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Boston subway system covered in microbes, but they're not harmful

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

A new vaccine has developed by Russia

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

Fighting Zika with Functional Fashion

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

A promising Ebolavirus antiviral compound

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

Potential Zika virus risk estimated for 50 US cities

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

TWiEVO 6: Butterflies are free to shuffle

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

50 Awesome Holiday Gift Ideas for Microbiologists

Need the perfect holiday gift for the microbiologist in your life? We’re here to help! We’ve compiled a list of 50 awesome microbiology related gift ideas. It’s like Oprah’s Favorite Things, only with more bacteria! Check it out and show your microbe-lovers how much you care this holiday season.... Read More

Microbial responses to land management practices

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

A Microbial Ocean Feast: Who Ate What?

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

Microbes of the Built Environment

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

"Motility Wars: A New Hope."

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

MMP #16: Insights into Toxoplasma gondii parasites

Host: Jeff Fox with special guest, Emma Wilson.

Emma H. Wilson of the University of California, Riverside, talks with Jeff Fox about efforts, with her collaborators to determine more precisely how Toxoplasma gondii parasites disrupt the mammalian brain—in this case, the brains of mice... Read More

Scientists identify a new route of TB transmission

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

Additives to boost vaccine responses not sufficient to protect obese mice from influenza

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

BacterioFiles 269 - Magnetic Microbes Maim MRSA

This episode: Killing pathogens by attaching magnetotactic bacteria to them and then raising the heat with magnetic fields!

(10.6 MB, 11.6 minutes)

Show notes: 

Journal Paper:
Chen C, Chen L, Yi Y, Chen C, Wu L-F, Song ... Read More

Microbial Genomics and the Future of Food Microbiology

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

Just a spoonful of L-arginine helps the biofilm go down

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

False impressions in predatory publishing

Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but it can also be the easiest way to make a buck. That’s the primary motivation for camouflaging within an already-established brand: Sunbucks, McDowell’s, and Mountain Lightening all rely on brand recognition – of a brand that isn’t their own. W... Read More

A chromosome in every cell: PprA funcitons in chromosome segregation after Deinococcus radiodurans irradiation

Exposure to reactive oxygen species, exposure to ionizing radiation, exposure to UV light – all of these are dangerous because of their potential to alter DNA sequences. Changes in DNA can affect a protein coding sequence, potentially influencing its function, but changes in regulatory regions c... Read More

And now for something completely different: optimistic news from the world of antibiotic stewardship

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
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