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The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 366: Bioinformática contra el VIH. (Bioinformatics against HIV)



























El podcast del microbio Nº 366 summarize a recent article published in PNAS on the characterization of the critical step in HIV-1 protease maturation by using bioinformatics tools. El podcast del microb... Read More

Influenza H5N1 x H1N1 reassortants: ignore the headlines, it’s good science

Those of you with an interest in virology, or perhaps simply sensationalism, have probably seen the recent headlines proclaiming another laboratory-made killer influenza virus. From The Independent: ‘Appalling irresponsibility: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strain... Read More

Blastocystis Parasite Blog

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

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

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

Prominent Virologist Defends The Chinese Hybrid H5N1-H1N1 Research, Calls It ‘Good Science’

There was much written concerning the research published earlier this month in Science, where researchers from China’s Harbin Veterinary Research Institute reported creating an avian H5N1 (highly pathogenic) and pandemic 2009 H1N1 (easily transmissible) hybrid, that according to them, achieved ... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 259: Gazapos microbiológicos (microbial goofs)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº259 describes some funny microbiological goofs in Spanish newspapers. El podcast del Microbio Nº 259 d... Read More

Student Centered Learning, Part I: Nanobiographies

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

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 147 - Clostridium Conquers Colleagues

This episode: Non-pathogenic Clostridium difficile strains can protect hamsters against their disease-causing bacterial siblings!


(7 MB, 7.5 minutes)


When hamsters were colonized with toxin-free strains of C. difficile, they were better able to resist infection b... Read More

Marine Microbiology, Twitter Friends, and Shrunken Coffee Cups

In this blog entry, I discuss how marine microbiology is fascinating to students, as well as the topic leading me (via social media) to other marine microbiologists. One of those marine microbiologists made me a "shrunken coffee cup" (shrunken due to being carried below a kilometer of depth on ... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº261. Terapia antiretroviral y prevención del VIH (Antiretroviral therapy and HIV prevention)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº261 summarizes the NEJM paper about the use of antiretroviral therapy for prevention of HIV infection,... Read More

Continuous Sustainable Power Supply: Benthic Microbial Fuel Cell

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

El podcast del Microbio Nº 273: Diabetes y microbiota intestinal (Diabetes and intestinal microbiota)



























El podcast del Microbio Nº273 summarize the paper by Wei et al ( Cell Host & Microbe, 2012) about the possible link betwween dia... Read More

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

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

How many viruses on Earth?

How many different viruses are there on planet Earth? Twenty years ago Stephen Morse suggested that there were about one million viruses of vertebrates (he arrived at this calculation by assuming ~20 different viruses in each of the 50,000 vertebrates on the planet). The results of a new study s... Read More

Antimicrobial peptides induced by herpesvirus enhance HIV-1 infection

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

TWiV 291: Ft. Collins abuzz with virologists

Vincent, Rich, and Kathy and their guests Clodagh and Ron recorded this episode at the 33rd annual meeting of the American Society for Virology at Colorado State University in Ft. Collins, Colorado.


Hosts: ... Read More

Using Wordcloud-Reponses to Discover How Students Perceive Concepts in the Classroom

In this blog, I share some "first word that comes to mind" responses of my freshman biology class to the words "germ," "bacteria," "cell," and "DNA." The way that we perceive an idea or concept definitely impacts our relationship with it. Thus, finding out what students think, coming into our ... Read More

Effectiveness of this season’s influenza vaccine

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

Creative "Extra Credit" Projects in Microbiology!

In this blog entry, I explore how students can use their creativity to learn microbiology in innovative and often artistic ways. It makes learning more personal! Read More

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