Microbial Sciences

Explorations of the microbial sciences and a look at the many ways microbiology touches the world around us.
Articles are written by a volunteer team of ASM members.

Friday, 06 October 2017 16:54

Microbes for Minis

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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.
ASM is reintroducing its “Meet the Microbiologist” podcast--host Julie Wolf explains why she loves podcasts and describes the first two MtM episodes.
Tuesday, 26 September 2017 20:37

The Leaf-cutter Ant’s 50 Million Years of Farming

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Ants have learned to farm 50 million years ago, way before humans did. Their crop of choice? Fungus.
Friday, 15 September 2017 14:01

Autophagy, Colorectal Cancer, and Chemotherapy

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Scientists at U of Michigan discover how microbes may lower the effectiveness of chemotherapy for colorectal cancer.
Monday, 11 September 2017 15:08

Microbial Reefs of New York

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Exotic microbial structures are probably growing closer to home than you think. The microbial reefs of New York are one such example – what can you find near you?
Monday, 28 August 2017 15:55

Siderophores: A treatment target?

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Siderophores are essential for bacterial pathogenesis—does that make them a weakness for researchers to exploit?
Written by: Juliana Ansari | What microbes live in your probiotic drinks? We take a closer look at the microbes found inside common probiotic drinks such as kombucha, including Saccharomyces boulardii, Bacillus coagulans, and Lactobacillus plantarum cultured from probiotic beverages.
Written by: Lori R. Shapiro | Few of us harvest our own crops, milk our own cows, or ferment our own beverages. Our foods and drinks arrive at stores or farmers markets in an array of colorful shapes and sizes already neatly packaged, or served to us beautifully and fragrantly prepared at a restaurant. But, where did these fruits, vegetables, cheeses, and beverages come from?
What you should know about the microbes you interact with on the beach: some are good, and some downright terrifying.
Saturday, 29 July 2017 17:18

The Mysterious Landscape

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Do “microbial landscapes” really exist? Or is that phrase simply a poetic way to write about microbial ecology?
Intestinal calcium induces C. difficile spore germination. Modulating intestinal calcium levels could prophylactically prevent a dangerous nosocomial infection.
The intricate microenvironment of human breast tissue supports regionally distinct microbiota, which may provide new insight to cancer risk and therapy. As a follow up to the 2016 article by Julie Wolf, the role of microbes in breast cancer is revisited, with an emphasis on the role of probiotics in breast cancer prevention.
A Nobel-winning antimalarial drug derived from a traditional Chinese herb can also help treat tuberculosis.
Friday, 23 June 2017 19:47

Siderophores: Bacterial Swiss army knives

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The multi-faceted nature of siderophores begins with the simple element iron, where does it end?
Friday, 16 June 2017 19:05

Paintings are a canvas for microbial life

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As paintings age, they accumulate volatile hydrocarbons, dead or living cells, dust that breed fungal spores, and bacteria. This agglomeration of material serves as a nutrient source for a number of microbes and leads to biodeterioration.
Tuesday, 13 June 2017 12:44

Microbial Sciences at Microbe 2017

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This year, three members of the Microbial Sciences blog team attended ASM Microbe in New Orleans. Get a glimpse of the meeting from their perspective including advice for those planning on attending a future Microbe meeting.
Friday, 02 June 2017 10:50

Watch videos from Microbe 2017

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ASM traveled to New Orleans for Microbe 2017 and we brought our cameras to capture some of the great content!
Long before microscopes were invented, ancient physicians and scholars imagined the existence of microbes.
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.”
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.
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