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ASM GM 2014 - Microbes and Cancer

Until recently cancers were seen as lifestyle and genetic diseases, brought on by exposure to carcinogens or a mutated gene. Recent studies are linking microbes to many diffe... Read More

Influenza A viruses in bats

It is well known that aquatic birds are a major reservoir of influenza A viruses, and that pandemic human influenza virus strains of the past century derive viral genes from this pool. The recent discovery of two new influenza A viruses in bats suggests that this species may constitute another r... Read More

Where Biology and Art Work Together in the Classroom

In this blog entry, I describe how working with the artist Katie McKissick ("Beatrice the Biologist") helped improve my freshman biology course. The intersection of biology and art benefits both! Read More

Remembering a Microbial Hero™: The Late, Great Abigail Salyers.

Here I remember a person who a great deal of influence on my views about microbiology in the classroom, and the laboratory: the late Abigail Salyers. RIP, Abigail. Read More

The Forgotten Woman Who Made Microbiology Possible

Read about Angelina Fanny Hesse, an unsung heroine of microbiology who helped make the isolation of bacteria possible in this Popular Science blog post by Christina Agapakis:

"In the earliest days of microbiology, scientists were stumped about how to isolate bacteria. That is, until the fami... Read More

Virology question of the week

On the science show This Week in Virology we receive many questions and comments, which are read every week. I also get many questions here on virology blog, which I tend to answer by email. However I think that everyone could benefit from these questions, so I’ve decided to post one here each w... Read More

Click-Chemistry Labeling of Oligonucleotides and DNA - Lumiprobe - Protocol


Click chemistry is a versatile reaction that can be used for the synthesis of a variety of conjugates. Virtually any biomolecules can be involved, and labeling with small molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, biotin, and other groups can be readily achieved.

Click chemistry reaction takes pl... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Windshield Wiper Fluid: A Source of Legionnaires?

A form of bacteria responsible for respiratory illness, including the deadly pneumonia known as Legionnaire's disease, may be able to grow in windshield washer fluid and was isolated from nearly 75% of school buses tested in one district in Arizona. The participant will discuss findings from ... Read More

Changing influenza virus neuraminidase into a receptor binding protein

The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of the influenza virus particle serve distinct functions during infection. The HA binds sialic acid-containing cellular receptors and mediates fusion of the viral and cell membranes, while the NA removes sialic acids from glycoproteins.... Read More

Foldscope: Origami-Based Paper Microscope

PLOS ONE authors Cybulski, Clements and Prakash describe an ultra-low-cost origami-based approach for large-scale manufacturing of microscopes, specifically demonstrating brightfield, darkfield, and fluorescence microscopes. Merging principles of optical design with origami enables high-volume f... Read More

Probiotics vs Antibiotics? You're asking the wrong question.

'The question of whether someone should be taking a probiotic or an antibiotic is one I hear fairly frequently. The answer, in short, is that this isn't a question of either / or! At this stage in time, with this level of research on probiotics, it is not right to suggest one stops taking their... Read More

World Polio Day

As a virologist who has worked on poliovirus since 1979, I would be remiss if I did not note that today, 24 October, is World Polio Day. World Polio Day was established by Rotary International over a decade ago to commemorate the birth of Jonas Salk, who led the first team to develop a vaccine a... Read More

A Whiff of Taxonomy – Archaeoglobus fulgidus

Pick an archaeon, any archaeon, and you will find it has a story to tell. Not all archaea are exotic but plenty of them are. These stalwarts live in environments we humans call extreme, where they carry out what to us seem extreme types of metabolic conversions. Most have come rather late into o... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Fossilized Feces Help Anthropologists Understand Pre-Columbian Cultures

By evaluating the bacteria and fungi found in fossilized feces, microbiologists are providing evidence to help support archeologists' hypotheses regarding cultures living in the Caribbean over 1,500 years ago. Researchers discuss how the analysis of 1,500-year-old coprolites from archeologica... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - ASM ¡en vivo!

ASM2014 tiene "sabor Latino". Por primera vez podrás participar de ASM ¡en vivo! Tendremos una sección solo en Español donde las anfitrionas, Greetchen y Catalina (Mundo de l... Read More

How a microscopic team alters the course of carbon in the Atlantic ocean - Finalist in Ocean 180 Video Challenge

The Amazon river is the largest river in the world. It drains the entire Amazon rainforest, sending leftover nutrients, detritus, and minerals from the South American jungle out into the tropical Atlantic ocean. This runoff forms a freshwater plume, hundreds of miles across, that profoundly affe... Read More

ASM GM 2014 - The Potential Role of Gut Microbes in Autism

Most gut bacteria are beneficial, aiding food digestion, producing vitamins, and protecting against harmful bacteria. If left unchecked, however, harmful bacteria can excrete... Read More

Innocence by Viral Tagging - Finalist in Ocean 180 Video Challenge

Viruses are the most abundant biological entities on the planet with approximately 1030 in the world’s oceans at any time. As such, they play a central role in global nutrient cycling. Despite their ecological importance, little is known about how viruses interact with their hosts due to the dif... Read More

Reduced glycopeptide and lipopeptide susceptibility in Staphylococcus aureus and the “seesaw effect”: Taking advantage of the back door left open?

Methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA) constitutes approximately 50% of clinical S. aureus isolates and is most commonly the result of production of a mutated pencillin-binding protein, PBP2a, which is able to carry out essential cell wall synthesis functions while maintaining a low-affinity for... Read More

Molecular mechanisms of resistance

The abilities of bacterial organisms to utilize the various strategies to resist antimicrobial compounds are all genetically encoded.

Intrinsic resistance is that type of resistance which is naturally coded and expressed by all (or almost all) strains of that particular bacterial species. An... Read More

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