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Tracking Bacterial Imbalance in the ICU

The human microbiome is the diverse population of microorganisms that live on and in the body. Many thrive on the skin and in the mouth, but the majority live in the intestines. Over the last decade or so, microbiologists have become increasingly aware of how a person's microbial mix likely play... Read More

TWiV 418: Of mice and MERS

The TWiVsters describe a new animal model for MERS coronavirus-induced acute respiratory distress syndrome, produced by CRISPR/Cas9 editing of the mouse gene encoding an ortholog of the virus receptor.


Hosts:  Read More

You don't win friends with (precut) salad

Given that the holidays are right around the corner, many of us will be trying to eat healthy outside of celebratory meals, and that includes turning to salad as a healthy meal option. Salads do provide fresh nutrients, but new research in Applied and Environmental Microbiology suggests pre-cut ... Read More

Antibiotic stewardship - a community effort

As we highlighted in our previous blog, antibiotic stewardship – the careful use of appropriate antibiotic administration – can have positive effects. A small change from a difference in clinical lab reporting led to less drug use, which led to fewer drug-resistant infections. When we think of a... Read More

TWiV 431: Niemann-Pick of the weak

The TWiVirions reveal bacteriophage genes that control eukaryotic reproduction, and the biochemical basis for increased Ebolavirus glycoprotein activity during the recent outbreak.


Hosts:  Read More

TWiV 426: I'm Axl, and I'll be your cervid today

The sages of TWiV explain how chronic wasting disease of cervids could be caused by spontaneous misfolding of prion protein, and the role of the membrane protein Axl in Zika virus entry into cells.


Hosts:  Read More

Microbial Identification and Tracking: the Next Generation

How do you identify an unknown microbe? If you’ve taken an introductory microbiology lab course in the past twenty years, chances are you were assigned an unknown bacterium that you had to identify through differential media and biochemical assays. Newer techniques like qPCR are being standardiz... Read More

My first year at the wheel: reflections on ASM

Perhaps with more enthusiasm than originality, I feel compelled at the end of the year to look back on what has happened in my life. The compulsion is even stronger this December, since the end of the calendar year coincides with my first year at the helm of ASM as its CEO.

When I joined AS... Read More

TWiV 420: Orthogonal vectors

The TWiV gurus describe how to use an orthogonal translation system to produce infectious but replication-incompetent influenza vaccines.


Hosts: Vincent Racaniello Read More

Microbiology Myths Debunked: Scientific Analysis of the Five Second Rule

While walking through your house, you drop a granola bar you were eating. Quick – do you pick it up and eat it? Is the ground too dirty to eat from? Does the amount of time the food sits on the ground matter? Will more microbes gather onto the snack as you decide whether or not to continue noshi... Read More

The classic and current studies of bacterial endospore morphology

Recently, one of the Journal of Bacteriology Classic Spotlight series highlighted the numerous studies on bacterial spores that have been published in the journal throughout the years. Bacterial endospores, the resilient and relatively quiescent bacterial structures first identified in the 1800s... Read More

TWiM #148: Neanderthal Dentistry

Vincent, Elio, and Michael reveal what Neanderthals ate from analysis of DNA in their teeth, and new CRISPR-Cas systems found in the genomes of uncultured microbes.

Hosts Vincent Racaniello, Read More

Zika Sharing

Of all the scientific results that my laboratory has produced over the years, I am most satisfied by those that maximally benefit the field. In this category falls the assay for determining the titer of Zika virus in plaque forming units per milliliter.

In ‘Counting Zika Virus’ I described o... Read More

TWiM 147 Letters

Kala writes:


Dear Micro Crew,


Hello from frozen Ireland, it's 5 degrees Celsius but feels like -2, cloudy and generally miserable haha


I was wondering if you could give me some advice as I am stuck between a micr... Read More

A Microbial Death Star

Star Wars – an epic story of war between the forces of good and evil in a galaxy far, far away. The Death Star – the ultimate weapon of destruction. The story is science fiction, but it could be considered an analogy for the constant battle between our immune system and microbial pathogens. Beli... Read More

¿Is it possible to teach microbiology with Twitter?

Here, we present the results of our pioneering experience teaching a full Basic Microbiology course via Twitter (#microMOOCSEM), consisting of 28 lessons of 40-45 minutes duration each, at a tweet per minute rate during 10 weeks. Read More

Time for the #LuxArt2016 Voting!

I enjoy having my microbiology students explore their creativity in interesting ways. One approach is to have my micronauts "paint" on Petri dishes using luminous bacteria. In the past, I have inviting people to "vote" on their favorites, and hand out microbiologically themed gifts. This has ... Read More

Induction of Acinetobacter baumannii natural competence

Bacteria acquire and spread genetic information through several means. Some bacteria form a long, thin tube called a pilus, mediating transfer of DNA by direct cell-to-cell contact, in a process known as conjugation. Some bacterial take up environmental DNA and incorporate it into their existing... Read More

TWiV 417: O is the loneliest letter

The Fellowship of the Virus trace the early history of HIV in North America, based on genome sequences obtained from late 1970s archival sera, which also reveal that Gaetan Dugas was not Patient Zero.


Hosts:  Read More

One Page "Nanobiographies" of #MicrobialTermPapers!

I had my #Bio350 micronauts write one page "Nanobiographies" of their #MicrobialTermPapers. I'm very pleased. Read More
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