Dietary fiber plays an important role in gut health, but new research from mSphere shows that not all sources play the same role: researchers found that specific starches select for different microbial communities.
Friday, 25 May 2018 15:37

Celebrating Global Health Accomplishments

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Global health is a complex problem requiring collaborations between local, national and international groups. ASM is happy to celebrate its recent accomplishments achieved through the hard work of many collaborative efforts.
Before you start writing your manuscript, here are 5 questions to ask yourself that will help ensure a successful (and ethical!) road to publication.
Does eating more diverse foods increase fitness? The ability to use ethanolamine, a common molecule found in our gut, helps bacterial pathogens like Salmonella to colonize and cause infection. A new mBio report suggests the opposite is true in the commensal bacterium Enterococcus faecalis. 
What's hot in the microbial sciences? ASM summarizes microbiology news and reports in Microbial Minutes, a biweekly news roundup. Watch the YouTube session for summaries and major findings, and read the reports and news stories for yourself below. 
Small amounts of antibiotics used in farm animals may be present in animal manure, which is used as crop fertilizer. A new Applied and Environmental Microbiology report shows these antibiotics can affect the soil microbiome composition, potentially influencing crop growth.
A chlorine wash is used to decontaminate food, including produce, that may carry bacterial pathogens. A new mBio report describes how chlorine treatment may not kill bacteria, but instead induce a viable-but-nonculturable state. This means the bacteria may still be present but not detectable through culture techniques. 
Friday, 13 April 2018 16:28

Can colistin resistance be reversed?

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Colistin resistance is now a worldwide issue. New ASM Journal articles uncover the molecular mechanism of colistin resistance, and uncover a natural product that may act to reverse resistance and render colistin once more effective.
Wednesday, 11 April 2018 10:32

Join in the Track Hubbub at ASM Microbe-pa-looza!

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The multiple simultaneous events at ASM Microbe mimic a multistage concert with many performing acts. This is exemplified by the Track Hubs, where interactive sessions are vying for your attention. Our Track Leaders talk about their favorite Hub events - which will you be attending?
What happens when uninfected cells meet several virus strains at once? A new Journal of Virology report asks this question using two different HPV strains. The report finds that some HPV strains are better at blocking superinfection with a second strain than others.
A new Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy study reports a novel mechanism of ciprofloxacin resistance in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Scientists identified a gene that phosphorylates the drug, inactivating its antibacterial activities.
An mBio report describes the first time an insect endosymbiont has been cultured in vitro. Culturing the Drosophila melanogaster endosymbiont bacteria, Spiroplasma poulsonii may allow the organisms to become the first genetically tractable insect-endosymbiont pair.
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.
A new mSystems issue gives early-career scientists a platform to share their ideas for the future of systems microbial sciences.
“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.
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. 
Friday, 23 February 2018 18:40

How does influenza jump between species?

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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.
Friday, 16 February 2018 17:01

A whale of a microbiome tale

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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.
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? 
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.