mBiosphere

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.
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.
The bacteriophage lysin CF-301, already promising for systemic bacterial infection treatment, now has data to support its use in disrupting biofilms. 
 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.
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.
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.
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.
Friday, 07 April 2017 16:50

Zika Update: Round-up of Recent Reports

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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.
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.
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.
Thursday, 23 March 2017 17:13

Uniting Against Drug Resistance on World TB Day

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Despite omission by the WHO on its priority list of antibiotic-resistant bacteria, drug-resistant M. tuberculosis is an enormous problem worldwide. To highlight this issue as part of World TB Day, we summarize research areas that address drug discovery and drug susceptibility testing.
Light exposure affects A. baumannii drug susceptibility and pathogenesis in vitro. A new Journal of Bacteriology study on the A. baumannii global transcriptional response during light exposure may explain these observations.
Two new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy reports cover the effects of obesity on infectious disease. They find obesity affects the patient response to antibiotics and recommend modifications that might improve health outcomes based on body weight.
An Applied and Environmental Microbiology study  found ubiquitous contamination of chicken products in the United States with clinically relevant E. coli strains, which has implications for urinary tract infection transmission. A new book from ASM Press describes UTIs in detail, from virulence mechanisms to clinical diagnoses and treatments.
Monday, 27 February 2017 16:12

Track your science at ASM Microbe 2017

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How can you pinpoint the related presentations and poster sessions among the amazing basic, applied, and clinical microbial science research represented at the conference? The Scientific Tracks at Microbe are designed to help organize the amazing science presented at the meeting. We spoke with the Track Leaders to get a summary of the amazing science covered in each Track.
A new mSphere study finds an association between pregnant women with herpes simplex virus type 2 (HSV-2) infection and the risk of ASD in their children. 
The first scientific report was recently accepted from an mSphereDirect submission, and we at ASM asked the senior scientist, Pat Schloss, about his experience.
Discovery and characterization of microbial polyester-degrading enzymes from a bog moss, described in a recent Applied and Environmental Microbiology report, may help recycle textile components.
Thursday, 09 February 2017 10:35

Melioidosis: the Most Neglected Tropical Disease

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“This is a disease so neglected, it’s missing from the WHO list of neglected tropical diseases,” says melioidosis expert David Dance. What is melioidosis, and why was there a full session at the 2017 Biothreats Conference dedicated to this disease?
The Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation (CEPI) hopes to prevent future outbreaks by generating, testing, and storing vaccines before outbreaks occur. How do you design a vaccine before a prevailing serotype is determined?
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