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Time's Up

Merry Youle of the Small Things Considered blog has a new post up that looks at the phage-encoded holin timer and its function in a lytic infection.

"Holins are the smallest known biological timers. Timers, not clocks. Timers tick along, then go off after the specified interval. These small, ... Read More

TWiV 74: Influenza with Professor Adolfo Garcia-Sastre

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On episode #74 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent speaks with Adolfo Garcia-Sastre about the origin, pathogenesis, and prevention of the 2009 pandemic influenza H1N1 virus.


... Read More

The D225G change in 2009 H1N1 influenza virus

Last year a mutation in the HA gene of the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus was identified in isolates from patients with severe disease. At the time I concluded that the emergence of this change was not a concern. Recently the Norwegian Institute of Public Health reported that the mutation, which caus... Read More

Transposases are the most abundant, most ubiquitous genes in nature

A team of scientists based at San Diego State University, the University of Chicago, and the University of South Florida have analyzed all sequence data available in public databases from complete genomes and environmental community genomes, and found out that jumping genes (known as transposase... Read More

How to Make a Decision: Advice for Scientists

Which grad school should you go to?… should you take that new job?… should you quit your current job?… should you stay in science?… should you get married, go for a run, eat that chocolate bar?…..

You have a multitude of decisions to make in your life. But now you are facing a particularly im... Read More

Contagion, the movie

Contagion is the name of a new action-thriller movie about a global outbreak of a deadly viral disease. Slated to be released in 2011, it is directed by Steven Soderbergh and stars Matt Damon, Kate Winslet, Jude Law, Marion Cotillard, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Lawrence Fishburne. That’s certainly an ... Read More

18 Things You Need to Know for Job Hunting Success in Biotech

Travis Medley, Bitesize Bio's resident scientific employment guidance counselor, recently attended a meeting for job seekers in the biotech industry during which a panel of senior Human Resources professionals answered questions and provided insight for people looking to find work within biotech... Read More

Aurintricarboxylic acid (ATA) may be an effective antiviral against Influenzaviruses

The hunt continues for novel antiviral agents especially against the pandemic H1N1 virus. In this article, a drug that has been used to fight HIV infection and vesicular stomatitis now appears to have the potential to block influenzavirus infection by inhibiting neuraminidase. This may be yet ... Read More

Resourceful Science: How to Build a Plate Centrifuge for $25

I recently visited a lab that had a salad spinner on their lab bench and at first I wondered if they were putting together a salad lunch there but when I took a peek I got a nice surprise. It turns out that the salad spinner was actually a bench top, “minifuge” version of a plate centrifuge.

... Read More

Molecular Biology of Biofilm: An Introduction

After spending many months working with all types of biofilms and biomat samples from around San Diego and speaking with scientists all over the world, we understand the difficulty in determining the microbial diversity in these sample types.

In many ways, biofilms are similar to soils in tha... Read More

TWiV 73: Entering the ends

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On episode #73 of the podcast This Week in Virology, Vincent, Dickson, and Rich discuss multipotent progenitor bone marrow cells as a reservoir of HIV-1, integration of HHV-6 into telomeres, and dis... Read More

Pigs cannot fly, but their viruses "flew"!

The common idiom states that pigs cannot fly. I don’t think this statement can be easily debated. However, the swine flu viruses now seem to have flown around the globe quickly... Read More

Science Podcasts Galore!

Ginger Campbell, M.D., emergency room physician and host of the popular Brain Science Podcast, has created a site that highlights over 40 science-related podcasts. While all of MicrobeWorld's podcasts are represented on the site there are also some other great offerings, including:

* ACS ... Read More

Can computer viruses evolve?

On a recent episode of TWiV, we posed the question, 'Can computer viruses evolve'? and asked listeners to weigh in. The author of the blog nostacktrace spent some time thinking about this issue and concludes that the evolution of real computer programs doesn't really work. Software instructions ... Read More

It’s not easy to make the 2009 H1N1 influenza virus a killer

The second RNA segment of some influenza virus strains encodes a protein called PB1-F2 that might contribute to virulence. Speaking about the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain, Peter Palese noted that “If this virulence marker is necessary for an influenza virus to become highly pathogenic in humans or ... Read More

Pandemics in Retrospective

Now that we have experienced several months of the H1N1 pandemic, what have we learned about how it was handled? Watch Dr. Nicole Lurie (U.S. Department of Health and Human Services) and Dr. Kathryn Edwards (Vanderbilt University), discuss the public health responses to H1N1. Participants compar... Read More

Audio interview with Martin Blaser--Losses in Ancestral Microbes Pose Health Risks to Humans

Selective losses of human-associated microorganisms may be responsible for a wide range of modern ailments, including esophageal diseases, obesity, asthma, and the epidemic spread of high-grade pathogens, according to Martin Blaser from New York University Langone Medical Center in New York City... Read More

Event - Ethical Issues in Synthetic Biology

June 24, 2009 12:30 – 1:30 PM

The emerging field of synthetic biology will allow researchers to create biological systems that do not occur naturally as well as to re-engineer existing biological systems to perform novel and beneficial tasks. As the science and its applications develop, a com... Read More

Trivalent influenza vaccine for the 2010-2011 season

The World Health Organization and the US Food & Drug Administration have decided on the composition of the influenza virus vaccine that will be used during the 2010-2011 season in the northern hemisphere. The trivalent preparation will contain the following influenza virus strains: A/California/... Read More

The Invention of PCR

Few technical breakthroughs have changed the face of their field like the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Gene cloning, sequencing of complex genomes, DNA fingerprinting and DNA-based diagnostics are just some of the techniques that were either inefficient, crude or plain impossible before PCR.... Read More

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