DENVER, CO – May 21, 2013 – Researchers at University of Cincinnati have developed and tested a solar-powered nano filter that is able to remove harmful carcinogens and antibiotics from water sources – lakes and rivers – at a significantly higher rate than the currently used filtering technology made of activated carbon. They report their results today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – May 21, 2013 – Bacteria resistant to the antibiotic colistin are also commonly resistant to antimicrobial substances made by the human body, according to a study in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Cross-resistance to colistin and host antimicrobials LL-37 and lysozyme, which help defend the body against bacterial attack, could mean that patients with life-threatening multi-drug resistant infections are also saddled with a crippled immune response. Colistin is a last-line drug for treating several kinds of drug-resistant infections, but colistin resistance and the drug's newfound impacts on bacterial resistance to immune attack underscore the need for newer, better antibiotics.
DENVER – CO – May 20, 2013 – A cocktail of non-pathogenic bacteria naturally occurring in the digestive tract of healthy humans can protect against a potentially lethal E. coli infection in animal models according to research presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. The research, conducted by scientists at the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbor, could have important implications for the prevention or even treatment of this disease.
DENVER, CO – May 20, 2013 – Food microbiology laboratories continue to submit false negative results and false positive results on a routine basis. A retrospective study of nearly 40,000 proficiency test results over the past 14 years, presented today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology, examined the ability of food laboratories to detect or rule out the presence of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes, and Campylobacter.
DENVER, CO – May 19, 2013 – Scientists at the University of California, Davis have engineered a strain of photosynthetic cyanobacteria to grow without the need for light. They report their findings today at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
DENVER, CO – May 19, 2013 – Researchers have engineered a strain of electricity-producing bacteria that can grow using hydrogen gas as its sole electron donor and carbon dioxide as its sole source of carbon. Researchers at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst report their findings at the 113th General Meeting of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – May 14, 2013 – Microscopic algae that live within reef-forming corals scoop up available nitrogen, store the excess in crystal form, and slowly feed it to the coral as needed, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Scientists have known for years that these symbiotic microorganisms serve up nitrogen to their coral hosts, but this new study sheds light on the dynamics of the process and reveals that the algae have the ability to store excess nitrogen, a capability that could help corals cope in their chronically low-nitrogen environment.
WASHINGTON, DC – May 7, 2013 -- To infect its host, the respiratory pathogen Pseudomonas aeruginosa takes an ordinary protein usually involved in making other proteins and adds three small molecules to turn it into a key for gaining access to human cells. In a study to be published May 7 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, scientists at Emory University School of Medicine, the University of Virginia, and Universidad de las Islas Baleares in Mallorca, Spain, uncover this previously unknown virulence factor in P. aeruginosa, one of the most common causes of hospital-acquired pneumonia.
WASHINGTON, DC – April 30, 2013 – Scientists have devised a method for delivering tumor cell-killing enzymes in a way that protects the enzyme until it can do its work inside the cell. In their study in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers assembled microscopic protein packages that can deliver an enzyme called PEIII to the insides of cells. By attaching a protein called ubiquitin to the enzyme, they were able to protect it from degradation by the cell, allowing the enzyme to complete its mission. The results indicate that ubiquitin may be a useful addition to targeted toxins.
WASHINGTON, DC – April 16, 2013 – Circumcision drastically alters the microbiome of the penis, changes that could explain why circumcision offers protection against HIV and other viral infections. In a study to be published on April 16 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, researchers studied the effects of adult male circumcision on the types of bacteria that live under the foreskin before and after circumcision.
WASHINGTON, DC – April 9, 2013 – Newly discovered mouse viruses could pave the way for future progress in hepatitis research, enabling scientists to study human disease and vaccines in the ultimate lab animal. In a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, scientists describe their search for viruses related to the human hepatitis C virus (HCV) and human pegiviruses (HPgV) in frozen stocks of wild mice. The discovery of several new species of hepaciviruses and pegiviruses that are closely related to human viruses suggests they might be used to study these diseases and potential vaccines in mice, without the need for human volunteers.
WASHINGTON, DC – April 2, 2013 – Glowing bacteria inside squids use light and chemical signals to control circadian-like rhythms in the animals, according to a study to be published on April 2 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The Hawaiian bobtail squid, Euprymna scolopes, houses a colony of Vibrio fischeri bacteria in its light organ, using the bacteria at night as an antipredatory camouflage while it ventures out to hunt. The results of the study show that, in addition to acting as a built-in lamp, the bacteria also control when the squid expresses a gene that entrains, or synchronizes, circadian rhythms in animals.
WASHINGTON, DC – March 12, 2013 – Slender bacterial nanowires require certain key amino acids in order to conduct electricity, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday, March 12.
Eighty-Seven Scientists Elected to the American Academy of Microbiology
Washington, DC—March 11, 2013 — Eighty-seven microbiologists have been elected to Fellowship in the American Academy of Microbiology. Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – February 19, 2013 – The new coronavirus that has emerged in the Middle East is well-adapted to infecting humans but could potentially be treated with immunotherapy, according to a study to be published on February 19 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – February 12, 2013 – University of Wisconsin-Madison bacteriology professor Timothy J. Donohue has been elected incoming president of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). Donohue will take up the post of ASM president-elect on July 1, 2013, followed by a one-year term as ASM president beginning July 1, 2014.
Yeast We Can! New Report Answers Questions on Microbiology and Beer
WASHINGTON, DC – February 8, 2013 – What do microbes have to do with beer? Everything! Because the master ingredient in beer is yeast – a microbe – and every step in the brewing process helps the yeast do its job better. A new freely-available report; FAQ: If the Yeast Ain’t Happy, Ain’t Nobody Happy: The Microbiology of Beer explores the synergy between microbiology and brewing beer.
WASHINGTON, DC – February 5, 2013 – A pair of commentaries to appear in an upcoming issue of the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy highlight a debate within the public health community surrounding Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommendations for treatment of exposed individuals during last year’s fungal meningitis outbreak. Manuscripts of the commentaries were published ahead of print today on the journal’s webpage.
WASHINGTON, DC – January 30, 2013 – A new app for the iPad allows microbiologists and other scientists to purchase and access an entire library of microbiology books. Launched by the American Society for Microbiology’s (ASM) publishing arm, ASM Press and developed by Impelsys, the new app is now available on iTunes.
WASHINGTON, DC – January 29, 2013 – Scientists have developed a way to grow iron-oxidizing bacteria using electricity instead of iron, an advance that will allow them to better study the organisms and could one day be used to turn electricity into fuel. The study will be published on January 29 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC -- January 28, 2013 --Blue light can selectively eradicate Pseudomonas aeruginosa infections of the skin and soft tissues, while preserving the outermost layer of skin, according to a proof-of-principle study led by Michael R. Hamblin of the Massachusetts General Hospital, and the Harvard Medical School, Boston. The research is published online ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
WASHINGTON, DC – January 28, 2013 – The American Society for Microbiology has published the first issue of its new online-only, open access journal, Genome AnnouncementsTM, focusing exclusively on reports of microbial genome sequences.
WASHINGTON, DC – January 22, 2013 -- It’s not hard to see that men are more likely to engage in risky behaviors than women, or that crime rates are many times higher among men, but this tendency to break the rules also extends to male scientists, according to a study to be published on January 22 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. An analysis of data from the Office of Research Integrity reveals that men commit research misconduct more often than their female peers, a gender disparity that is most pronounced among senior scientists.
WASHINGTON, DC – December 11, 2012 – The SARS epidemic of 2002-2003 was short-lived, but a novel type of human coronavirus that is alarming public health authorities can infect cells from humans and bats alike, a fact that could make the animals a continuing source of infection, according to a study to be published in in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on December 11.
WASHINGTON, DC – December 10, 2012 – ASM Press announces the fourth edition of Molecular Genetics of Bacteria, a textbook that centers on the most-studied bacteria, Escherichia coli and Bacillus subtilis, in addition to examples from other medically, ecologically or biotechnologically significant bacteria.
WASHINGTON, DC – December 4, 2012 -- New clues about the bacteria that cause Lyme disease could lead to a novel strategy to reduce infections, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on December 4.
WASHINGTON, DC – November 20, 2012 – The virus that is causing alarm among global public health authorities after it killed a man in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia earlier this year and is now linked to two other cases of disease is a novel type of coronavirus most closely related to viruses found in bats, according to a genetic analysis to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on November 20.
WASHINGTON, DC – October 30, 2012 – Bacteria in the guts of honeybees are highly resistant to the antibiotic tetracycline, probably as a result of decades of preventive antibiotic use in domesticated hives. Researchers from Yale University identified eight different tetracycline resistance genes among U.S. honeybees that were exposed to the antibiotic, but the genes were largely absent in bees from countries where such antibiotic use is banned. The study appears on October 30 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – October 23, 2012 – A study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday, October 23, examined whether crude oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the dispersant used on it, or a combination of the two might affect the microbes of the human digestive tract. The researchers found that although high concentrations of oil combined with dispersant are detrimental to these helpful microbial communities, the low to undetectable concentrations typically found in Gulf shellfish had no discernable effect.
WASHINGTON, DC – October 16, 2012 – The genomes of birds are riddled with DNA sequences from viruses, according to a study to be published on October 16 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Analysis of these viral sequences, known as endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), can provide insights into how both hosts and viruses have evolved over the eons.
WASHINGTON, DC – October 9, 2012 – How can scientists safely conduct avian flu research if the results could potentially threaten, as well as save, millions of lives? In a series of commentaries appearing on Tuesday, October 9 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, prominent microbiologists and physicians argue the cases both for and against lifting a voluntary moratorium on experiments to enhance the ability of the H5N1 virus to move from mammal to mammal, so-called “gain-of-function” research, and discuss the level of biosecurity that would be appropriate for moving that research forward.
WASHINGTON, DC – October 2, 2012 – A new type of antibiotic can effectively treat an antibiotic-resistant infection by disarming instead of killing the bacteria that cause it. Researchers report their findings in the October 2 issue of mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – September 25, 2012 -- Scientists have isolated and studied the genomes of 11 viruses, known as phage, that can infect and kill the acne-causing bacterium Propionibacterium acnes, potentially paving the way for topical therapies that use viruses or viral products to treat this vexing skin condition. Their results are reported in the September 25 issue of mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC -- September 24, 2012 -- The American Society for Microbiology is launching a new online-only, open access journal, Genome Announcements, which will focus on reports of microbial genome sequences. Genome Announcements will begin publishing in January 2013.
WASHINGTON, DC -- September 18, 2012 -- Contrary to previous findings, new research finds no link between chronic fatigue syndrome and the viruses XMRV (xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus) and pMLV (polytropic murine leukemia virus). A study to be published on September 18 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, reveals that research that reported patients with chronic fatigue syndrome carried these two viruses was wrong and that there is still no evidence for an infectious cause behind chronic fatigue syndrome.
WASHINGTON, DC – August 28, 2012 --Antibiotic residues in uncured pepperoni or salami meat are potent enough to weaken helpful bacteria that processors add to acidify the sausage to make it safe for consumption, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on August 28.
Washington, DC –August 22, 2012—Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology. This ASM program recognizes institutions and the scientists who worked there that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. A ceremony unveiling the plaque that will mark the site will be held on Friday, August 24th, at 5 pm at Grace Auditorium during the CSHL meeting on Bacteria, Archaea, and Phages.
Scientists Discover New Type of Virus Responsible for a Devastating Disease in Snakes
WASHINGTON, DC – August 14, 2012 –
A mysterious condition called Inclusion Body Disease (IBD) strikes captive boa constrictors and pythons, causing bizarre behavioral changes and eventually death. Scientists investigating an outbreak of IBD among snakes at the Steinhart Aquarium in San Francisco report they may well have found a virus that is responsible for this common but deadly disease, a discovery that could eventually lead to prevention and treatment options. The study appears in the August 14 issue of mBio
®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The authors report that the virus represents a whole new class of arenaviruses scientists have never seen before.
WASHINGTON, DC – July 31, 2012 -- A new strain of influenza virus found in harbor seals could represent a threat to wildlife and human health, according to the authors of a study appearing July 31 in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. It is crucial to monitor viruses like this one, which originated in birds and adapted to infect mammals, the authors say, so that scientists can better predict the emergence of new strains of influenza and prevent pandemics in the future.
WASHINGTON, DC -- July 9, 2012 -- Less than two years after publishing its first issue, the online open-access journal mBio® is now ranked among the top 20 highest-impact microbiology journals according to Thomson Reuters, which has just released its Journal Citation Reports for 2011.
WASHINGTON, DC – June 8, 2012 –
Easy-to-use, inexpensive tests to diagnose infectious diseases are urgently needed in resource-limited countries. A new report based on an American Academy of Microbiology colloquium, Bringing the Lab to the Patient: Developing Point-of-Care Diagnostics for Resource Limited Settings
describes the challenges inherent in bringing new medical devices and technologies to the areas of the world where they are needed most.
WASHINGTON, DC – May 30, 2012 – Inspired by a 2009 colloquium on microbial evolution convened at the Galapagos Islands, a new book from ASM Press, Microbes and Evolution: The World That Darwin Never Saw celebrates Charles Darwin and his landmark publication On the Origin of Species. The editors compiled 40 first-person essays, written by microbiologists with a passion for evolutionary biology, to illuminate how each scientist’s thinking and career paths in science were influenced by Darwin’s seminal work.
How one strain of MRSA becomes resistant to last-line antibioticWASHINGTON, DC – May 22, 2012 –
Researchers have uncovered what makes one particular strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) so proficient at picking up resistance genes, such as the one that makes it resistant to vancomycin, the last line of defense for hospital-acquired infections. They report their findings in mBio
®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday May 22.
WASHINGTON, DC – April 17, 2012 --
Many manufacturing processes rely on microorganisms to perform tricky chemical transformations or make substances from simple starting materials. The authors of a study appearing in mBio®
, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on April 17 have found a way to control a heat-loving microbe with a temperature switch: it makes a product at low temperatures but not at high temperatures. The innovation could make it easier to use microorganisms as miniature factories for the production of needed materials like biofuels.
H5N1 Research Symposium to be Webcast Live to PublicWASHINGTON, DC – April 2, 2012 --
The Royal Society in London will host an international symposium this week to address research issues surrounding H5N1 avian influenza research. Sponsored in part by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM), the two-day meeting, April 3-4, will feature key influenza researchers and will be webcast to the public in its entirety.
WASHINGTON, DC – March 27, 2012 -- The recent explosion in the number of retractions in scientific journals is just the tip of the iceberg and a symptom of a greater dysfunction that has been evolving the world of biomedical research say the editors-in-chief of two prominent journals in a presentation before a committee of the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) today.
The Black Queen Hypothesis: A new evolutionary theoryWASHINGTON, DC -- March 27, 2012 --
Microorganisms can sometimes lose the ability to perform a function that appears to be necessary for their survival, and yet they still somehow manage to endure and multiply. How can this be? The authors of an opinion piece appearing in mBio®
, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on March 27 explain their ideas about the matter. They say microbes that shed necessary functions are getting others to do the hard work for them, an adaptation that can encourage microorganisms to live in cooperative communities.
Vaccinations Aren’t Just for Kids: Report Focuses on Benefits of Adult ImmunizationsWASHINGTON, DC – March 14, 2012 -- Despite the many overwhelming successes of vaccines in the past century, including the eradication of smallpox and near-eradication of polio, many adults do not know how vaccines work, or even realize that the benefits of vaccination do not end in childhood. To help raise awareness of the importance of vaccines for adults, the American Academy of Microbiology has issued a new report entitled FAQ: Adult Vaccines – A Grown Up Thing to Do.
New H5N1 viruses: how to balance risk of escape with benefits of research?WASHINGTON, DC -- March 6, 2012 --
In the controversy surrounding the newly developed strains of avian H5N1 flu viruses, scientists and policy makers are struggling with one question in particular: what level of biosafety is best for studying these potentially lethal strains of influenza? In a pair of commentaries, researchers from the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York and the University of Michigan argue their different views of how to safely handle H5N1 flu viruses. The commentaries will be published in mBio®
, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Tuesday, March 6.
WASHINGTON, DC—February 22, 2012--
The debate about the potential severity of an outbreak of airborne H5N1 influenza in humans needs to move on from speculation and focus instead on how we can safely continue H5N1 research and share the results among researchers, according to a commentary to be published in mBio®
, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on Friday, February 24.
MRSA in livestock acquired drug resistance on the farm, now infects humansWASHINGTON, DC -- February 21, 2012 --
Researchers have discovered that a strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus
(MRSA) bacteria that humans contract from livestock was originally a human strain, but it developed resistance to antibiotics once it was picked up by farm animals. The findings, which appear in the online journal mBio®
on Tuesday, February 21, illustrate a very close link between antibiotic use on the farm and potentially lethal human infections.
Report Seeks to Integrate Microbes into Climate ModelsWASHINGTON, DC – February 14, 2012 -- The models used to understand how Earth’s climate works include thousands of different variables from many scientific including atmospherics, oceanography, seismology, geology, physics and chemistry, but few take into consideration the vast effect that microbes have on climate. Now, a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology, “Incorporating Microbial Processes into Climate Models”, offers a plan for integrating the latest understanding of the science of microbiology into climate models.
NSABB and H5N1 Redactions: Biosecurity Runs Up Against Scientific EndeavorWASHINGTON, DC -- January 31, 2012 -- In response to recent actions of the U.S. National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB), which recommended that two scientific journals withhold crucial details in upcoming reports about experiments with a novel strain of the bird flu virus, H5N1, the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will publish a special series of commentaries by prominent scientists, including the acting chair of the NSABB, weighing in on whether the recommendations were necessary and what role biosecurity considerations should play in the dissemination of research findings. The commentaries will be published in the Society's online, open-access journal, mBio®, on January 31.
Bacteria in the gut of autistic children different from non-autistic childrenWASHINGTON, DC – January 10, 2012 --
The underlying reason autism is often associated with gastrointestinal problems is an unknown, but new results to be published in the online journal mBio®
on January 10 reveal that the guts of autistic children differ from other children in at least one important way: many children with autism harbor a type of bacteria in their guts that non-autistic children do not. The study was conducted by Brent Williams and colleagues at the Mailman School of Public Health at Columbia University.