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microTalk

Nov 19, 2022

There have been dramatic declines in amphibian populations around the world, and one of the culprits is the disease Chytridiomycosis.  This is a skin disease of amphibians caused by two different species of Batrachochytrium fungi, and it has decimated frog and salamander populations and even driven some to...


Nov 3, 2022

Microbiology textbooks teach that bacteria are so small that they cannot be seen without a microscope, and that they do not contain organelles or a nucleus. Then along comes Thiomargarita magnifica and smashes this dogma. T. magnifica is a giant bacterium that reaches 2 cm in length and can be easily seen with the naked...


Oct 14, 2022

Vibrios are marine bacteria that live in aquatic environments with a lot of other microbes, and occasionally a particular strain will arise that can cause serious disease in humans and can spread through the population in pandemics.  V. cholerae causes large pandemics of cholera, and V. vulnificus causes sporadic cases...


Sep 22, 2022

One of the consequences of the “Antibiotic Era” has been the increased occurrence of infections caused by Clostridioides difficile, also known as “Cdiff”, which in some cases can be life-threatening.  Antibiotics alter the microbes that live in the gastrointestinal tract (the “microbiome”) allowing Cdiff...


Jul 27, 2022

Dr. John Mekalanos (Harvard Medical School) has devoted his career to the study of bacterial pathogens, with a special emphasis to understanding Vibrio cholerae, the bacterium that causes the deadly disease cholera.  And what an amazingly productive research path he has followed, from the discovery and characterization...