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Don’t Panic—Ebola Isn’t Heading For You

An outbreak of Ebola hemorrhagic fever that began in early July 2012 has involved at least 36 individuals and 16 deaths. So far the disease has been confined to a rural region west of Kampala, the capital of Uganda. The subject of Richard Preston’s scary The Hot Zone, Ebola virus is newsworthy b... Read More

TWiM 62 Letters

Robert writes:
In TWIM #60 @1:06:23 Michael Schmidt suggests that glucose for fermentation from biomass is a necessary step in production of fuel ethanol. Fuel ethanol and other low molecular weight compounds can also be produced by autotrophic anaerobic fermentation of ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 56 - Cells Survive Synthetic Substitution

This episode: Evolving bacteria to use a synthetic base in its DNA!


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Mundo de los Microbios - Episodio 108 - Grace Robiou

Nuevas guías de la Agencia de Protección Ambiental (USEPA) para las aguas recreacionales:  éste es el tópico que discutiremos hoy con Grace Robiou, quien ha trabajado durante los últimos años buscando nuevos indicadores de riesgo que protejan mejor a los bañistas.


Aunque en el mu... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 145 - Clostridium Converts Cortisol

This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!


(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)


Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.


A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More

MWV Episode 92 - Ebola: On the Front Lines

The current Ebola virus outbreak in West Africa has sickened over 14,000 people and has killed over 5,100. Health workers from around the world are attempting to halt this deadly disease. On November 19th, the American Society for Microbiology featured two of these health workers, Dr. Joseph ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 42 - Beneficial Bowel Bugs

This episode: Helpful gut bacteria communicate with the immune system!


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El Podcast del Microbio: Amor de Madre





























In this audio in spanish language from "El podcast del microbio" I made a resume of the post "Mother's Love" published in Moselio Schaecht... Read More

What They Look Like

hiv_illus Read More

Other Virus Like Things

Viruses may be referred to often as the smallest infectious things. But there are some smaller contenders. Some of the agents of plant disease lack even a viral coat and are merely small strings of plain, or "naked," RNA. These particles are called viroids. They are believed ... Read More

Art and Microbiology

A collection of funny images about microbiology. Although the text is in Spanish language, it can be easily understood. Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 148 - Engineered Escherichia Enzyme Enhances Environmentalism

This episode: Engineered bacteria could help capture CO2 and convert it into a solid form for storage!


(7.3 MB, 8 minutes)


E. coli engineered to produce the enzyme carbonic anhydrase, which converts carbon dioxide to bicarbonate and then to calcium carbonate,... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 32 - Virus Versus Malignancy Matrix

This episode: Virus + bacterial enzyme = cancer killer!


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BacterioFiles Micro Edition 150 - Morels Make Mycelial Motorways

This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!


(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)


Show notes: 
Journal Paper


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Multiple Displacement Technology Goes Digital: a method for enumeration of bacterial nucleic acid contamination in enzymes

Is bacterial DNA contamination in your whole genome amplification kit a problem? For microbiologists it sure is. WGA is a technique where the complete genomic content of a sample is amplified non-specifically and at a single temperature (isothermically). The presence of any contaminating DNA in ... Read More

BacterioFiles Micro Edition 149 - Psychrobacter Survives Siberian Schisms

This episode: Cold-loving bacteria can repair surprising amounts of DNA damage even sub-zero temperatures!


(9.1 MB, 9.9 minutes)


Bacteria isolated from the Siberian arctic permafrost are exposed to a lot of radiation over thousands of years, but somehow they are able to repair... Read More

A Few Thoughts About the 2012 San Francisco ASM General Meeting by Elio Schaechter

I recently returned from the ASM yearly general meeting in San Francisco. It happens to be 60 years, no less, since I attended my first such event, that one in Chicago. In those days, many members attended a giant banquet as part of the event, I well remember. As a poor graduate student, I could... Read More

TWiV 224: A wide receiver and a natural defense

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Alan Dove, and Read More

Of Terms in Biology: Colloids

Colloid may not be a common term in biology these days, but in the early 20th century, colloids were believed to hold the key to the secrets of life. So what is a colloid? According to the Encyclopaedia Britannica it is any substance consisting of particles substantially larger than atoms or ord... Read More

The Basics: How Alkaline Lysis Works

Alkaline lysis was first described by Birnboim and Doly in 1979 (Nucleic Acids Res. 7, 1513-1523) and has, with a few modifications, been the preferred method for plasmid DNA extraction from bacteria ever since. The easiest way to describe how alkaline lysis works is to go through the procedure ... Read More
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