

TWiV 420: Orthogonal vectors

The TWiV gurus describe how to use an orthogonal translation system to produce infectious but replication-incompetent influenza vaccines.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello 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

Onward toward a Zika vaccine

On Monday, August 1, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommended that pregnant women not travel to Wynwood, a neighborhood north of downtown Miami, because health officials in Florida had found that mosquitoes there are actively transmitting Zika, a mosquito-borne virus that ca... Read More

Cloning competition drives student and mentor excellence

Mentoring scientific teams in a project-oriented competition, like engineers can do through the ASCE Concrete Canoe National Competition or the SAE Supermileage Competition, is rare in the microbial sciences. Mentoring a team through this experience allows scientists impart different skills than... Read More

Zika Virus in the USA

On this episode of Virus Watch we cover three Zika virus stories: the first human trial of a Zika virus vaccine, the first local transmission of infection in the United States, and whether the virus is a threat to participants in the 2016 Summer Olympic and Paralympic Games. Read More

My experience with Foldscope, the paper microscope.

My experience with Foldscope, the paper microscope. See the images of insects, parasites, vegetal and animal tissues and cells, yeast, bacteria and (almost) virus (the cytopathic effect), with Foldscope, the paper microscope (text in Spanish). Read More

Unlocking cryptic Strepomyces genes in the search for potential new antibiotics

Actinobacteria are the bacterial phylum responsible for production of many clinically-relevant antibacterial compounds. Streptomyces is a soil-dwelling genus of actinobacteria that produces drugs like neomycin and chloramphenicol. Despite deriving many antibiotics already from Streptomyces, coul... Read More

False impressions in predatory publishing

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be the easiest way to make a buck. That’s the primary motivation for camouflaging within an already-established brand: Sunbucks, McDowell’s, and Mountain Lightening all rely on brand recognition – of a brand that isn’t their own. W... Read More

ASM Members Deliver a Landslide Endorsement for Governance Change - Part I

Change does not come easily to most organizations, let alone to one with more than a century of history. Indeed, twice before ASM tried—and failed—to change its governance structure. This time, ASM members embraced change, realizing that ASM must become more modern and more nimble in its decisio... Read More

Researchers Identify Multidrug-resistant E. coli Bacteria from a New Jersey Patient

Antimicrobial resistance has been a growing concern in the health care community. But a publication by Chinese researchers in The Lancet Infectious Diseases last fall kicked things up a notch. The work found the mcr-1 gene, which confers resistance to the antibiotic colistin, in Escherichia coli... Read More

TWiV 425: All picornaviruses, all the time

The TWiVaniellos discuss a thermostable poliovirus empty capsid vaccine, and two cell genes that act as a switch between entry and clearance of picornavirus infection.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... Read More

Cross-respiration breathes life into a periodontal pathogen

Microbiome research has revealed that there are good guy and bad guy bacteria living together in complex communities on our skin, in our mouths, throughout our guts and pretty much everywhere in between. But what do you call a good guy bacterium that is aiding and abetting a disease culprit?

... Read More

TWiV 411: Chicken runs

The TWiVeroos examine a reverse spillover of Newcastle disease virus vaccines into wild birds, and identification of a protein cell receptor for murine noroviruses.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniel... 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

Is it safe to go into the ocean? Standardizing molecular methods for water safety surveillance

Have you ever gone to the beach, ready for a day of sun and sand, only to find a warning sign? One of the most common reasons beaches close is due to the presence of coliform bacteria. These indicator bacteria, such as Escherichia coli, are used as markers for fecal waste, since their presence c... Read More
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