by Leo Baumgart | Some heavy metals share a long history with microbes. Many of the metabolic processes that sustain life are believed to have originated from spontaneous reactions involving metals present in the early Earth. Our microbial ancestors figured out quickly how to use... Read more →
by Elio | This is the time of the year of increased physical activity when we pay special attention to certain parts of the body, including the armpit. As is usually the case, our microbiota is involved because the odor associated with sweating is produced by microbial activity. The main culprits are skin… Read more →
by Marcelo Barros and Brana Vlasic | Concrete is the most widely used building material in the world, with untold amounts being produced yearly. It has always been regarded as a strong, solid, impenetrable, almost indestructible material yet it can make cracks that are vulnerable to penetration by water. As the result, structures of great economic and… Read more →
by Elio | The journal Zentralblatt für Bakteriologie, Parasitenkunde u. Infektionskrankheiten was one of the leading publication in the early days of Microbiology. Many of the great discoveries of microbial pathogens were published therein. An example is the 1898 Japanese microbiologist Kiyoshi Shiga account of his discovery of his eponymous bacterium… Read more →
by S. Marvin Friedman | As more and more information becomes available, one marvels (and also frets) at the sophisticated strategies that pathogens have evolved in order to evade their hosts’ defense mechanisms. Many pathogens of plants and animals deliver effectors into their hosts in order to suppress immune responses. To date, the vast majority of… Read more →
Suppose an innovative fungal symbiont in a lichen decided to appropriate its algal partner's plastids and do away with having to pay the algae for their services. What would it have to gain, or lose thereby? Read more →
by Maddie Stone | When most people look at soil, they just see dirt. When I look at soil, I see billions of microorganisms crawling atop one another, consuming the dead in a feasting frenzy that stops for nothing save a deep freeze. I see microbes and their enzymes, the digestive juices that break… 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.
This Week in Virology, the podcast about viruses, celebrates its 300th episode on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 with a live recording at the Washington, DC headquarters of the American Society for Microbiology.