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TWiM #128: A moonlighting phage protein

A eukaryote without a mitochondrion, and using a phage enzyme to eliminate intracellular bacteria are two topics discussed by the TWiMers on this episode.


Image (right): An entry in the ASM Agar Art Contest which bears an uncanny resemblance to one of the TWiM hosts.


Host... 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

New Powerful Sweet Antibiotic against Superbugs was Found

Scientists from the University of Queensland and a biotechnology company discovered a new class of antibiotics, which is a kind of synthetic sugar. And the new antibiotics can significantly decrease the drug resistance caused by bacteria, and kill them. These new antibiotics can be a powerful dr... Read More

Virologists, start your poliovirus destruction!

I have worked on poliovirus for over thirty-six years, first as a posdoctoral fellow with David Baltimore in 1979, and then in my laboratory at Columbia University. The end of that research commences this year with the destruction of my stocks of polioviruses. 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

#microMOOCSEM: the first microbiology massive online open course by Twitter (in Spanish)

Veintinueve profesores e investigadores de 20 universidades y centros de investigación van a colaborar para impartir el primer curso mundial online gratuito vía Twitter sobre microbiología. La iniciativa está coordinada y organizada por el grupo de Docencia y Difusión de la Microbiología de la S... Read More

Colonial Variation in Serratia marcescens

A common denizen of the undergraduate microbiology laboratory, Serratia marcescens is well known for the production of a bright red pigment, prodigiosin. Prodigiosin has been investigated over many years for its possible antimicrobial, antifungal, and even antitumor effects. Still, the relevan... Read More

Your viral past

Did you ever wonder what different virus infections you have had in your lifetime? Now you can find out with just a drop of your blood and about $25.

Immune defense systems of many hosts produce antibodies in response to virus infections. These large proteins, which are generally virus specif... Read More

Free webinar on CMR guidelines provides CME credit

Some of the most popular segments at conferences, such as Microbe 2016 coming up in in Jun, are those that give continuing medical education (CME) credit to participants. These CME credits are an important part of being an active medical professional: they keep participants current on best pract... Read More

A minimal cell operating system

If the DNA sequence of a cell is like the operating system of a computer, then the smallest cellular OS has just been written. Called Syn3.0, it encodes everything needed to make a viable, autonomously replicating cell.

Mycoplasma is a genus of bacteria that are the smallest known free-living... Read More

Does the hologenome address the whole picture?

How do we define the genetic makeup of an individual? Is it the genetic material found in each cell of that individual (that’s not entirely accurate; mutations and recombinatorial differences can lead to multiple genomes in one individual). And what about the genes carried by our microbiome? The... Read More

Viruses Could Help Fight Deadly Superbugs.

Viruses that are harmless to humans might help fight the deadly scourge of bacteria that can't be treated with antibiotics, researchers say.

These viruses could be used in hand santizers, and to treat exposed surfaces in hospitals, which are hotbeds of antibiotic resistance, the researchers n... Read More

TWiV 390: Building a better mosquito trap

Project Premonition, a Microsoft Research project that uses drones to capture mosquitoes and analyze them for pathogens, preprint servers, and three mouse models for Zika virus induced birth defects are the topics of this episode hosted by the TWiumvirate and theirs guests Etha... Read More

Zika Virus On and In the Brain - @profvrr has a new blog!

Read in near real-time a virologist's experiments on Zika Virus. Now with its fourth post the Zika Diaries aims to illuminate the public on what it takes to do research on this emerging outbreak. From the Racaniello Lab at Columbia Univ. -

"Now that my laboratory obtained a number of differe... Read More

International Team Fishes New Virus Out of the Sea of Galilee

In 2009, fish in Israel began dying in droves. And not just any fish, but the St. Peter’s fish, tilapia in the Sea of Galilee—the fish famed in the Bible for feeding the multitudes and paying the temple tax for St. Peter.

As head of the fish disease laboratory for Israel’s Ministry of Agricul... Read More

Structure and genome of Zika virus

Group: Group IV ((+) ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Zika virus

Structure of Zika Virus
•The virion is approximately 40 nm in diameter with surface projections that measure roughly 5-10 nm.
•Nucleocapsid is 25-30 nm in diameter surrounded by a host-membrane derive... Read More

New Academy Report on Microbes of the Built Environment

This past fall, experts gathered at an American Academy of Microbiology Colloquium in Washington, D.C. to discuss an important topic relevant to many parts of society: the microbiology of built environments. A summary of the experts’ answers to important questions surrounding this topic is now a... Read More

Antibiotics Vs Human

The World Health Organization launched the first World Antibiotic Awareness week, and from November 16-22 2015 discussion centered on the emerging threat of antibiotic resistance. In this post, I will review the science behind antibiotic resistant-bacteria and how this phenomena is poised to imp... Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Margaret McFall-Ngai

Last Fall, the great Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai "virtually visited" my freshman writing class at the University of Puget Sound to discuss symbiosis and Microbial Supremacy with my new students. I had my students read some papers by Dr. McFall-Ngai (including the wonderful "Animals in a Microbial ... Read More

Microbiology, Creativity, and Extra Credit!

I have long believed that there are many ways for students to learn. In several of my classes, I encourage students to use "creative" approaches to explore course concepts. In the Fall of 2015, here is what my micronauts in my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound came up with..... Read More
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