Monday, 18 December 2017 15:55

ASM's Best Microbiology News of 2017

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Published in ASM News

2017 was an amazing year for research in ASM journals, and ASM’s press releases covered the most cutting-edge, breakthrough research in the microbial sciences. Here’s a snapshot of the most popular research stories from ASM journals that were covered in the news:

1. Land Based Microbes May be Invading and Harming Coral Reefs

A new study suggests that coral reefs—already under existential threat from global warming—may be undergoing further damage from invading bacteria and fungi coming from sources such as outfall from sewage treatment plants and coastal inlets. The study raised the possibility that microbes from these sources are invading reefs off of the southeastern coast of Florida (From the March issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology).

ebola virusbentobox2. Researchers Identify Novel Way to Target Ebola

Researchers have identified a potential new way to attack Ebola. Scientists have discovered that a protein called Tim-1 (T-cell immunoglobulin and mucin domain-containing protein 1) plays a key role in the development of the cytokine storm seen in the last stages of Ebola infection (From the September issue of mBio).

3. Study Identifies Whale Blow Microbiome

A new study by the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution (WHOI) and colleagues identified for the first time an extensive conserved group of bacteria within healthy humpback whales' blow—the moist breath that whales spray out of their blowholes when they exhale (From the October issue of mSystems).

fungaltoxins4. Fungal Toxins Become Airborne, Creating Potential Indoor Health Risk

Researchers have found that toxins produced by three different species of fungus growing indoors on wallpaper may become aerosolized, and easily inhaled. The findings, which likely have implications for “sick building syndrome” (From the June issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology).

5. Study Shows How Bacteria Spread from Sink Drainpipes in Hospitals

A team of researchers from the University of Virginia have charted the pathways of bacteria from hospital drains, and into patients. (From the February issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology).

couple at home6. Living Together Brings Couples’ Microbiomes Together

After analyzing skin microbiomes from cohabitating couples, microbial ecologists found that people who live together significantly influence the microbial communities on each other's skin. The commonalities were strong enough that computer algorithms could identify cohabitating couples with 86 percent accuracy based on skin microbiomes alone. (From the July issue of mSystems)

7. Listeria Infection Causes Early Pregnancy Loss in Primates

Researchers in Wisconsin have discovered how Listeria monocytogenes, a common foodborne pathogen, travels through the mother’s body to fatally attack the placenta and fetus during early pregnancy in a macaque monkey. (From the February issue of mBio)

8. Scientists Discover Abundance of Uncommon Superbug Strain in Greater Houston Area

Houston Methodist Research Institute scientists used genome sequencing to discover that an otherwise rare strain of a superbug was found in more than one-third of the Houston patients studied. This strain is resistant to many commonly used antibiotics (From the May issue of mBio).

seaturtle9. Soft Shelled Turtles, Food in China, Likely Spread Cholera

A new finding that the pathogen, vibrio cholerae can colonize the surfaces, as well as the intestines of soft shelled turtlesis strong evidence that soft shelled turtles in China, where they are grown for human consumption, are spreading cholera. (From the June issue of Applied and Environmental Microbiology)

10. Study Connects Maternal Response to Infection During Pregnancy with Increased Autism Risk

Researchers at Columbia University report that the sons of pregnant women who tested positive for antibodies against genital herpes (herpes simplex type 2, or HSV-2) at mid-pregnancy are more likely to be diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. The study is the first to connect maternal response to infection with autism risk. (From the February issue of mSphere).

Last modified on Monday, 18 December 2017 17:05