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Prion contamination in the emergency room

Here is a follow-up to last week’s article that described a case of variant Creutzfeldt-Jacob disease in a Texas resident caused by ingestion of BSE-contaminated beef 14 years ago.

A 59 year old male patient was admitted to the trauma unit in Lancaster, PA with a self-inflicted gunshot wound ... Read More

Permissive vaccines and viral virulence

A permissive vaccine prevents disease in the immunized host, but does not block virus infection. Would a permissive vaccine lead to the emergence of more virulent viruses?

This hypothesis is based on the notion that viruses which kill their hosts too quickly are not efficiently transmitted, a... Read More

Herpes simplex: Host Viral interactions database

This is a database of Herpes simplex (HSV-1) host/viral interactions hosted at WikiGenes. It provides a global snapshot of what the virus does in different compartments at all stages of the viral life-cycle from entry to exit. The database is interactive, and any researcher can edit the page or ... Read More

TWiM 97 Letters


Dennis writes:
hi Doc,


A paper just published in nature:


http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/vaop/ncurrent/pdf/nature14098.pdf


reports an effective antibiot... Read More

Sanctuary chimps show high rates of drug-resistant staph

Chimpanzees from African sanctuaries carry drug-resistant, human-associated strains of the bacteria Staphlyococcus aureus, a pathogen that the infected chimpanzees could spread to endangered wild ape populations if they were reintroduced to their natural habitat, a new study shows.

The study ... Read More

Toxoplasmosis: A T.Gondii Host-pathogen interactome

This parasite interacts with many host proteins and modifies the expression of many more genes creating an interactome with almost 3000 links. In addition it exchanges substrates and metabolites with the host, modifying many biochemical parameters. T.Gondii disrupts multiple signalling network... Read More

TWiV 222: Jumpin' Jack Flash, it's a GAS GAS GAS

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Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Rich Condit Read More

Zika virus and microcephaly

Three reports have been published that together make a compelling case that Zika virus is causing microcephaly in Brazil. Read More

Green Algae

The most clearly plant-like algae, this species gets its namesake hue from high levels of chlorophyll.


Their cell walls are made up of cellulose, the same material that makes up the cell walls in larger, multicellular plants. Like plants, they store the food they make through photosyn... Read More

The risks and benefits of influenza H5N1 research

Both Nature and the New York Times have weighed in on the resumption of influenza H5N1 research. In an editorial from 23 January 2013, Nature opines that “Experiments that make deadly pathogens more dangerous demand the utmost scrutiny”. They call for a quantitative risk-benefit analysis of H5N1... Read More

It Came From Outer Space: Hyperthermophiles

Hyperthermophiles are microorganisms that can live in extremely hot conditions. Instead of photosynthesis, these organisms perform chemosynthesis to produce energy. Click "source" above to watch the Learning Channel's "It Came From Outer Space: Hyperthermophiles". Read More

El Podcast del Microbio Nº 176. Avatar Microbes Reloaded



























El podcast del Microbio Nº176 resumes the discovery of bacterial nanotubes made by GP Dubey and S Ben-Yehuda. El podcast d... Read More

Time's Up

Merry Youle of the Small Things Considered blog has a new post up that looks at the phage-encoded holin timer and its function in a lytic infection.

"Holins are the smallest known biological timers. Timers, not clocks. Timers tick along, then go off after the specified interval. These small, ... Read More

Building Community through Public Toilets

The Global Water Challenge (GWC) is a coalition of leading organizations in the water and sanitation sector. In this video GWC finalist David Kuria of Ecotact Limited, a Kenyan company dedicated to bringing public toilets to an area where there were only two for 60,000 people, discusses the need... Read More

Thirty years in my laboratory at Columbia University

Thirty years ago this month I arrived in the Department of Microbiology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons (P&S) to start my own laboratory. Thirty is not only a multiple of ten (which we tend to celebrate), but also a long time to be at one place. It’s clearly time to r... Read More

A Microbiology Curriculum for K through 12 Grades

Bact to school time is on the horizon and I am sure many teachers, educators and professors are looking for supplemental course material or new ideas.

A quick search on the web resulted in this comprehensive Microbiology curriculum for K-12 that was presented at the 1997 Annual Meeting of th... Read More

Freshman Symbiosis Course and Jack Gilbert!

As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... Read More

Honoring the Memory of Another

The late Edward Leadbetter had a huge impact on my life as an academic, and a microbiologist. In this post, I try to give some appreciation to what he meant to me. Read More

Compiling a list of reporters who cover #microbiology stories well; suggestions wanted

I am attempting to compile a list of reporters who do a good job covering microbiology related topics. I have compiled a partial list and am soliciting additional suggestions. Read More

TWiV 77

Wladimir writes:


In regard to your question as to cases of known alteration of host behavior by virus that increases the rate of contact among hosts (Twiv 70), the most dramatic example is given by rabies. This extraordinary virus can convert a neurologically and behaviorally... Read More

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