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Drivers of bacterial à-diversity depend on spatial scale

PDF of recent "Open Access" PNAS paper on bacterial biogeography. The paper (of which I am an author) made use of rRNA PCR to survey bacteria in salt marshes. The bacteria were surveyed broadly (using broadly targeted PCR primers) and narrowly (using primers that focused on specific taxonomic... Read More

Curious about the Human Microbiome?

The American Academy of Microbiology has released its newest report on the human microbiome. Based on the deliberations of some of the leading experts, the report answers common questions people have about this new field of science. While there is still much to be learned, this report presents t... Read More

El podcast del microbio Nº 255: Hongos contra el picudo rojo (Fungi against the red palm weevil )



























El podcast del Microbio Nº255 explains the use of the fungus Beauveria bassiana as bioinsecticide for the control of the red pa... Read More

TWiP 64 letters

Richard writes:


Good morning, day, evening (depending on your time of day). Esteemed professors!


Firstly my weather report, for Weston super Mare, uk.


It is currently 3 centigrade (feels like 2C), dew point 4C, humidity 78%, there has been 1m... Read More

BacterioFiles 166 - Metamorphosis Microbes Mapped

This episode: Discovering how butterflies' bacteria change from caterpillar to adult!


(7.5 MB, 8.1 minutes)


Show notes: 
News item/ Read More

Archaea of Note


  • Lobus fulgidus is a sulfur-reducer that can sour oil wells.

  • Halobacteria are salt-loving microbes that give a pink tinge to salt water evaporation ponds, the Dead Sea and salted fish.

  • Pyrolobus fumarii led scientists to extend the upper te... Read More

Influenza Information (H1N1)

A one-page primer on the H1N1 flu and what you can do to protect yourself and your family. Read More

India has been free of polio for three years

Three years ago today, on 13 January 2011, the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in India. This achievement represents a remarkable turnaround for a country where control of the disease had for years been extremely difficult. As recently as 2009 there were 741 confirmed cases of polio caus... Read More

A virology course for all

The spring semester has begun at Columbia University, which means that it is time to teach my virology course. The fourth annual installment of my virology course, Biology W3310, has begun. This course, which I taught for the first time in 2009, is intended for advanced undergraduates and conven... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº149. Physical Virology (Virología Física)



























El Podcast del Microbio" Nº 149 is based in the Nature Physics article by W Roos y G.J.L Wuite. El Podcast del Microbio Nº ... Read More

TWiV 57

dooleyperiod_7-8_ab Read More

ASM Launches new Laboratory Capacity Building Program Website

In resource-limited countries, a lack of training, proper reagents, supplies, and equipment has impacted their laboratories' ability to identify key pathogenic bacteria and detection of antimicrobial resistance. This has led to an environment of syndromic diagnosis by clinicians who have little ... Read More

Henrietta Lacks (HeLa) genome sequence published then withdrawn

Earlier this month the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL) published the DNA sequence of the genome of HeLa cells, the cell line that is widely used for research in virology, cell biology, and many other areas. This cell line was produced from a tumor taken from Henrietta Lacks in 1951.... Read More

Of Terms in Biology: Gene Ontology

Elio Schaechter of Small Things Considered defines the term "ontology" and why its destined to become part of every biologist’s vocabulary. Read More

Should variola virus, the agent of smallpox, be destroyed?

Later this month (May 2014) the World Health Assembly will decide whether to destroy the remaining stocks of variola virus – the agent of smallpox – or to allow continued research on the virus at WHO-approved laboratories. We are interested in your opinion on this issue. Please follow the link t... Read More

El podcast del Microbio Nº 113 y 114: Ancestros comunes

The Nº 113 and 114 of "El podcast del microbio" summarize the Nature's article: "A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry". En "El podcast del microbio" Nº 113 y 114 se resume el artículo aparecido en la revista Nature: "A formal test of the theory of universal common ancestry... Read More

Classifications: What Difference Does it Make?

Does a bacterium’s cell wall, shape, way of moving, and environment really matter?

Yes! The more we know about bacteria, the more we are able to figure out how to make microbes work for us or stop dangerous ones from causing serious harm. And, for those of us who like to ponder more philosop... Read More

All You Want to Know About Fungal Pathogens & Protozoan Parasites - at Keystone Symposia in Santa Fe, January 2012

Save the date for Keystone Symposia's meeting on "Fungal Pathogens: From Basic Biology to Drug Discovery" to be held January 15-20, 2012 at the Santa Fe Community Convention Center in Santa Fe, New Mexico. Organized by Joseph Heitman of Duke University, John Taylor of UC Berkeley and Leah E. Cow... Read More

BacterioFiles 171 - Segments Select Specific Strains

This episode: Ahmed Gomaa and I discuss how to keep some microbes and get rid of others using bacteria's own immune system!


(15.1 MB, 16.5 minutes)


Show notes: 
Read More

Illustrating Some Simple Microbiological Concepts: Transformation, Antibiotic Resistance, and GFP.

In this blog post, I describe a simple "colony transformation" experiment I have done with my freshman students, illustrating transformation, antibiotic resistance, and GFP. The visual aspects help drive home the points effectivel. Read More

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