Latest Blog Posts
Monday, 20 November 2017 15:42

Diagnostic tools are the backbone of many public health programs; we need them to assess the molecular characteristics and physiologies of potential pathogens. This week, Bugs & Drugs features our best diagnostic tools blog posts, with interviews, reference articles, and advice on how to implement these tools to increase public health.

Monday, 20 November 2017 13:17

Microbiology-related research is almost inevitably tied to improving public health, but some research is more immediately applicable than others. How do the microbial sciences improve public health? We list some of the many ways, and invite you to share your examples 

Thursday, 16 November 2017 18:59

Support your commensal and symbiotic gut bacteria while celebrating with family and friends this holiday season.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 12:32

The American Society of Microbiology is a natural resource for clinical practitioners, researchers, and educators during Antibiotic Awareness Week. Here we share some of our recent top stories on antibiotic awareness, education, discovery, and resistance.

Wednesday, 15 November 2017 09:56

With the new year around the corner, it’s never too late to think about the next steps in your career and set some resolutions. To help you get started, we highlight the top 5 career questions that ASM receives from students and postdocs and provide short answers.


Monday, 13 November 2017 23:26

Fosfomycin susceptibility testing is a challenge for laboratories. The testing intricacies for fosfomycin are discussed.

Monday, 13 November 2017 18:11

Reporting the sex of mice and cell lines used in studies can help researchers determine if biological sex is a variable in disease outcome, argues Sabra Klein in an mBio editorial.

Monday, 13 November 2017 17:54

Microbiome studies have long focused on the bacterial members that reside in different areas of the human body. A new study from mBio shows that a tweaked protocol can better identify archaeal microbiome members too. Learn which findings surprised senior scientist Christine Moissl-Eichinger on mBiosphere.

Monday, 13 November 2017 12:27

Some bacteria have multiple copies of a single gene to rapidly adapt to its environment. How can life with limited genomes compete?

Wednesday, 08 November 2017 10:16

Dr. Operario was always interested in applying his science skills to solving global public health questions, no matter how big or small. He developed qPCR tests for enteric pathogens and tuberculosis and deployed them at international centers across the globe by training researchers to use his test. Learn about his career path and what his recommendations are for people interested in a public health career.

Monday, 06 November 2017 18:17

How will point-of-care diagnostics change clinical microbiology? ASM provides resources with educational opportunities and important considerations on implementing evolving technology.

Saturday, 04 November 2017 23:45

Will there be a day not long in the future, when our clothing is colored by bacteria?


Friday, 03 November 2017 16:21

People can contract campylobacteriosis by eating contaminated chickens, and a new Infection and Immunity study demonstrates the chicken microbiome influences C. jejuni colonization. mBiosphere summarizes and discusses what this may mean for human campylobacteriosis cases.

Wednesday, 01 November 2017 09:36

Have you ever been on a date where the person was dressed sloppy, or avoided answering the question, or better yet, over inflated their answers. Applying and interviewing for jobs is a bit like dating. And just like dating, it’s important to avoid behaviors and mistakes that are going to leave a bad impression—these “tells” are discussed in the article.


Monday, 30 October 2017 17:54

ASM provides resources to review nomenclature, susceptibilty testing, and transmission prevention of multidrug-resistant organisms

Friday, 27 October 2017 18:01

Mutations that arise naturally are generally thought to require selection to become part of a population. A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study challenges that thought, by demonstrating the evolution of drug resistance in bacterial lineages never exposed to drugs. This study demonstrates the importance of stewardship in all cases, both transmission of already-resistant strains or selection for newly adapted strains.

Friday, 27 October 2017 15:15

The zombie fungus, Ophicordyceps unilateralis, hides deep within tropical rainforests and parasitizes upon ants from the Camponotini tribe. They turn ants into fungus-producing machines by manipulating gene expression that alter the ant’s sensory response, musculature, and nervous system.

Monday, 23 October 2017 11:51

“Do I have the flu?” Influenza point of care tests may be able to answer this question quickly. However, despite the simplicity and speed of these tests, they come with many “behind the scenes” considerations to be addressed prior to implementation. In this post, we review some significant technical, biological, and regulatory issues of influenza point-of-care testing.

Friday, 20 October 2017 10:26

Who develops disease and who doesn’t? In a new Journal of Virology report, scientists investigate why some young adults develop infectious mononucleosis when they contract Epstein-Barr virus and why some have an asymptomatic infection. 

Tuesday, 17 October 2017 10:54

“Each year, I ask myself, ‘How am I going to wow folks?’” says Irene Hulede, organizer of the Annual Biomedical Research Conference for Minority Students (ABRCMS). Hulede has worked on ABRCMS from its conception through its annual reorganization, and each year she strives to improve on the last. Learn what inspires Hulede and how her career trajectory change has affected the more than 49,000 ABRCMS attendees over the years.

Monday, 16 October 2017 14:13

Blood draw done without the gloves on is poor technique. Noncompliance to proper disinfection techniques of the draw site is the primary reason for blood culture contamination. Today's Bugs & Drugs post highlights the importance of updating staff on the whys and hows of preventing this contamination.

Thursday, 12 October 2017 16:00

Drug resistance is a huge clinical problem, but our exposure to drug-resistant bacteria can come from everyday interactions - even in our food! Two reports from Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy describe new bacterial isolates carrying plasmid-borne drug resistance determinants. 

Wednesday, 11 October 2017 15:29

Dr. Valerie Horsley always knew she wanted to teach and later became interested in research. Her passion led her to become an Associate Professor at Yale University. Although her scientific contributions are stellar, she really shines when it comes to equality and mentoring in academia. Read her tips to navigating academia and mentoring students in the lab. 

Monday, 09 October 2017 10:34

Timely diagnosis of fungal infections is sometimes impaired by the slow growth in culture or low yield of culture for certain organisms. Let’s discuss some of the non-culture based fungal diagnostic tests that are available in clinical microbiology laboratories.

Friday, 06 October 2017 16:54

Books that teach microbiology concepts to kids in an engaging and age appropriate way can be hard to come by. Here, I’ve compiled a list of educational and entertaining books about microbes for toddlers, elementary, and middle schoolers.

Friday, 06 October 2017 16:25

How does Plasmodium falciparum get into its host red blood cell? A new Infection and Immunity study reports the importance of a previously poorly-characterized receptor, glycophorin B (GPB), in the hierarchy of malaria invasion strategies. 

Thursday, 05 October 2017 15:07

Dr. Victor J. Torres was born in Puerto Rico and received his degree in Industrial Microbiology from the University of Puerto Rico, Mayaguez campus. An editorial by Torres calls for compassion and aid for the scientific Puerto Rican community following the devastation wrought by Hurricane Maria. 

Wednesday, 04 October 2017 16:34

You just don’t learn technical skills doing research in a lab, you develop and demonstrate skills that you can transfer to a variety of professional contexts. These skills are called transferable skills. Explore four transferable skills that you gain while doing research.

Monday, 02 October 2017 15:40

Antiseptics are found in both home and healthcare facilities and play an important role in infection prevention. We highlight a recent Applied and Environmental Microbiology study suggesting home use of antiseptics may contribute to MRSA spread and provide resources to review the mechanisms and applications of different chemical antiseptics.

Friday, 29 September 2017 14:46

ASM is reintroducing its “Meet the Microbiologist” podcast--host Julie Wolf explains why she loves podcasts and describes the first two MtM episodes.

Friday, 29 September 2017 00:00

Scientists have many options for where to publish their microbiology research. A recent mBio editorial emphasizes the importance of publishing in society journals as a way to reinvest in the society and thus the scientific community. This post expands on the programs offered by scientific societies, which have their costs offset in part by their publications.

Wednesday, 27 September 2017 15:35

How do you exactly incorporate science outreach activities in your already hectic lab schedule? Dr, Donna Johnson, an avid science outreacher, summarizes programs that have varying levels of commitment and modes of involvement with insights on what she thought of each.

Tuesday, 26 September 2017 20:37

Ants have learned to farm 50 million years ago, way before humans did. Their crop of choice? Fungus.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017 10:20

In celebration of National Postdoc Appreciation Week, we are giving back to our wonderful postdocs by providing tips for writing a cover letter for faculty applications. Although, there are many factors to consider in your application like a CV and teaching philosophy, a successful cover letter can distinguish you from an endless sea of competitive applicants. We discuss how to present yourself as an invaluable colleague and what to emphasize.

Monday, 18 September 2017 16:48

The efforts of antibiotic stewardship campaigns are starting to show positive results in the clinic. These trends can serve as motivation to all to continue education campaigns for appropriate use of antibiotics.

Monday, 18 September 2017 10:28

Molecular techniques allow us to determine bacterial relatedness in ways previous generations couldn’t, and because of this, several species have been renamed or recategorized in recent years. However, this can cause chaos and miscommunication in the clinical lab! Here are three stories of recent taxonomical change suggestions and how they have been resolved.


Friday, 15 September 2017 15:14

Can the microbiome be used for forensic purposes? The skin microbiome is fairly stable, and a new Applied and Environmental Microbiology report assesses the use of genetic markers in the skin bacterium Proprionibacterium acnes for human identification purposes. 

Friday, 15 September 2017 14:01

Scientists at U of Michigan discover how microbes may lower the effectiveness of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.

Wednesday, 13 September 2017 14:19

Modern technology and social media are not only there to tell you what your cousin had for lunch; they can increase your scientific knowledge. Here are 5 online tools that can help you stay up-to date and broaden/deepen your scientific background.

Monday, 11 September 2017 23:52

Anaerobic infections offer a unique set of challenges in diagnosing and antibiotic susceptibility testing. The most recent Hot Topic in Clinical Microbiology offers an opportunity to learn best practices in diagnosis of anaerobic infections. We also provide recent Journal of Clinical Microbiology resources to complement the presentation.