Latest Blog Posts
Wednesday, 24 May 2017 12:44

You most likely receive formal training for communicating your research to other scientists, which is thoroughly practiced at meetings and seminars, but what about to non-scientists? ASM is providing multiple sessions at Microbe 2017 to teach you how to share your science in the forms of blogs, social media, and videography.

 

Tuesday, 23 May 2017 11:25

Headed to New Orleans for ASM Microbe 2017? The online program is now available, and as a microbiology educator there are a few sessions that have me excited for the meeting to get under way. 

Monday, 22 May 2017 10:07

The ever-changing CLSI recommendations for colistin testing (and one lab director’s endless frustration with this!) are reviewed.

Friday, 19 May 2017 13:05

Ever since she was a little girl, Dr. Kathleen “Kate” Rubins knew she wanted to be a scientist. She conducted experiments in her backyard and later, in high school, worked with a group at her local county public health department on peer-to-peer research, infection and patient management on HIV. “I was hooked,” Rubins says. “From that moment on, I wanted to understand HIV infection from both the research and the medical side.”

Wednesday, 17 May 2017 11:54

Modern science is built on collaborations and it is no doubt that successful collaborations enrich the scientific process. If you look at recent scientific breakthroughs, such as the creation of the HPV vaccine, identification of the virus causing SARS, or detection of gravitational waves, almost all of them are the results of international collaborations. We discuss how to set up successful scientific collaborations, which includes assessing collaborator’s personality style and setting up ground rules of the collaboration. Finally, we discuss the two most important factors of collaboration – communication and trust.

Friday, 12 May 2017 15:19

Next-generation sequencing techniques are quickly moving into the clinical microbiology lab. ASM provides a number of resources to help you learn best practices for their application and interpretation for infectious disease diagnoses.

Friday, 12 May 2017 14:35

SSV1 is an archaeal virus found in the hot, acidic waters where its Sulfolobus bacterial hosts reside. Researchers have found its genome is surprisingly tolerant of mutation, including loss of one of its structural capsid genes, despite these harsh conditions. Read more about the manipulation of the SSV1 genome and how it may lead to discovery of a minimal SSV genome for future studies.

Friday, 12 May 2017 13:42

How did life as we know it come to be and how can caves help us understand the microbial world? Here, we take a look at how cave microbes give us clues into the evolution of aerobic life, extremophiles, and antimicrobial resistance.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 16:39

At the University of Maryland, Baltimore, researchers are using a practical method, bacterial enzymatic combinatorial chemistry (BECC), to generate functionally diverse molecules that can potentially be used as adjuvants.

Wednesday, 10 May 2017 12:32

Anyone can encounter roadblocks with their experiments. What do you do next? We asked two trainees, Dr. Alan Goggins, a postdoctoral fellow, and Floricel Gonzalez, a Ph.D. student what they do. They check all their reagents, go to colleagues for help, and revisit the big picture of their projects.

Monday, 08 May 2017 09:38

Here in the U.S. (and many other countries), it’s almost Mother’s Day.  In celebration, we’re offering up ideas to help you share your love of science with your mom (or other family and friends).

Friday, 05 May 2017 16:54

Molecular technologies revolutionized microbiology as well as  medicine, patient care, infection control and prevention, and overall hospital operation.

Friday, 05 May 2017 13:38

Iron is crucial for nearly all cells, including bacterial pathogens. But how do they get enough to cause infections?

Thursday, 04 May 2017 09:41

The bacteriophage lysin CF-301, already promising for systemic bacterial infection treatment, now has data to support its use in disrupting biofilms. 

Tuesday, 02 May 2017 09:12

ASM’s Microbe Academy for Professional Development (MAPD) helps prepare microbiology students for success. Patricia Baynham, Ph.D., ASM Committee on Minority Education member and one of the facilitators of MAPD, recently shared some of the program’s key characteristics as well as ways that others can use MAPD as a model to foster student success at conferences and beyond. 

Monday, 01 May 2017 10:26

Examining histology or microscopy images, combined with a patient history, can help clinicians provide a proper infectious disease diagnosis. Practice your diagnostic skills by viewing the Journal of Clinical Microbiology Photo Quiz and ASM Case Study resources in this week's Bugs & Drugs.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 13:54

How does getting injected with live parasites sound to you? This World Immunization Week we explore a new vaccine that might just change your mind.

Thursday, 27 April 2017 08:56

 In January, ASM launched a publishing experiment, mSphereDirect, which allows scientists to control the review process and speed up the time-to-publication after submission. To answer questions about its users and user experience, we gathered preliminary data by speaking with the scientists who were the first mSphereDirect users.

Wednesday, 26 April 2017 15:01

In celebration of Medical Laboratory Professionals Week, Dr. Robin Patel, Chair of the Division of Clinical Microbiology at the Mayo Clinic, shares her insights on how to become a laboratory technologist and a story of how one observant laboratory technologist led to a new standard of care for lung transplants on This Week in Microbiology (TWIM) #150.  

 

Monday, 24 April 2017 09:37

In an introductory microbiology lab, one common goal is to increase student skills with the microscope, including the ability to properly stain a bacterial specimen. But what is the best way to assess improvement in these skills?

Monday, 24 April 2017 09:19

Broad-range bacterial 16S PCR and sequencing as a clinical diagnostic tool is quickly gaining in popularity. This post offers a quick refresher on the applications, limitations, and aliases of this test.

Friday, 21 April 2017 20:06

Little is known about microbial environments in the atmosphere, the layer of gases that is common to all surfaces around the globe. On Earth Day 2017, we take a look at the world of airborne microbes.

Friday, 21 April 2017 11:23

In celebration of Earth Day, we’re offering up 4 open-access, peer-reviewed resources from the Journal of Microbiology & Biology Education (JMBE) to help infuse biodiversity-related content into your K-12 or undergraduate classroom and lab.

Friday, 21 April 2017 10:43

The HeLa cells derived from Henrietta Lacks have played a vital role in many scientific advances, including production of the polio vaccine. But the unethical manner in which they were collected raises questions on patients' rights, privacy, and other important issues - issues on which her family continues to educate, including at the 2016 ABRCMS meeting.

Wednesday, 19 April 2017 11:50

Many trainees are transitioning into non-research careers. Navigating this transition can be tricky, as the available resources are still scarce and fairly inconsistent. Dr. Josh Henkin, founder of STEM Career Services, gave a workshop at the 2017 AAAS meeting titled “Transitioning into a Non-Academic Career.” The workshop explored the skills and best practices for trainees to transition out of academia. We highlight the main points from the session.

Monday, 17 April 2017 10:52

Collecting, transporting, and storing patient specimens plays a major role in infection diagnoses. ASM provides a number of resources regarding best practices and the latest research regarding specimen collection!

Monday, 17 April 2017 09:50

Microbial adaptations to climate change will affect all biomes in the greater ecosystem. A new Academy of Microbiology FAQ Report addresses areas undergoing environmental changes, how these changes influence microbial life, and the global impacts due to shifts in environmental microbiomes.

Monday, 17 April 2017 09:31

Writing a grant application can be daunting, especially when you’re new to the process. How do you know what funding opportunities are available, how to make your writing both succinct and impactful, and how to make sure you’ve completed all of the forms correctly?

Friday, 14 April 2017 14:37

Retrace the steps of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in his home city of Delft in the Netherlands, where microbiology began.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 14:50

Researchers report they have used the Pathogen Box to identify a novel, highly potent antifungal agent with activity against two of the most common fungal pathogens of humans.

Wednesday, 12 April 2017 10:43

Have you seen this image? It generated headlines as part of the American Society for Microbiology’s annual Agar Art contest. ASM has run this contest since 2015, but some scientists, like scientist/artist Caitlin Cahak of the Instagram account @Stylish_Streaking, have been creating pieces of their own well before the contest started.

Monday, 10 April 2017 09:36

Clinical microbiology tests are not performed to satisfy the curiosity, but to serve patients. While technical performance comparisons will sometimes suffice for test evaluation, health outcome studies may be superior for determining the true value of a diagnostic test.

 

Monday, 10 April 2017 08:39

The ASM Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) is unique in that the latest advances in teaching, assessment, research on learning, and mentoring are presented and discussed alongside cutting-edge science, allowing educators to bring both current education practices and science topics into their classrooms.

Saturday, 08 April 2017 02:29

Multidisciplinary research is beginning to unveil connections between the gut microbiome and human health status disparities.

Friday, 07 April 2017 16:50

Though it's been less covered by major news outlets, Zika is still an important research topic. Scientists are working hard to understand Zika virus biology, transmission, and treatment. We round up the latest research reports on this still-emerging disease.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 13:30

Simon Anthony has spent his scientific career studying viruses and their impact on health. In the United Kingdom, where he is from, he investigated viruses of agricultural significance. Then, at the San Diego Zoo, he focused on the microbes of wildlife. Currently, at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and its Center for Infection and Immunity, he studies viruses that spill over from animals into people.

Wednesday, 05 April 2017 09:50

How do you tell your dissertation/postdoc mentor that you are considering a career different from an academic research position? We discuss hurdles that trainees encounter and provide tips on having a career discussion with your mentor.

Tuesday, 04 April 2017 11:18

The ubiquitous nature of microorganisms, their growth and metabolic uniqueness, and modern science’s need to harness these life forms to solve global challenges of the future make Microbes as a Way of Solving Global Challenges a transformational concept in education.

Monday, 03 April 2017 07:07

The decreasing trend of surgical-site infections demonstrates the seriousness with which medical practitioners and clinical microbiologists are taking this issue. This post provides resources on prevention and diagnoses of surgery-related infections, including a specific case of infection due to contaminated heart-lung machines.

Thursday, 30 March 2017 17:10

Several recently published mBio studies describe new mechanisms of intrinsic antibiotic resistance. These mechanisms may themselves become therapeutic targets to broaden the application of currently available drugs.

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