2010 Press Releases

Preterm Infants May Need a Boost
WASHINGTON, DC – November 30, 2010 –
A new study suggests that preterm infants may not be fully protected against invasitve pneumococcal disease under the current United Kingdom immunization schedule. The findings are reported in the November issue of the journal Clinical and Vaccine Immunology.

Bacteria Help Infants Digest Milk More Effectively than Adults
WASHINGTON, DC -- November 22, 2010 -- Infants are more efficient at digesting and utilizing nutritional components of milk than adults due to a difference in the strains of bacteria that dominate their digestive tracts. Researchers from the University of California, Davis, and Utah State University report on genomic analysis of these strains in the November 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology identifying the genes that are most likely responsible for this difference.

Global Food Safety: Keeping Food Safe from Farm to Table
WASHINGTON, DC – November 4, 2010 – Food safety problems can arise at any of multiple stages of food production, and illnesses that result from them are frequently not detected or reported, according to a new report from the American Academy of Microbiology.

A New Player in the Innate Immunity Game?
WASHINGTON, DC -- October 26, 2010 -- Scientists have demonstrated for the first time that a certain class of RNA (known as long non-protein-coding RNA [lncRNA]) are involved in the host response to viral infection.  These findings, published today in the online journal mBio®, could greatly change the way scientists look at the body’s response to viral infection.

How Immune Response in Pregnancy May Lead to Brain Dysfunction in Offspring
WASHINGTON, DC -- October 12, 2010 -- A pregnant woman’s immune response to viral infections may induce subtle neurological changes in the unborn child that can lead to an increased risk for neurodevelopmental disorders including schizophrenia and autism. Research published in the online journal mBio® provides new insights into how this may happen and suggests potential strategies for reducing this risk.

What Next for the 2009 H1N1 Influenza Pandemic?
WASHINGTON, DC -- September 28, 2010 -- Now that the H1N1 influenza pandemic is officially over, what will happen to the virus?  In a perspective article published today in the online open-access journal mBio®, scientists from the National Institutes of Health delve into history and explore the fates of other pandemic influenza viruses in order to speculate on the future of the most recent pandemic virus.

WASHINGTON, DC -- September 8, 2010 -- Two opportunistic pathogens that were once thought to be very different have evolved some sexual reproduction and disease-causing habits that are not only similar but also suggest that in the microbial world sex and virulence are closely linked, according to a review published this week in the online journal mBio™.
WASHINGTON, DC – September 1, 2010 -- Bacteria tend to be more frugal when constructing proteins for use outside of the cell versus internally, saving their energy for synthesizing compounds that can be recycled, according to research published in the current issue of the online journal mBio™.

Stomach Bacteria Need Vitamin to Establish Infection
WASHINGTON, DC -- August 19, 2010 -- Scientists have determined that Helicobacter pylori, the bacterium that causes peptic ulcers and some forms of stomach cancer, requires the vitamin B6 to establish and maintain chronic infection, according to research published this week in the online journal mBio™.  This finding, along with the identification of the enzyme the microbe requires to utilize the vitamin, could lead to the development of an entirely new class of antibiotics.

Some Trees 'Farm' Bacteria to Help Supply Nutrients
WASHINGTON, DC – July 29, 2010 -- Some trees growing in nutrient-poor forest soil may get what they need by cultivating specific root microbes to create compounds they require. These microbes are exceptionally efficient at turning inorganic minerals into nutrients that the trees can use. Researchers from France report their findings in the July 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

Bacterial Communication Encourages Chronic, Resistant Ear Infections
WASHINGTON, DC – July 6, 2010 -- Ear infections caused by more than one species of bacteria could be more persistent and antibiotic-resistant because one pathogen may be communicating with the other, encouraging it to bolster its defenses.  Interrupting or removing that communication could be key to curing these infections.  Researchers from Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center publish their findings today in mBio™, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Dr. Bonnie Bassler Becomes ASM President
WASHINGTON, DC – July 1, 2010 --
Bonnie L. Bassler, Ph.D., Squibb Professor of Molecular Biology, Endowed Chair at Princeton University, today assumes the presidency of the American Society for Microbiology (ASM). She was elected in 2009 and has served as president-elect for the past year. She will serve as president of the Society for a 1-year term.

Study Examines, Compares Bacteria in the Nose and Throat
WASHINGTON, DC -- June 21, 2010 --
Scientists have completed the most comprehensive comparative analysis to date of bacterial communities inhabiting the human nose and throat, which could provide new insights into why some individuals become colonized with pathogens while others do not.  They release their findings today in mBio™ the online open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.

New Text Focuses on Microbiology of Historic Artifacts
WASHINGTON, DC -- June 21, 2010 --
Historic and culturally important artifacts, like all materials, are vulnerable to microbial attack.  Cultural Heritage Microbiology, a new text from ASM Press, offers a synthesis of important scientific articles describing microbial deterioration of cultural heritage materials and methods  for conserving these objects against this decay.

WASHINGTON, DC – May 18, 2010 -- New research shows that nearly 1 in 5 cases of infection with the potentially deadly fungus Cryptococcus neoformans are caused by not one but multiple strains of the pathogen. 


WASHINGTON, DC – May 18, 2010 -- Researchers at Mt. Sinai School of Medicine have developed a novel influenza vaccine that could represent the next step towards a universal influenza vaccine eliminating the need for seasonal immunizations.  They report their findings today in the inaugural issue of  mBio™, the first online, open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology.


WASHINGTON, DC – May 18, 2010 -- A five-year follow up study in Bangladesh finds that women are literally wearing the answer to better health for themselves, their families and even their neighbors.  Using the simple sari to filter household water protects not only the household from cholera, but reduces the incidence of disease in neighboring households that do not filter.  The results of this study appear in the inaugural issue of mBio™, the first online, open-access journal published by the American Society for Microbiology (ASM)


WASHINGTON, DC – May 18, 2010 -- The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) today launched the inaugural issue of mBio™, a new open access online journal designed to make microbiology research broadly accessible.  The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. 

Earth Microbes May Contaminate the Search for Life on Mars
WASHINGTON, DC -- Tuesday, April 27 --
Bacteria common to spacecraft may be able to survive the harsh environs of Mars long enough to inadvertently contaminate Mars with terrestrial life according to research published in the April 2010 issue of the journal Applied and Environmental Microbiology.

New Edition of ASM Press Biotechnology Text Available
WASHINGTON, DC -- March 2, 2010 --
Acclaimed by students and instructors, Molecular Biotechnology: Principles and Applications of Recombinant DNA is now in its fourth edition, bringing it thoroughly up to date with the latest findings and the latest industrial, agricultural, pharmaceutical, and biomedical applications.

Virology Text Focuses on Families
WASHINGTON, DC -- February 4, 2010 -- A new virology textbook published by ASM Press educates the reader by focusing on the families.  Based on the author’s experiences teaching virology for more than 35 years, Virology: Molecular Biology and Pathogenesis enables readers to develop a deep understanding of fundamental virology by emphasizing principles and discussing viruses in the context of virus families.