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?

Written by
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!

Written by
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?

Written by
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

Written by
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. 
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.
Friday, 26 January 2018 17:22

Where do our hand bacteria come from?

Written by
Where do hand microbiota come from? A new mSystems report investigates what proportion of hand bacteria have forehead, oral, or fecal origins. 
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.
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.
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.
Thursday, 21 December 2017 11:23

In Case You Missed It - top 2017 mBiosphere posts

Written by
The most popular posts here at mBiosphere this year covered the influence of the microbial sciences research on food preparation, infectious disease management, emerging diseases, and immune influence – truly illustrating the broad reach of microbiology!