2013 Press Releases

December 2013
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 26, 2013 – A team of researchers from Canada has developed a class of compounds which may help eradicate a neglected tropical disease that is currently hard to kill in its chronic form. The research was published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 19, 2013 – Researchers from Southern Medical University in Guangdong, Guangzhou, China, have developed an oral vaccine against Helicobacter pylori, the bacteria responsible for peptic ulcers and some forms of gastric cancer, and have successfully tested it in mice. The research is published ahead of print in the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 18, 2013 – A new antibody could dramatically boost strength and muscle mass in patients with cancer, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), sporadic inclusion body myositis, and in elderly patients with sarcopenia according to research published ahead of print in the journal Molecular and Cellular Biology.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 17, 2013 – Scientists believe they have an explanation for how the most common strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus  (MRSA) rapidly rose to prominence. Research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, suggests that the strain recently acquired a number of genes from common skin bacteria that allow it to grow and thrive on the skin where other strains of MRSA cannot.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 12, 2013 – Vaccines for whooping cough contain three to five protective antigens, the presence of which are critical to the vaccine’s effectiveness. But one of the antigens, pertactin, which had been present in almost all isolates of Bordetella pertussis in the US as late as 2010, is now absent from more than half of them, according to a paper published ahead of print in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC -- December 10, 2013 -- When it comes to fighting off pathogens like Listeria, your best allies may be the billions of microorganisms that line your gut, according to new research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The study reveals that germ-free mice are more susceptible to infection with the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes than mice with conventional intestinal microbiota.
 
 
Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education Announces Expanded Focus and New Editor-In-Chief
WASHINGTON, DC – December 9, 2013 – The American Society for Microbiology announces that starting in 2014The Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) will expand its scope beyond the current focus on undergraduate education research, curriculum, and practices.

 

WASHINGTON, DC – December 3, 2013 – Infants and toddlers frequently carry toxigenic Clostridium difficile, usually with no harm to themselves, but can serve as a reservoir and spread the bacteria to adults in whom it can cause severe disease, according to a study by a team of Swedish researchers published ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology.
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – December 2, 2013 – A team of Danish investigators has shown how to identify pathogens faster, directly from clinical samples. The research, published online ahead of print in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology appears in the journal’s January 2014 issue.
 
November 2013
 
WASHINGTON, DC – November 15, 2013 – A new method could cut hours off the time it takes to diagnose blood infections while also eliminating the need for complicated manual processing and expensive equipment, according to a report to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, on November 19.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – November 14, 2013 – Piglets fed probiotic Enterococcus faecium showed reduced numbers of potentially pathogenic Escherichia coli strains in their intestines, according to a team of German researchers. The research was published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Drug May Guard Against Periodontitis, and Related Chronic Diseases
WASHINGTON, DC – November 7, 2013 – A drug currently used to treat intestinal worms could protect people from periodontitis, an advanced gum disease, which untreated can erode the structures—including bone—that hold the teeth in the jaw. The research was published ahead of print in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – November 5, 2013 – Transferring the gut microbes from a mouse with colon tumors to germ-free mice makes those mice prone to getting tumors as well, according to the results of a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. The work has implications for human health because it indicates the risk of colorectal cancer may well have a microbial component.

October 2013
 
WASHINGTON, DC – October 29, 2013 -- Low birth weight infants are host to numerous microorganisms immediately after birth, and the microbiomes of their mouths and gut start out very similar but differentiate significantly by day 15 according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station Designated As A Milestones in Microbiology Site
WASHINGTON, DC – October 23, 2013 –
 The Storrs Agricultural Experiment Station, site of Herbert William Conn's Research Laboratory at the Connecticut Agricultural College (later the University of Connecticut, Storrs) has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). A dedication ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, October 26, 2013, at 4:30 pm EST in the University of Connecticut, Storrs Biology/Physics Building Foyer. The ASM Milestones in Microbiology program recognizes institutions and scientists that have made significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology.

Foot and Mouth Disease in Sub-Saharan Africa Moves over Short Distances, Wild Buffalo Are A Problem
WASHINGTON, DC – October 22, 2013 – New research shows that in sub-Saharan Africa the virus responsible for foot and mouth disease (FMD) moves over relatively short distances and the African buffalo are important natural reservoirs for the infection. The study, published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, sheds light on how the type of FMD virus called SAT 2 emerged in sub-Saharan Africa and identifies patterns of spread in countries where SAT 2 is endemic.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – October 8, 2013 – Relapses after treatment for Leishmania infection may be due to a greater infectivity of the parasite rather than drug resistance, as has been previously thought, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
Vaccination Campaign Doubles HBV Mutations
WASHINGTON, DC – October 7, 2013 – A universal infant vaccination campaign in China has led the Hepatitis B virus (HBV) to more than double its rate of “breakout” mutations. These mutations may enable the virus to elude the vaccine, necessitating new vaccination strategies. Researchers at the Chinese Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, report their findings in an article published ahead of print in the Journal of Virology.

Bug vs. Bug: Benign C. difficile Strains Keep Fatal Strains at Bay
WASHINGTON, DC – October 7, 2013 – In a recent study, two different strains of non-toxigenic Clostridium difficile provided protection against both historic and epidemic C. difficile strains. The research was conducted by researchers at Hines VA Hospital and is published ahead of print in the journal Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy.

 
 
September 2013
 
Vacuum Dust: A Previously Unknown Disease Vector
WASHINGTON, DC – September 30, 2013 -- 
The aerosolized dust created by vacuums contain bacteria and mold that “could lead to adverse effects in allergic people, infants, and people with compromised immunity,” according to researchers at the University of Queensland and Laval University. Their findings are published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology.
WASHINGTON, DC – September 10, 2013 -- Scientists have developed a strain of the Middle East respiratory syndrome coronavirus (MERS-CoV) that could be used as a vaccine against the disease, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – September 3, 2013 – The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) announces that as of September 1, 2013, the Society’s current president, Jo Handelsman of Yale University, has stepped down from her position.   In accordance with the organization’s bylaws, the governing body of the ASM has appointed its immediate past president, Jeff F. Miller of the University of California, Los Angeles, to serve in her stead.
 
August 2013
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – August 27, 2013 -- A greater focus on the role of microbiology in agriculture combined with new technologies can help mitigate potential food shortages associated with world population increases according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology.   
 
WASHINGTON, DC – August 27, 2013 -- HIV-infected people who carry a gene for a specific protein face a 20-fold greater risk of contracting cryptococcal disease, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – August 20, 2013 -- The bacterium Pseudomonas aeruginosa needs iron to establish and maintain a biofilm in the lungs of cystic fibrosis patients, and therapies have been proposed to deprive the bacteria of this necessary element. However, these techniques may not work, according to a new study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, because they only target one of the two types of iron that are available in the lung.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – August 13, 2013 – A strain of bacteria that causes skin and soft tissue infections in humans originally came from cattle, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – August 13, 2013 – Rare Amur tigers in Russia are succumbing to infection with canine distemper virus (CDV), a pathogen most commonly found in domestic dogs, according to the authors of a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
 
July 2013
 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – July 30, 2013 – Methamphetamine use can make a person more susceptible to the lung infection cryptococcosis, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – July 24, 2013 – A new guide developed by the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) and the American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will help physicians appropriately and accurately use laboratory tests for the diagnosis of infectious diseases. Laboratory test results drive approximately two-thirds of physicians’ medical decisions. 
 
WASHINGTON, DC – July 16, 2013 – Some strains of the avian H7N9 influenza that emerged in China this year have developed resistance to the only antiviral drugs available to treat the infection, but testing for antiviral resistance can give misleading results, helping hasten the spread of resistant strains.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – July 9, 2013 – The H7N9 avian flu strain that emerged in China earlier this year has subsided for now, but it would be a mistake to be reassured by this apparent lull in infections. The virus has several highly unusual traits that paint a disquieting picture of a pathogen that may yet lead to a pandemic, according to lead scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.
WASHINGTON, DC – July 2, 2013 – The strain of cholera that has sickened thousands in Haiti came from a single source and was not repeatedly introduced to the island over the past three years as some have thought, according to a new study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 
 
 
June 2013
 
WASHINGTON, DC – June 25, 2013 -- A new palm-sized microarray that holds 1,200 individual cultures of fungi or bacteria could enable faster, more efficient drug discovery, according to a study published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.
 
WASHINGTON, DC – June 19, 2013 – The Microbial Diversity Course at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL), Woods Hole, Massachusetts, has been named a Milestones in Microbiology site by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM).
WASHINGTON, DC – June 18, 2013 -- Patients in Vietnam and other locations with central nervous system infections may well be suffering from the effects of a newly discovered virus, according to a study to be published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. 
 
 
May 2013
 
 
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. 
 
 
April 2013
 
 
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. 
 
 
March 2013
 
 
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.

February 2013
 
 
 
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.
 
 
January 2013
 
 
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.
 
 

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