by Elio | It may seem a bit incongruous that in this age of great advances everywhere in the microbial world, we must pause to learn the names of more and more microbes. The molecular biologists of old (that’s fifty years ago!) needed to recognize only a few names such as E. coli… Read more →
by S. Marvin Friedman | To the consternation of medical students and others who are obliged to learn such matters for exams, the number of special attributes that distinguish one pathogen from the others is colossal. But to those who are genuinely interested in the world of pathogens, each assortment of distinguishing properties holds its… Read more →
by Jeff F. Miller | After nearly three months as president and one year as president elect, what amazes me most about the ASM is the breadth and depth of our activities. We literally span the globe, with ambassadors in 54 countries and outreach programs in Africa, South America, and Asia focused on building laboratory… Read more →
Vincent and Michael travel to San Francisco for the 52nd Interscience Conference on Antimicrobial Agents and Chemotherapy (ICAAC), where they meet with Bill, John, and Victor to discuss tuberculosis, monitoring infectious disease outbreaks with online data, and outside-the-box approaches to antibacterial therapy. Read more →
by Elio | I approached several physicists-some turned-biologists-to ask them for a brief comment on the topic: "In the long run, what will the discovery of the Higgs bosondo for biology?" Their answers span the extremes from “nothing” to “everything.” Read more →
by Franklin M. Harold | Concerning the origin of eukaryotic cells, much has been written but almost everything remains to be settled. No one disputes that mitochondria derive from free-living bacteria that established an intimate symbiotic relationship with a host of some kind and progressively turned into organelles, workhorses of metabolism, and a hallmark of eukaryotic… Read more →
by Elio | Although only a small fraction of the bacteria on Earth can be cultivated, the existence of many others has been inferred from the presence of their DNA in environmental samples. This two-fold approach sounds innocuous enough, but it has occasionally resulted in acrimonious controversies. This is puzzling because even a… Read more →
by Daniel P. Haeusser | A few years ago I attended an ASM Branch meeting where an investigator gave a talk about a metagenomic survey of oceanic bacteriophages. In typical fashion for this type of study, one slide listed dozens genes of note identified as being encoded in phage genomes. With surprise I noticed… Read more →
The purpose of this blog is to share my appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this planet. I will emphasize the unusual and the unexpected phenomena for which I have a special fascination... (more)
For the memoirs of my first 21 years of life, click here.
Participate in ASM Live at ICAAC 2014 in Washington, D.C., where we will be live streaming video interviews of select presenters with host Michael Schmidt, Professor and Vice Chairman of Microbiology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina and co-host of the This Week in Microbiology podcast.