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
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
As my Fall semester approaches, I am reflecting on last Fall. I taught a freshman seminar course revolving around symbioses and parasitism, and was fortunate to have many well known scientists be willing to "virtually visit" my class! Here is my report from last year on the great Jack Gilbert.... 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
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.
ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Over the same time period that multiple outbreaks of measles and whooping cough made headlines around the country, parents' views on vaccines became more favorable, according to a new nationally-representative poll. 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
A quick demonstration of how my Microbial Mania can impact the holiday season! Read More
Whether the microorganisms routinely inhabit the upper troposphere -- perhaps living on carbon compounds also found there -- or whether they were simply lofted there from the Earth's surface isn't yet known. Airborne microbes are of interest to atmospheric scientists, because they could play a r... 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
Ever wondered what considerations go into a brand new £145M virus research laboratory? The new award-winning building at The Pirbright Institute has taken some brave and bold steps in design to contain high-risk microbes. High containment labs are usually buried deep inside a building to keep da... 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
A video explanation of Ebola Virus. Drawn and narrated by Armando Hasudungan. Read More
BOSTON, Aug. 18, 2015 -- When a fever strikes in a developing area, the immediate concern may be: Is it the common flu or something much worse that requires quarantine? To facilitate diagnosis in remote, low-resource settings, researchers have developed a paper-based device that changes color, d... Read More
Could the microbes that inhabit our guts help explain that old idea of "gut feelings?" There's growing evidence that gut bacteria really might influence our minds.
"I'm always by profession a skeptic," says Dr. Emeran Mayer, a professor of medicine and psychiatry at the University of Californ... Read More
Critically ill patients with the pandemic H1N1 influenza who received triple the standard dose of the influenza drug oseltamivir were 7 times more likely to completely clear the virus from their system in 5 days than those who received the standard dose. This discussion addresses the healthcare... Read More
This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More