As part of its Microbiology of the Built Environment initiative, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation started funding projects a few years ago that touched on the interaction of microbiology with architecture, buildings or, in the case of Curtis Huttenhower, PhD, an associate professor of computationa... Read More
Single-celled organisms called bacterioplankton spend their lives drifting in open ocean, visible to the naked eye only en masse. But don't be fooled by their slight size: These minuscule critters play a hefty role in the carbon cycle. Heterotrophic microbes, by some estimates, process half of t... Read More
In some individuals, an influenza A virus infection can cause asymptomatic Staphylococcus aureus (S. aureus) to travel to the lungs where it can trigger severe, sometimes deadly, secondary pneumonia. S. aureus is one of the most common causes of secondary bacterial pneumonia in cases of seasonal... Read More
Tomorrow begins a Special President’s Edition ASM Conference, hosted by the American Society for Microbiology in collaboration with the American Society for Virology. The conference, “What Does the Biology of Flaviviruses Tell Us About Zika: The Importance of Fundamental Virus Biology” highlight... Read More
In 2015, an unexpectedly large outbreak of Middle East Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) in South Korea had a disastrous impact on the whole country and highlighted scientists limited knowledge of this virus. Now, new research into this outbreak has revealed some very surprising findin... Read More
Microbial communities are essential drivers of soil functional processes such as nitrification and heterotrophic respiration. Although there is initial evidence revealing the importance of soil type in shaping microbial communities, there has been no in-depth, comprehensive survey to robustly es... Read More
In this month's episode of the science show This Week in Evolution, Nels and I discuss the evolution of butterfly wing patterns. In this study of Amazonian butterflies, the authors show that distinct patterns are a consequence of enhancer shuffling. Enhancers are DNA sequences that control trans... Read More
Function is often thought of as the tradeoff for high fashion, but who says you can’t have both? Fawn Jordan, 2016-2017 DC Fashion Incubator Designer in Residence, is seeking to unite the two to help protect women against potentially Zika-transmitting mosquitoes. Her recent collection combines t... Read More
My undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg has made real progress adapting a GoPro camera to help us watch microbial interactions. Here are two swimming foci of Photobacterium leignothi encountering one another! Read More
The TWiPniks docs solve the case of the Female from Peru with Epistaxis, and discuss the effect of community deworming on immunosuppression.
At St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis, Tenn., scientist Stacey Schultz-Cherry has been studying the impact of obesity on influenza severity.
“We saw during the 2009 flu pandemic that there’s an epidemiological link between people getting severe flu and being obese,” says Schultz... Read More
In the year 2000, Kathleen Alexander, DVM, PhD, now a professor, at the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, was working as a government veterinarian in Botswana, when a sickly banded mongoose wandered onto the grounds where she worked. When the mamm... Read More
BOULDER - Key factors that can combine to produce a Zika virus outbreak are expected to be present in a number of U.S. cities during peak summer months, new research shows. Read More
Remember Ebolaviruses? Many people are still working on vaccines and therapeutics. Here is a very nice story on a promising antiviral compound that is very effective at preventing disease in monkeys. But it doesn't work in mice - it's degraded. You know what they say - mice lie, monkeys exaggera... Read More
Many components of our oral hygiene regimens are meant to keep cariogenic bacteria at bay: sodium fluoride in ACT interferes with electron transport and ATP synthesis, the essential oils in Listerine have antiseptic effects, and abrasives – small, insoluble particles in toothpaste – help remove ... Read More
There’s no question that foodborne disease is a serious problem. Illnesses from contaminated foods cause over 128,000 hospitalizations and 3,000 deaths each year in the United States. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in six Americans suffers a food-related illne... Read More
Russian President Vladimir Putin claimed Wednesday his country had developed a vaccine for the Ebola virus which has killed thousands of people in west Africa.
But Putin, who is famed for his talent for headline-grabbing announcements, did not give any name for the vaccine, nor did he say how... Read More
ASM hosted a Twitter Chat on Microbes of the Built Environment. You may have missed the chat, but you can read the storified version of our conversation! See what our expert panelists had to say, and join us next time on #ASMChats! http://bit.ly/27I9vH1 Read More
This episode: Newly discovered bacteria can break down especially long-lived type of plastic!
(6.4 MB, 7 minutes)
There’s no way to avoid the news of a growing concern for drug-resistant infections. In both life-threatening and relatively superficial infections, the ability to successfully treat microbial infections with antimicrobials is decreasing. Our only recourse is to use the drugs we have carefully w... Read More