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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Reconstructing a lichen's molecular architecture

Chemist Pieter Dorrestein’s laboratory group has been developing mass spectrometry methods to look at what molecules are produced by microbes interacting in a petri dish. But recently, the group jumped out of the dish and into the dirt—to analyze a soil-dwelling lichen and discover how the molec... Read More

An unexpected benefit of inactivated poliovirus vaccine

The polio eradication and endgame strategic plan announced by the World Health Organization in 2014 includes at least one dose of inactivated poliovirus vaccine (IPV). Since 1988, when WHO announced the polio eradication plan, it had relied exclusively on the use of oral poliovirus vaccine (OPV)... Read More

Viral genomes in 700 year old caribou scat

Recovering viral genomes from ancient specimens can provide information about viral evolution, but not many old nucleic acids have been identified. A study of 700 year old caribou feces reveals that viruses can be protected for long periods of time – under the right conditions. Read More

BacterioFiles 271 - Dictyostelium Delivers DNA Deathtraps

This episode: Slime molds have special cells that capture and kill bacteria using traps made of DNA!


(11.2 MB, 12.25 minutes)


Show notes: 



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Zika virus placental infection differs in maternal- and fetal-derived tissues

The World Health Organization downgraded the spread of Zika virus from a Public Health Emergency of International Concern on November 22nd, but Zika virus infection remains an important emerging infection with an incompletely understood infection cycle. The better scientists understand how the v... 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

Bacterial Messages From Beyond?

H.P. Lovecraft fan and composer Reber Clark (https://reberclark.bandcamp.com/) collaborated with my undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg and myself on a science+music+HPL video. When a log phase culture of Photobacterium leignothi is poured into a Petri dish, and 10 second exposures are taken ev... Read More

Scraping away at the complex microbial communities that cause periodontal disease

Though both gingivitis and periodontitis are diseases of the gums, the related ailments are not simply different severities of the same disease, finds a new study published in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. Researchers confirmed this by investigating the bacterial composition of the sup... 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

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

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

BacterioFiles 280 - Saccharomyces Smash Small Spaces

This episode: Microbes in tight spaces grow so much they can build up pressure and burst out!


(5.5 MB, 6 minutes)


Show notes: 


News... Read More

Fitness landscapes for microbial pathogens in agricultural systems

How is it that we are we able to devote so little of our personal time and energy to producing or acquiring the healthy, safe food that we consume multiple times every day? A large part of the reason we seldom worry about agricultural output is that most of us benefit enormously from modernized,... Read More

MMP #1: Polio Virus Vesicles with Nihal Altan-Bonnet

Host: Jeff Fox 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

Transmission of Ebola virus

As the West African epidemic of Ebola virus grows, so does misinformation about the virus, particularly how it is transmitted from person to person. Ebola virus is transmitted from human to human by close contact with infected patients and virus-containing body fluids. It does not spread among h... Read More

Dispatches from ASM Microbe - Monday and wrap-up

After absorbing research on manipulation of the human microbiome, the impact of waterway and agricultural microbiomes, antibiotic resistance spread and the potential of stewardship guard against it, and potential antimicrobial therapies of the future, we have yet to cover an important research t... Read More

Poliovirus escapes antibodies

Antigenic variation is a hallmark of influenza virus that allows the virus to evade host defenses. Consequently influenza vaccines need to be reformulated frequently to keep up with changing viruses. In contrast, antigenic variation is not a hallmark of poliovirus – the same poliovirus vaccines ... Read More

In case you missed it: best of mBiosphere 2016

From archaeal viruses to zoonotic diseases, the breadth of microbiology stories covered on mBiosphere in 2016 was impressive. Here are some of the best posts on mBiosphere from throughout this past year:
Read More

Probiotics vs Antibiotics? You're asking the wrong question.

'The question of whether someone should be taking a probiotic or an antibiotic is one I hear fairly frequently. The answer, in short, is that this isn't a question of either / or! At this stage in time, with this level of research on probiotics, it is not right to suggest one stops taking their... Read More
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