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Unlocking cryptic Strepomyces genes in the search for potential new antibiotics

Actinobacteria are the bacterial phylum responsible for production of many clinically-relevant antibacterial compounds. Streptomyces is a soil-dwelling genus of actinobacteria that produces drugs like neomycin and chloramphenicol. Despite deriving many antibiotics already from Streptomyces, coul... Read More

TWiP 122: If the thunder don't get you, the lightning will

The TWiPniks docs solve the case of the Female from Peru with Epistaxis, and discuss the effect of community deworming on immunosuppression.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

"The Good and Bad of Lab Automation"

I am talking here specifically about automation of the bacterial culture process, using Kiestra TLA (installed in my own lab early 2016), Copan WASP, etc. A useful bullet point summary for those who are considering a business case for their own laboratory. Read More

"Too much knowledge..."

Are we, as microbiologists, getting too clever? Is our increasing theoretical knowledge actually hindering us in our goal of effective and realistic antimicrobial stewardship? Read this article to find out more! Read More

Discovery-based research as curriculum basis: increasing student engagement through small world initiative

If you are currently a microbiologist, chances are your introductory microbiology lab course syllabus hadn’t changed for decades. The course likely culminated in each student receiving an unknown bacterial sample, the identity of which was uncovered by applying techniques learned during the seme... Read More

BacterioFiles 279 - Hijacker Heightened Hyphal Heterogeneity

This episode: Fungi control their cell's growth and division with a protein from a virus, unlike all other kinds of eukaryote!


(8.9 MB, 9.75 minutes)


Show notes: 


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TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.


Hosts:  Read More

ASM CEO Stefano Bertuzzi on World AIDS Day 2016

I hope we have all had an opportunity over the past holiday weekend to give thanks for what we have—it is important to step back and reflect from time to time on the many benefits and advantages we have. It can help us realize what we have achieved, and the multitude of people and resources that... Read More

Why attend ABRCMS? Students discuss their experiences

Students are the focus of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS) meeting, held most recently November 9-12, 2016, in Tampa, Florida. Undergraduate and postbaccalaureate students make up over half the roughly 4,000 program participants, and many participants belo... Read More

In search of a better diagnostic assay for emerging fungal pathogen Candida auris

Misdiagnosis can lead to severe consequences for patients, and is a serious clinical issue. The newly emerging Candida auris requires higher doses of antifungal medications to treat an infection than does C. albicans, highlighting the importance of proper diagnosis. Thus far, the most accurate d... Read More

TWiM 140: Small town, big science

At the Hamilton, Montana Performing Arts Center, Vincent speaks with three local high school graduates and two high school teachers about how Rocky Mountain Laboratories influenced school science programs and opened up career opportunities.


Host:  Read More

BacterioFiles 278 - Fungal Family Friends and Foes

This episode: Some fungi change from making plants sick to being helpful to plants! How do plants react to them?


(8.1 MB, 8.8 minutes)


Show notes: 


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Exams, Science Art, and Learning!

In this blog post, I describe how I encourage microbiology students to draw cartoons about basic concepts in the course. I find that this approach promotes ownership, better comprehension, and gives me better insight into what the students are "seeing" in my class. Read More

TWiV 417: O is the loneliest letter

The Fellowship of the Virus trace the early history of HIV in North America, based on genome sequences obtained from late 1970s archival sera, which also reveal that Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero.


Hosts:  Read More

One Page "Nanobiographies" of #MicrobialTermPapers!

I had my #Bio350 micronauts write one page "Nanobiographies" of their #MicrobialTermPapers. I'm very pleased. Read More

BacterioFiles 277 - Sailor Cells Store Selenium

This episode: Bacteria with their own magnetic compass can also clean up and recover toxic but valuable elements!


(6.1 MB, 6.7 minutes)


Show notes: 


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TWiV 416: Scattered seeds dormant

The multi-dimensional TWiV-brane brings you the entries in the haiku/limerick contest, and explain how a giant virus infects a host within another host (it has to do with predators!).


Hosts:  Read More

TWiM #139: Frackibacter and sticky fingers

The TWiM team discusses microbial DNA found on ATM machines in New York City, and how hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, alters microbial ecosystems deep in the Earth.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Michael Schmidt, Elio Schaechter, and Michele Swanson.


{audio}This Week in Mi... Read More

You don't win friends with (precut) salad

Given that the holidays are right around the corner, many of us will be trying to eat healthy outside of celebratory meals, and that includes turning to salad as a healthy meal option. Salads do provide fresh nutrients, but new research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggests pre-cut ... Read More

Microbial Awards Season in Biology 350!

I like to encourage my students to explore the intersection between art and microbiology. Science + art = awesome! In any event, in this blog post, I describe two microbial art competitions in my microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound. I think my micronauts did some remarkable w... Read More
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