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.

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.
Friday, 05 May 2017 13:38

Siderophores: Bacterial iron scavengers

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Iron is crucial for nearly all cells, including bacterial pathogens. But how do they get enough to cause infections?
How does getting injected with live parasites sound to you? This World Immunization Week we explore a new vaccine that might just change your mind.
Little is known about microbial environments in the atmosphere, the layer of gases that is common to all surfaces around the globe. On Earth Day 2017, we take a look at the world of airborne microbes.
Friday, 14 April 2017 14:37

Haunts of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek

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Retrace the steps of Antoni van Leeuwenhoek in his home city of Delft in the Netherlands, where microbiology began.
Saturday, 08 April 2017 02:29

Health Status Disparities and the Microbiome

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Multidisciplinary research is beginning to unveil connections between the gut microbiome and human health status disparities.
How is chocolate made? What gives this simple seed its unique and irresistible flavor? For that, we can thank microbes and the metabolic process of fermentation.
Bypassing the slow growth of Mycobacterium tuberculosis with computer models provides new ways to learn about the disease.
Who took the first photograph through a microscope and who took the first photograph of a microbe?
A virus with Frankenstein-like symptoms. A virus that only infects insects. What could scientists accomplish by combining the two?
Friday, 24 February 2017 12:44

Putting Evolution to the Test

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Microbes are great tools to study evolutionary biology.  The ability to carry out long term experiments in both model and complex systems, and derive genome information from progeny strains has revolutionized the study of evolution.
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