Using tracer viruses, researche... Read More
For decades, scientists have known that deforestation is one of the greatest threats to the biodiversity of the Amazon rainforest, which has the highest number of plant and animal species of any region its size on the planet. Now, scientists have found out that deforestation is a threat to the d... Read More
Hydraulic fracturing, or “fracking”, is the process of drilling and injecting fluid into the ground at a high pressure in order to fracture shale rocks to release natural gas inside. What effect does this process have on the microorganisms that naturally exist in the water in this process?
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In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More
Feeling lonely! Just remember you are not alone. A huge number of bacteria live in your body, and most of them are in your intestine. But you do not need to be worried about it, because they will not hurt you in a normal situation. In fact, the relation between humans and their microbiota is an... Read More
Dr. John Spencer is a mycobacteriologist studying leprosy at Colorado State University. He has collaborators in the northern state of Para, Brazil, who visit schoolchildren in about 10 different cities in the Amazon region and elsewhere to diagnose and treat kids and family members who have t... Read More
Trypanosome Lytic Factor (TLF) has emerged as a novel arm of innate immunity that is only present in humans and select non-human primates. TLF was originally discovered in human blood as a minor form of High-density lipoprotein (HDL), also known as a good cholesterol, that rapidly kills the Afri... Read More
Should we only consider bacteria as harmful to our bodies?
Bonnie Bassler is a molecular biologist who has made a stunning discovery: bacteria 'talk' to each other using chemical signals that enable them to act as a unit, mount attacks and coordinate defence. This phenomenon of bacterial com... Read More
The disruption of the human microbiome through use of antimicrobials is a topic of growing interest among healthcare epidemiologists, not only because it is a major risk factor for C. difficile infection (CDI), but also because it could be a driving force behind the introduction and proliferatio... Read More
Almost 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles during their lifetime. Despite the approval and recommendation by the FDA of a shingles vaccine for adults over 50, only 16% of American seniors over 60 are vaccinated. Vaccinations are even lower for those aged 50-60. A... Read More
Water Lecture Series
John Mekalanos discusses the biology of cholera, driven by his investigations on the molecular genetics of the causative bacterial organism. With his many colleagues in Bangladesh, Haiti, and elsewhere, he has provided strong evidence for how this organism emerged as a hu... Read More
Plants associated bacteria play a key role in host productivity and health. These bacteria are phylogenetically diverse and form interactions considered neutral, beneficial or detrimental. A better understanding of these interactions will have a direct impact in agriculture by promoting sustaina... Read More
During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More
The Rockefeller University's Luciano Marraffini is interested in understanding how bacteria evolve by incorporating DNA sequences from other bacteria or from the environment into their genomes. His research focuses on the mechanisms that control the traffic of DNA molecules between bacteria.
A quick demonstration of how my Microbial Mania can impact the holiday season! Read More
Many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers given the long time spent in crowded air cabins. New research shows disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week. Participants discuss ... Read More
The emergence of human infections with avian influenza viruses (H7N9 and H5N1) have raised concerns about the virus gaining the ability to spread person-to-person, potentially causing a deadly pandemic. So far the number of human cases has been limited but the mortality rates have been high. ... Read More
An Ebola outbreak has killed at least 59 people in Guinea, UNICEF said, as the deadly hemorrhagic fever has quickly spread from southern communities in the West African nation.
Experts in the country had been unable to identify the disease, whose symptoms -- diarrhea, vomiting and fever -- we... Read More
ASM Global Video Challenge submission!
Hello ASM! I am a microbiology graduate student in the Runstadler Lab at MIT. We are an interdisciplinary group of scientists comprising biochemists, ecologists, computer scientists, veterinarians, and microbiologists. Together, our lab studies all aspec... Read More