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Zika Virus On and In the Brain - @profvrr has a new blog!

Read in near real-time a virologist's experiments on Zika Virus. Now with its fourth post the Zika Diaries aims to illuminate the public on what it takes to do research on this emerging outbreak. From the Racaniello Lab at Columbia Univ. -

"Now that my laboratory obtained a number of differe... Read More

New Academy Report on Microbes of the Built Environment

This past fall, experts gathered at an American Academy of Microbiology Colloquium in Washington, D.C. to discuss an important topic relevant to many parts of society: the microbiology of built environments. A summary of the experts’ answers to important questions surrounding this topic is now a... 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

Retroviruses R us

About eight percent of human DNA is viral – remnants of ancestral infections with retroviruses. These endogenous retroviral sequences do not produce infectious viruses, and most are considered to be junk DNA. But some of them provide important functions. The protein called syncytin, which is ess... 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

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... 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

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

Viral Supercomputer Simulations

Jason Roberts, a virologist at the Victorian Infectious Disease Reference Laboratory in Melbourne, Australia, creates three-dimensional simulations of viruses showing how the molecules that make up the capsid and genome might move in very short periods of time. I visited Jason in his laboratory ... Read More

Viruses Could Help Fight Deadly Superbugs.

Viruses that are harmless to humans might help fight the deadly scourge of bacteria that can't be treated with antibiotics, researchers say.

These viruses could be used in hand santizers, and to treat exposed surfaces in hospitals, which are hotbeds of antibiotic resistance, the researchers n... Read More

Design, engineering and utility of biotic games

First of the three videos related to research article appearing in Lab on a Chip. I. H. Riedel-Kruse et al "Design, Engineering and Utility of Biotic Games". Read the article by clicking "source" above.

From the abstract:

Games are a significant and defining part of human culture, and thei... 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

TWiP 111: Bug bites

The TWiP trio solve the case of the bug bites all in a row, and talk about a secreted Toxoplasma protein that is central to the parasite's manipulation of host cells.


Hosts: Vincent Racan... 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

A virus that melts sea stars

Sea stars are lovely marine invertebrates with a round central body connected to multiple radiating legs (photo credit). In the past year millions of sea stars in the west coast waters of North America have melted into piles of slime and ossicles. Sea star associated densovirus might be the caus... 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

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

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

Virus y pandemias (in Spanish)

Hoy en día, en pleno siglo XXI, ¿puede un virus cambiar el mundo?, ¿puede haber una nueva pandemia mundial? En este libro explicaremos qué es un virus y cómo es la vida de un virus dentro de una célula, veremos qué es una pandemia y hablaremos sobre cómo se originan los nuevos virus de la gripe.... 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
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