What kinds of microbes do you associate with hot springs? Maybe microbial mats? Thermus aquaticus and the discovery of Taq polymerase? Archaea, previously (and erroneously) thought to be strict extremophiles? Viruses may not be the first microbial subtype that springs to mind (pun intended) but ... Read More
Greg Caporaso was sifting through blog posts on microbe.net, which covers the microbiology of built environments, when a study idea sparked for him and colleagues Jeff Siegel, Scott Kelley and Rob Knight.
“It became clear to me that there was a lot of interesting work being done to understand... Read More
We at mBiosphere know you are busy, reader! With various gels, analyses, programs, and classes to run, not to mention reports, abstracts, and grants to write, we know there are many demands made on our readers’ time (plus, dinner to plan, laundry to fold, the dog to walk...wait! Don't go! You ha... Read More
The changing weather reminds us that influenza season is around the corner, which means it’s nearly time to get your annual vaccine. This year’s vaccine is updated to protect against influenza A viruses H1N1 + H3N2 and influenza B virus Victoria lineage. These strains are included in vaccine pro... Read More
Biofilms, surface-attached microbial communities encased in an extracellular matrix, are one of the most common macroscopic microbial structures we can see in nature. Biofilms like those seen in pond scum, in dental plaque, or in hot springs, are mixed communities with the members forming both a... Read More
We have some virology for you on the latest episode of the science show This Week in Evolution. Nels and I are joined by Kartik Chandran and Sara Sawyer who talk about their work showing how the filovirus receptor NPC1 controls susceptibility of bats to Ebolavirus infection. They have found that... Read More
Evidence is mounting that Zika virus is neurotropic (able to infect cells of the nervous system) and neurovirulent (causes disease of the nervous system) in humans. Read More
On episode #2 of the new science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and Vincent talk about how a cellular enzyme contributes to the very high mutation rate of human immunodeficiency virus type 1.
You can find TWiEVO #2 at microbe.tv/twievo. Read More
Polio returns to Nigeria, Zika virus spreads in Miami, and virus infection of plants attracts bumblebees for pollination, from the virus gentlepeople at TWiV.
In this new video episode of Virus Watch, you'll see how the Zika virus particle is built, and how it binds to an antibody that blocks infection. All in gorgeous three dimensional views provided by recent structure studies. Read More
News headlines highlighting an outbreak of a vaccine-preventable disease often leave readers shaking their heads. These diseases – measles, chickenpox, whooping cough – could have been prevented if only the infected children had been vaccinated. Right? Well, in the case of whooping cough, the si... Read More
The rapid spread of Zika virus through the Americas, together with the association of infection with microcephaly and Guillain-Barré syndrome, have propelled this previously ignored virus into the limelight. What is this virus and where did it come from?
The molecular order of events is important in virulence, and a new paper published in the Journal of Bacteriology looks at the order of events necessary for bacterial toxin delivery to a host cell. Specifically, the authors looked at the assembly of Shiga toxin, produced by Shigella dysenteriae ... Read More
It has been speculated that the development of neurological disease and fetal abnormalities after Zika virus infection may be due to the presence of antibodies against other flaviruses that enhance disease. In support of this hypothesis, it has been shown that antibodies to dengue virus enhance... Read More
Dear Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michelle,
I've just recently finished TWiM number 133 and wanted to comment about the use of the term "secondary metabolite" throughout the episode and often in the primary literature. Michael pointed out that a se... Read More
Polio returns to Nigeria after two years - but it turns out it had never gone away.
In episode #3 of the new science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and Vincent examine another important driver of evolution: recombination. The results of two papers in which the process is studied in finches and in yeast lead to the unexpected conclusion that recombination evolves more slowly ... Read More
One of the most dangerous places for an infection to occur is in the bloodstream. Septicemia, when microbes are present in the blood, not only allows bacteria access to other internal organs through the highway of our circulatory system, but also can cause a massive inflammatory response, leadin... Read More
This episode: Killing pathogens by attaching magnetotactic bacteria to them and then raising the heat with magnetic fields!
(10.6 MB, 11.6 minutes)
Amidst the fear surrounding Zika virus, remember that there are over 100,000 children born each year with birth defects caused by infection with rubella virus.
Rubella virus is a member of the Togaviridae family, which also includes chikungunya virus. The genome is a 9.7 kilobase, positive st... Read More