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Diversity and Activity of Communities Inhabiting Plastic Debris in the North Pacific Gyre

Marine plastic debris is a growing concern that has captured the general public’s attention. While the negative impacts of plastic debris on oceanic macrobiota, including mammals and birds, are well documented, little is known about its influence on smaller marine residents, including microbes t... Read More

The six kingdoms of living things in 90 seconds

When I have to explain the organism classification to my students I usually use the one stablished by Woese in the 70s. In this classification, all living things are classified in six kingdoms, that are Eubacteria, Archeobacteria, Protista, Plantae, Fungi and Animalia. All of these groups evolve... Read More

Feed a cold, starve a fever? Not so fast, according to Salk research

The last time you had a stomach bug, you probably didn’t feel much like eating. This loss of appetite is part of your body’s normal response to an illness but is not well understood. Sometimes eating less during illness promotes a faster recovery, but other times—such as when cancer patients exp... Read More

A Citizen Microbiology project on the Built Environment

There is a growing popular and policy interest in the microbiome, and the possibilities of more nuanced or ‘probiotic’ ways of living with germs. To date however there has been limited public engagement with the science and technology of metagenomics. The project engages with the growing scienti... Read More

Bill to provide $1.1 billion Zika funding dies in Senate vote

WASHINGTON — The Senate on Tuesday blocked a $1.1 billion bill to combat the Zika virus, giving Congress just two weeks to try to reach a new deal before lawmakers leave for a seven-week recess in the midst of mosquito season and a growing public health crisis. Read More

Meet your Microbes (video)

They’re on your tongue, under your armpits, in your guts and on your skin. In fact, any place you can think of there are microbes living on, under, or in between there. In their unimaginably large numbers, these micro-organisms determine our lives – even though we never see them. Micropia, the w... Read More

Virus Watch: How Mosquitoes Spread Viruses

In this episode of Virus Watch, I explain how mosquitoes spread viruses. We’ll look at how a mosquito finds a host, how it finds a blood vessel, and how it delivers viruses to a new host. Don’t blame mosquitoes for viral diseases: it’s not their fault!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7wsk8a3z... Read More

TWiM #150: Microbiology is where it's at

In recognition of National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Robin Patel speaks with the TWiM team about directing a clinical bacteriology laboratory, and how an observation made by a laboratory technologist lead to the finding that Ureaplasma species can cause a system metabolic disturb... Read More

Using satellite data to tackle microbial threats to aquaculture

The BBSRC and NERC-funded ShellEye project seeks to help shellfish farmers manage threats from harmful algal blooms and E. coli bacteria. The multi-partner ShellEye project brings together industry, government and scientists and aims to develop a satellite-based forecasting system to help fisher... Read More

New tool for combating mosquito-borne disease: insect parasite genes

Wolbachia is the most successful parasite the world has ever known. You’ve never heard of it because it only infects bugs: millions upon millions of species of insects, spiders, centipedes and other arthropods all around the globe.

The secret to the over-achieving bacterium’s success is its a... Read More

Final Student Thoughts From My MIcrobiology Course

Today was the last day of my microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound. So I thought it appropriate for students to tell me the single "coolest" thing they learned in my course. Read More

Bacterial Messages From Beyond?

H.P. Lovecraft fan and composer Reber Clark (https://reberclark.bandcamp.com/) collaborated with my undergraduate student Ruth Isenberg and myself on a science+music+HPL video. When a log phase culture of Photobacterium leignothi is poured into a Petri dish, and 10 second exposures are taken ev... Read More

Microbial Awards Season in Biology 350!

I like to encourage my students to explore the intersection between art and microbiology. Science + art = awesome! In any event, in this blog post, I describe two microbial art competitions in my microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound. I think my micronauts did some remarkable w... Read More

Interview with Neal Nathanson, MD - Principles of Virology, 4th Edition

Vincent Racaniello of the This Week in Virology podcast interviews Neal Nathanson, MD, about his career and professional experience in the field of virology. Nathanson's work has focused on the epidemiology and eradication of poliomyelitis, the control of the HIV/AIDS pandemic and the developmen... Read More

DNA binding by C. crescentus VapBC1 (video)

The video shows the structural changes in the Caulobacter crescent VapBC1 protein complex during DNA binding, including how the antitoxin “tails” containing the protein palindromic sequences switch positions.

Link to the research article in Nucleic Acids Research http://nar.oxfordjournals.org... Read More

TED Talk: A forgotten Space Age technology could change how we grow food

Dr. Lisa Dyson is developing a way to sustainable produce agriculture using technology developed in the 1960's for space travel. Using carbon dioxide, hydrogen from water, and microbes called hydrogenotrophs, the "closed loop" carbon cycle can create carbon-rich crops. This technology has the po... Read More

A Cinematic Approach to Antibiotic Resistance

In a creative stroke inspired by Hollywood wizardry, Harvard scientists have designed a simple way to observe how bacteria move as they become impervious to drugs. The experiments are thought to provide the first large-scale glimpse of the maneuvers of bacteria as they encounter increasingly hig... Read More

"The Amazing Adventures of the Virologists” Part One - Vaccines _ 6

"Hivi and his team of viruses (Ebola, Pox,..etc) believe they can win the battle, but the Virologists (who are real famous professors) beat them. However, new viruses pop-up, it will be a long battle. This makes the story very interesting and ever so engaging."
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ACKNOWLEDGMEN... Read More

UV light can aid hospitals' fight to wipe out drug-resistant superbugs

A new tool -- a type of ultraviolet light called UVC -- could aid hospitals in the ongoing battle to keep drug-resistant bacteria from lingering in patient rooms and causing new infections.

Some hospitals have already begun using UVC machines in addition to standard chemical disinfection to k... Read More

Microbiology, Creativity, and Extra Credit

In this blog post, I share the creative projects that my Biology 350 (Microbiology) micronauts created this semester. They range from video parodies, to prose poems, to short-short stories to sculptures and needlepoint. Enjoy! Read More
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