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End of moratorium on influenza H5N1 research

In early 2012 influenza virus researchers around the world decided to stop working on highly pathogenic avian influenza H5N1 virus. This decision came after work from the Fouchier and Kawaoka laboratories revealed the isolation of influenza H5N1 strains that can be passed among ferrets by aeroso... Read More

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and viruses and my ice bucket challenge

Many people have a new awareness of the disease known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, or ALS, thanks to the Ice Bucket Challenge initiated by the ALS Association. Fewer might know that retroviruses have been proposed to play a role in the development of the disease. Read More

Twenty-six lectures in virology

In the spring of each year I teach a virology course to undergraduates and masters students at Columbia University. I produce video recordings of all my lectures not only for students in the course, but for anyone else who is interested in learning about viruses.

You can find my virology lect... Read More

Under the Microscope and the new science blog network by PopSci

Popular Science has just launched a new science blogging network with 13 blogs. Among them are two that have a focus on microbiology, Under the Microscope by JA Tetro and Our Modern Plague by Brooke Borel. Each blog has an inaugural post that outlines the author's vision for future subject matte... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - ASM ¡en vivo!

ASM2014 tiene "sabor Latino". Por primera vez podrás participar de ASM ¡en vivo! Tendremos una sección solo en Español donde las anfitrionas, Greetchen y Catalina (Mundo de l... Read More

Infant antibiotic use linked to adult diseases

A new study led by researchers at the University of Minnesota has found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life. The imbalances in gut microbes, called dysbiosis, have been tied to infectious diseases, allergies and other autoimmun... Read More

A few reminiscences on Hilary Koprowski

Virologist Hilary Koprowski died on 11 April 2013 at the age of 96. His main accomplishments are nicely summarized in the New York Times, but for a more comprehensive overview of his life, I highly recommend his biography Listen to the Music by Roger Vaughan. I did not have many opportunities to... Read More

C. difficile Vaccine Proves Safe, 100 Percent Effective In Animal Models

An experimental vaccine protected 100 percent of animal models against the highly infectious and virulent bacterium, Clostridium difficile, which causes an intestinal disease that kills approximately 30,000 Americans annually. The research is published ahead of print in Infection and Immunity.
... Read More

Ebola virus enters the United States

Given the extent of the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa, transport of an infected individual to the US was bound to happen. The case is an adult who had contact with an Ebola virus-infected woman in Liberia, then traveled to Dallas. He had no symptoms before arriving in the US and therefore ... Read More

Pithovirus: Bigger than Pandoravirus with a smaller genome

A new virus called Pithovirus sibericum has been isolated from 30,000 year old Siberian permafrost. It is the oldest DNA virus of eukaryotes ever isolated, showing that viruses can retain infectivity in nature for very long periods of time. Read More

Unusual mortality pattern of 1918 influenza A virus

The 1918 influenza pandemic was particularly lethal, not only for the very young and the very old (as observed for typical influenza), but unexpectedly also for young adults, 20 to 40 years of age (pictured). It has been suggested that the increased lethality in young adults occurred because the... Read More

Virology question of the week: why a segmented viral genome?

This week’s virology question comes from Eric, who writes:

I’m working on an MPH and in one of my classes we are currently studying the influenza virus. I’d forgotten that the genome is in 8 separate parts. Curious, I’ve been searching but can’t find any information as to why that is?

What... Read More

Topographic diversity of fungal and bacterial communities in human skin

An interesting recent paper characterizing the fungal microbiome ("mycobiome") of human skin. It would be lovely if the TWIM crew could discuss this in an upcoming episode!

"Traditional culture-based methods have incompletely defined the microbial landscape of common recalcitrant human fungal... Read More

ASMCUE, Citizen Science, and a Surprise!

In this blog entry, I discuss a talk I attended at ASMCUE about "Citizen Science" and how some of my own work appeared in that talk! It is a vital that we scientists explain not just what we do, but why it is so fascinating to us...by involving the public! Read More

VIBRIO CHOLERAE O1 ISOLATEDFROM HUMAN STOOL

THIS IS VIBRIO CHOLERAE O1 OGAWA ISOLATED FROM HUMAN STOOL SWAB PLATED ON BILE SALT AGAR Read More

Nobel Laureates and Ebola virus quarantine

After the governors of New York and New Jersey decided that health workers who have returned from the Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa should be subject to a 21-day quarantine, two Nobel laureates entered the fray. Bruce Beutler feels that the quarantine is the right thing to do, while Peter ... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Fossilized Feces Help Anthropologists Understand Pre-Columbian Cultures

By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists' hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago. Researchers discuss how the analysis of 1,500-year-old coprolites from archeologica... Read More

Hepatitis A virus infections associated with berry and pomegranate mix

An outbreak of hepatitis A virus (HAV) infections in eight US states has been attributed to consumption of Townsend Farms Organic Anti-Oxidant Blend frozen berry and pomegranate mix purchased from Costco markets. Since March 2013, 118 individuals have acquired the infection and 80% report having... Read More

MERS Virus Widespread in Saudi Arabian Camels (News Release)

The coronavirus responsible for Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS) is prevalent in camels throughout Saudi Arabia and has been around for at least 20 years, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

“Our study ... Read More

Merry Luxmas and Happy Microbial Holidays to All!

Here is my annual blogpost using #MicrobialSupremacy to wish all readers a very, very happy holiday season. I do this GFP and prodiosin, as well as luciferase! Enjoy a tiny bit of microbial art, relevant to the season? Read More
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