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Press Releases

Welcome to ASM's Newsroom, a resource for journalists seeking information relating to the microbiological sciences. Members of the media and the general public can access current and archived press releases highlighting the latest research published in ASM's journals or presented at our meetings.

Washington, D.C. - April 22, 2015 - A team of French clinicians has diagnosed the first case of rabies in France since 2003. Only 20 cases of human rabies had been diagnosed in France between 1970 and 2003. The patient was unaware of having been bitten, so the diagnosis was not suggested until day 12 post admission to the intensive care unit. The case report appeared April 8 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, D.C. - April 14, 2015 - In recent years, research into the benefits of gut bacteria has exploded. Scientists across the globe are examining how these microbes can help improve health and prevent disease.

Washington, D.C. - April 14, 2015 - A new study has demonstrated that genetically modified Salmonella can be used to kill cancer cells. The study is published in this week’s issue of mBio, an American Society for Microbiology online-only, open access journal.

Friday, 10 April 2015 15:03

Can Humans Get Norovirus From Their Dogs?

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Washington, D.C. - April 10, 2015 - Human norovirus may infect our canine companions, according to research published online April 1 in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. That raises the possibility of dog-to-human transmission, said first author Sarah Caddy, VetMB, PhD, MRCVS, a veterinarian and PhD student at the University of Cambridge, and Imperial College, London, UK. Norovirus is the leading cause of food-borne illness in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Washington, D.C. - April 6, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) will name The Rockefeller University a “Milestones in Microbiology” site, recognizing the institution and its scientists for their significant contributions toward advancing the science of microbiology. The announcement will be made at a formal dedication ceremony on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, at Noon at Rockefeller’s New York City campus.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, D.C. - March 30, 2015 - Researchers have shown that a known antibiotic and antifungal compound produced by a soil microbe can inhibit another species of microbe from forming biofilms—microbial mats that frequently are medically harmful—without killing that microbe. The findings may apply to other microbial species, and can herald a plethora of scientific and societal benefits. The research is published online ahead of print on March 30, 2015, in the Journal of Bacteriology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology. The study will be printed in a special section of the journal that will comprise of papers from the 5th ASM Conference on Cell-Cell Communication in Bacteria.

Washington, DC - March 27, 2015 - A new report recently released by the American Academy of Microbiology discusses how specific microbes can be modified to enhance their therapeutic potential for treating human diseases such as cancer and antibiotic resistant bacterial infections. Bacteria and viruses are not always categorized as harmful microorganisms. In fact, these groups of microbes can be beneficial and can actively participate in many biological processes. With the perception of microorganisms being our partners, research is now being conducted to use microbes to treat disease and enhance human health. Some viruses and species of bacteria can be targeted to kill cancer cells while others can be deployed to replicate in and kill tumors.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, DC - March 27, 2015 -Antibodies from dromedary camels protected uninfected mice from Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), and helped infected mice expunge the disease, according to a study published online March 18th in the Journal of Virology, a journal published by the American Society for Microbiology. MERS, which emerged in humans last year in the Saudi Arabian peninsula, causes severe respiratory disease, with a high mortality rate of 35-40 percent. No specific therapy is currently available.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, DC - March 24, 2015 - In the first study of an entire wine grapevine’s microbiome, researchers have found that the microbes associated with the grapes, leaves and flowers are largely derived from the soil microbes found around the plant’s roots. The findings, published in mBio the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, could help dissect how microbes affect a wine’s properties and pave the way for biotechnological advances for producing hardier crops.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

WASHINGTON, DC – March 24, 2015 – The malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum produces chemical compounds called terpenes that give off odors that attract mosquitoes, according to new research. The study, published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, might explain why the insects are more likely to bite humans or animals infected with the organism.The content of this page is restricted to ASM Members only.

Washington, DC - March 19, 2015 -  A new microarray-based tool, called VaginArray, offers the potential to provide a fast, reliable and low-cost assessment of vaginal health and diagnoses of infections. The research is published ahead of print March 2, in Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC – March 10, 2015 – Households can serve as a reservoir for transmitting methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), according to a study published this week in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology. Once the bacteria enters a home, it can linger for years, spreading from person to person and evolving genetically to become unique to that household.

Washington, DC - February 20, 2015 - Japanese investigators have demonstrated that a novel fungus can bioaccumulate the industrially important “rare earth” element, dysprosium, used in the magnets of generators and motors, as well as in smart phones and other electronics, and high technology, generally from mine drainage and industrial liquid waste. This discovery could lead to recycling dysprosium from these wastes, said first author, Takumi Horiike, researcher in the Rare Metal Bioresearch Center at Shibaura Institute of Technology, Saitama, Japan. The research was published ahead of print on February 20 in Applied and Environmental Microbiology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - March 4, 2015 - Since 2003, the H5N1 influenza virus, more commonly known as the bird flu, has been responsible for the deaths of millions of chickens and ducks and has infected more than 650 people, leading to a 60 percent mortality rate for the latter. Luckily, this virus has yet to achieve human-to-human transmission, but a small number of mutations could change that, resulting in a pandemic. Now a team of investigators from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Stanford University Medical Center, and MacroGenics have developed an antibody which has proven 100 percent protective against the virus in two species of animal models. The research is published ahead of print February 11, in the Journal of Virology, a publication of the American Society for Microbiology.

WASHINGTON, DC - March 3, 2015 - The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has received a $161,460 multi-year grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to help support the research being presented at ASM’s Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC). Through their Global Health Division, the foundation will not only partner with ASM to host joint sessions during the conference, they are also providing a travel award for scientists through The Gates Travel Award program.

In January of 2015, the American Academy of Microbiology elected 79 new Fellows.

Fellows of the Academy are elected annually through a highly selective, peer-review process, based on their records of scientific achievement and original contributions that have advanced microbiology.

MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - February 19, 2015 – A new comprehensive analysis from the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, involving leading International Ebola researchers, examines what is known about transmission of the Ebola virus and cautions that the public health community should not rule out the possibility of respiratory transmission. Prior to the current Ebola epidemic in West Africa there have been only 24 reported Ebola outbreaks with approximately 2,400 cases reported over the previous 39 years. Evidence suggests that direct patient contact and contact with infectious body fluids are the primary modes for Ebola virus transmission, however, this evidence is based on a limited number of studies.

Wednesday, 18 February 2015 11:25

Mutant Bacteria That Keep On Growing

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WASHINGTON, DC – February 17, 2015 - The typical Escherichia coli, the laboratory rat of microbiology, is a tiny 1-2 thousandths of a millimeter long. Now, by blocking cell division, two researchers at Concordia University in Montreal have grown E. coli that stretch three quarters of a millimeter. That’s up to 750 times their normal length. The research has potential applications in nanoscale industry, and may lead to a better understanding of how pathogens work. The study is published ahead of print on February 17 in the Journal of Bacteriology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - February 13, 2015 - According to a multinational clinical trial involving nearly 20,000 young women, the human papilloma virus vaccine, Cervarix, not only has the potential to prevent cervical cancer, but was effective against other common cancer-causing human papillomaviruses, aside from just the two HPV types, 16 and 18, which are responsible for about 70 percent of all cases. That effectiveness endured for the study’s entire follow-up, of up to four years. The research was published February 4 in Clinical and Vaccine Immunology, a journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

Washington, DC - January 20, 2015 - Researchers have tracked the genetic mutations that have occurred in the Ebola virus during the last four decades. Their findings, published inmBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology, identified changes in the current West African outbreak strain that could potentially interfere with experimental, sequence-based therapeutics.

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