Latest Blog Posts
Saturday, 31 March 2018 17:08

Duodenoscope contamination has been the source of hospital outbreaks, including carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae. A new scope surveillance culturing protocol hopes to prevent future outbreaks from occurring.

Friday, 23 March 2018 16:53

Agar Art—the process of using living microorganisms as “paint” on an agar “canvas”—shows people a side of microbiology that most never experience. As graduate student Sarah Adkins and her advisor, Dr. J. Jeffrey Morris, have discovered, it’s also a great motivator in the classroom.


Friday, 23 March 2018 16:08

How do gut microbiomes provide different nutrients to their hosts? Researchers have learned a lot from experiments on the fruit fly, with two recent mBio studies demonstrating a role of microbiome in providing essential nutrients for fly development.

Thursday, 22 March 2018 13:40

We give you tips on how to negotiate not just your salary, but other benefits too.  

Monday, 19 March 2018 11:06

Patients require care around the clock and clinical labs are a critical component of patient care. Clinical laboratory technologists work day - and night - to help make a difference.

Monday, 19 March 2018 09:42

by Rita Algorri | These days, bacteria wear many hats as they become the fashion designers, artists, and architects of the future.

Wednesday, 14 March 2018 11:10

Do you have an interview lined up? We share what to do and not do on interview day!

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 18:32

A new mSystems issue gives early-career scientists a platform to share their ideas for the future of systems microbial sciences.

Wednesday, 07 March 2018 15:32

Oftentimes employers want a candidate that can fill their hiring needs, make the company look good to others, and fit in with the company’s staff. We give provide advice on how you can prepare for the interview. First, determine your goals, understand your true value, research your employer, and practice interviewing.  

Monday, 05 March 2018 17:46

“Bacteria are no longer only considered agents of infection yet are not appreciated as contributing positively to human health,” says Robert Britton, co-Editor of the new ASM Press book, “Bugs as Drugs.” He and his co-Editor Patrice Cani hope this book will change that outlook.

Monday, 05 March 2018 11:39

How can healthcare providers learn the best practices for prescribing antibiotics? A new CDC course will help explain the basics – best of all, it’s free! We also celebrate the one-year blog-iversary of Bugs & Drugs. 

Monday, 05 March 2018 11:31

These days, we can use social media to find just about anything we’d want—apartments, jobs, the latest viral videos…or even a virus-based treatment for bacterial infections.

Friday, 02 March 2018 16:38

What are the basic requirements for life? This question and others will be answered by defining the essential genes of the model organism, E. coli. A recent mBio report identified E. coli essential genes using transposon insertion mutagenesis and sequencing technologies. 

Wednesday, 28 February 2018 14:30

We share tips on how to prepare for your career early in graduate school.

Friday, 23 February 2018 18:40

Understanding how influenza can jump into a new species, and how it adapts once inside its new host, may help scientists better predict pandemic strains. Three recent Journal of Virology reports discuss aspects of influenza A virus host adaptation.

Tuesday, 20 February 2018 13:52

Cholera has long been a fatal disease, but it took the ingenuity of some truly remarkable scientists, Snow, Pacini, and Koch, to figure out the causes were dirty water, intestinal disease, and a microscopic curved bacterium called Vibrio.

Friday, 16 February 2018 18:20

Multiplex molecular gastrointestinal pathogen panels promise increased ease, speed, and throughput. But do these tests sometimes produce too many results? And what is lost when tests switch from culture-based to molecular methods?

Friday, 16 February 2018 17:01

A new Applied and Environmental Microbiology study found that the whale skin microbiome varies throughout the feeding season. Studying whale health may be a good indicator of ocean health.

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 14:41

Historians and futurists have a lot to learn from each other. This was apparent during an ASM Biothreats panel where a disaster historian teamed with a disaster preparedness expert to discuss influenza. What are the lessons from the 1918 influenza pandemic, and how can we apply these lessons to be better prepared for future pandemics? 

Wednesday, 14 February 2018 13:29

Dr. Kenneth Gibbs is director of the Postdoctoral Research Associate (PRAT) Program and program director in the Division of Training, Workforce Development, and Diversity at NIH’s NIGMS. He was previously a AAAS Science & Technology Policy Fellow. His impressive career has been guided by the desire to change the culture of science to enhance opportunities for all -- with a particular focus on people from historically underrepresented groups. In this interview with Dr. Gibbs, we learn how he made the transition to science policy.

Friday, 09 February 2018 14:07

In clinical microbiology, “intermediate” —the state of neither up nor down—means both “diagnostic uncertainty” AND “susceptible with increased exposures.” How can we cut one and not lose the other?

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 15:23

Cutting US support for the Global Health Security Agenda threatens our ability to prevent, detect and respond to health threats

Wednesday, 07 February 2018 12:33

Some you may want to oversee all of the functions of a clinical laboratory by becoming a clinical microbiology laboratory director. This not only requires knowledge of the clinical laboratory but also skills in analysis, problem-solving, personnel management and more. We provide tips on what you can do to become competitive for clinical microbiology lab director positions.

Tuesday, 06 February 2018 14:28

Will decreasing antibiotics given to our livestock halt the spread of drug-resistant bacteria? A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy report offers a grim outlook. 

Monday, 05 February 2018 15:11

Bugs & Drugs discusses the delicate issue of clinical lab finances: both the lab and hospital leadership must connect the dots and determine what tests best fit the interests of the patients and the hospital.

Friday, 02 February 2018 18:01

How do immune cells talk to each other? A new Infection and Immunity report describes how infected macrophages send signals to uninfected macrophages: via exosomes.

Wednesday, 31 January 2018 10:04

Research suggests that one of the best ways to find out how you’d experience something is to see how others experienced it. So that’s why in this article, we asked postdocs and senior graduate students, “If you could go back in time and do one thing differently in graduate school, what would it be?” Some mentioned researching mentors before doing rotations, and others talked about taking care of themselves. Hear what others said.


Monday, 29 January 2018 12:29

Bacteria will do anything to survive, including poisoning themselves.

Monday, 29 January 2018 11:24

What types of data can help a clinical microbiology lab improve their performance? The latest Hot Topic provides suggestions on measuring and analyzing data points to reduce the risk of error.

Friday, 26 January 2018 17:22

Where do hand microbiota come from? A new mSystems report investigates what proportion of hand bacteria have forehead, oral, or fecal origins. 

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 16:46

Many drugs that target rotavirus viroplasms – centers of viral replication and assembly – target host factors, like microtubule assembly or proteasome activity. A new Journal of Virology study identifies a drug that disrupts viroplasms by targeting a viral protein. This interaction may lead to new drug discovery for rotavirus therapies.

Wednesday, 24 January 2018 10:00

Dr. David Henderson is a Scientist in the Clinical Affairs Department at Biofire Diagnostics. He shares his thoughts on transitioning from academia to industry, the differences he sees between the two worlds, and offers advice for students and postdocs who are interested in industry.

Monday, 22 January 2018 11:46

Diagnosis of diarrhea caused by parasites is an important service provided by the clinical laboratory, but testing stool using the ova and parasite (O&P) exam is complex and time consuming. Here, we review the O&P, its limitations, and how the clinical laboratory can help ensure the most effective use of this test.

Wednesday, 17 January 2018 14:59

If you are considering a postdoc after graduate school, then read about the do’s and don’ts of picking a postdoctoral mentor and lab.

Monday, 15 January 2018 12:40

Clinical microbiology labs often receive multiple specimens for periprosthetic joint infections. How many is enough?

Friday, 12 January 2018 20:14

Written by Katherine J. Wozniak | Tn-seq allowed researchers in two recent mBio publications to screen entire bacterial genomes to identify genes involved in surviving during nutrient deprivation.

Friday, 12 January 2018 15:05

A recent Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study undertook a meta-analysis of data from around the world to better identify common risk factors for carbapenem-resistent Enterobacteriaceae infection - and to identify ways to control outbreaks.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018 15:41

Medical Laboratory Scientists (MLS) who work in a clinical laboratory have many transferable research skills that make them attractive to science graduate school programs. The key is marketing these talents in your essays and interviews and to the admissions committee. We highlight some uniquely MLS skills sure to dazzle any graduate admissions committee.

Tuesday, 09 January 2018 14:58

Scott Kelley's advice for those new to computational biology? "Don’t be afraid! Relax and enjoy the puzzle-like nature of bioinformatics!" Kelley has co-authored a new ASM Press textbook that breaks algorithms down to their basic elements. ASM interviewed him to understand his inspiration behind the textbook.

Monday, 08 January 2018 16:16

A new year brings new career-promoting events and ways to participate in the ASM clin micro community. We summarize the latest in the first Bugs & Drugs post of 2018!