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095: The Evolution of Virulence with Andrew Read

In the early 2000s, Andrew Read predicted that non-sterilizing vaccines would lead to more virulent disease. He was able to test his hypothesis with the real-world example of Marek’s disease, a disease of chickens. Read tells the story of his discovery, and talks about his work on myxoma virus. Take the MTM Listener Survey Subscribe (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, RSS, or by email. Also available on the ASM Podcast Network app. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Every chicken...


094: Containing a Nipah virus outbreak with G Arunkumar

A recent Nipah virus outbreak in Kerala, India, was halted due to improved detection capabilities. G. Arunkumar tells the story of his involvement. Host: Julie Wolf Take the MTM Listener Survey Subscribe (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, RSS, or by email. Also available on the ASM Podcast Network app. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Because bats are the normal reservoir, Nipah virus outbreaks appear to be seasonal, with an increase in cases coinciding with the spring, when...


093: Biofilms and metagenomic diagnostics in clinical infections with Robin Patel

Robin Patel discusses her work on prosthetic joint infections and how metagenomics is changing infectious disease diagnostic procedures. Take the listener survey: Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: The term antimicrobial resistance can mean many things. Although acquisition of genetic elements can lead to drug resistance, so can different growth lifestyles of bacteria; the same bacteria growing in liquid culture may be more susceptible to a drug than those bacteria growing on a...


092: A new type of malaria vaccine utilizing the mosquito immune system with Carolina Barillas-Mury

To eliminate malaria, you have to stop transmission, and that’s what Carolina Barillas-Mury hopes to do. Her work on the interaction of the malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum may lead to a transmission-blocking vaccine. She explains how, and discusses the co-evolution of malaria, mosquitos, and man. Take the listener survey: Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: When born, babies carry antibodies from their mothers, which may protect them through passive immunity;...


091: SARS and MERS coronaviruses with Stanley Perlman

How do researchers study a new pathogen? Stanley Perlman talks about how virus researchers studied SARS and MERS after they emerged, what they learned, and why there are no more cases of SARS. He also discusses his work on a coronavirus model of multiple sclerosis. We want to hear from you! Please take our listener survey. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Coronaviruses have the largest RNA genomes, with up to 40 kB of sequence, but why their genomes is so big is unclear - their genomes...


090: Using yeast to generate new chocolate and beer flavors with Kevin Verstrepen

You may know that beer is fermented, but did you know making chocolate requires a fermentation step? Kevin Verstrepen discusses how his lab optimizes flavor profiles of the yeast used in this fermentation step, and explains how yeast was domesticated before microorganisms had been discovered. Take the MTM listener survey, we want to hear from you. Thanks! Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Microbes are used to ferment foods, but they do more than just add ethanol or carbon dioxide: their...


089: Using the zebrafish microbiome to study development and the gut-brain axis with John Rawls

How can the humble zebrafish teach us about the human microbiome? John Rawls discusses the benefits of using animal models Take the MTM Listener Survey Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Zebrafish and other model animals provide opportunities to understand host-microbe interactions. Zebrafish are particularly useful for imaging studies, due to their translucent skin and the ease of in vivo microscopy. This allows zebrafish to be used to in studies of spatial architecture or longitudinal studies...


088: Using Bacterial Structures as Nanowires with Gemma Reguera

Gemma Reguera discusses her studies of Geobacter pili, which transfers electrons to iron oxide and other minerals, and can be used for new biotech applications. Host: Julie Wolf Subscribe (free) on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Android, RSS, or by email. Also available on the ASM Podcast Network app. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Geobacter sulferreducans, a bacterium that “breathes” rust, is the lab representative of the genus Geobacter that dump electrons onto rust. These specialized...


087: Legionnaire’s Disease with Michele Swanson

Why do Legionnaire’s Disease outbreaks occur mostly in the summer? What is the connection of the Flint change in water source and Legionella outbreaks in the area? Michele Swanson discusses her work on Legionella pneumophila and her path from busy undergraduate to ASM President. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Legionella pneumophila is a waterborne microbe that lives in fresh water and can colonize water systems of the built environment. Colonization of cooling systems, like those used in air...


086: Toxoplasma gondii and neuro-invasive disease with Anita Koshy

How is Toxoplasma gondii, a protozoan that causes neuro-invasive disease, transmitted as a foodborne pathogen? Why are cats important in transmitting Toxoplasma infection? Anita Koshy answer these questions and talks about her research on the latest Meet the Microbiologist. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: The primary host for T. gondii is cats, in which the protozoan can undergo sexual reproduction. Why cats? No one knows, in part because there isn’t a good in vitro system to study cat...


085: Using DNA technologies to answer epidemiological questions with Jennifer Gardy

Jennifer Gardy talks about whole-genome sequencing as a technique to address public health issues using genomic epidemiology. She talks about her research on TB and new DNA sequencing technologies, including her vision for microbial genetic sequencing as one piece of the puzzle in the future of public health. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: Whole-genome sequencing technologies are replacing older DNA technologies to identify relatedness between microbial isolates. The genome sequences help to...


084: How viral-bacterial interactions influence viral infection with Julie Pfeiffer

See the full shownotes at: Julie Pfeiffer tells the story of how she serendipitously found a role for the gut microbiota during polio virus infection, and how she and her lab discovered an important role for bacterial glycans in viral biology. She also talks about viral fitness strategies, and how RNA viruses and DNA viruses benefit from making different amounts of errors when copying their genomes. Julie's biggest takeaways: Determining the exact nature of the glycans that...


083: Microbial communication via quorum sensing with Pete Greenberg

Pete Greenberg tells how bacteria can communicate based on cell density, a phenomenon he helped name quorum sensing. He talks about therapeutics based on quorum-sensing discoveries, and how studying bacterial interactions can be used to test ecological principles like cooperation and social cheating. Julie's biggest takeaways: Quorum sensing can be likened to an old-fashioned smoking room, where a few cigar smokers don’t affect the air quality, but as more smokers enter the room, it...


082: The struggle to study hepatitis C virus with Charlie Rice

Charlie Rice gives the history of learning to grow hepatitis C virus in culture, from pitfalls to hurdles and successes along the 20-year journey. He also talks about yellow fever virus, its vaccine, and the importance of curiosity-driven research


081: Developing infectious disease diagnostics with Melissa Miller

How are new diseases detected in a clinical microbiology lab? Melissa Miller talks about the time it takes to develop a test for a new disease (hint: it’s getting shorter). She also shares her definition of ‘point-of-care’ diagnostics and explains the major trends for clinical microbiology labs. Host: Julie Wolf Subscribe (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the ASM Podcast app. Julie's biggest takeaways: Antibiograms are vital to...


080: Implementing One Health with Mathew Muturi

Veterinarian and epidemiologist Mathew Muturi tells how a Rift Valley Fever outbreak led to implementation of One Health-based policies. Muturi talks about his One Health training and its applications for health and biopreparedness. Julie’s Biggest Takeaways: One Health Simple communication between experts helps facilitate implementation of one health in public systems. Sitting experts in human and animal health in the same office allows easier communication between these different health...


079: Comparative Bacterial Genomics with Dave Rasko

Dave Rasko uses comparative bacterial genomics to find DNA sequences that influence virulence or antibiotic resistance. Dave talks about his studies of E. coli, Acinetobacter baumanii, and B. anthracis, and the state of bacterial genomics past, present, and future. Host: Julie Wolf Subscribe (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the ASM Podcast app. Julie's biggest takeaways: Genome sequencing speed has significantly increased: The...


078: Tuberculosis treatment and mycobacterial genetics with Bill Jacobs

Bill Jacobs talks about developing mycobacterial genetic tools and using them to discover ways to shorten TB treatment. He also talks about the SEA-PHAGES program that allows high-school students to participate in phage discovery. Host: Julie Wolf Subscribe (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email. You can also listen on your mobile device with the ASM Podcast app. Julie's biggest takeaways: The challenges of working with an easily aerosolized bacterium are aided by complementary...


077: Influenza, politics, and scientific credibility with Ilaria Capua

Ilaria Capua talks about running an internationally renowned animal influenza lab, and her time spent in the Italian Parliament. Accused of virus trafficking as part of a national scandal, she has since cleared her name and speaks here about the importance of scientific credibility and reputation.


076: Evolution of bacterial biofilm populations with Vaughn Cooper

Most bacteria live a sedentary lifestyle in community structures called biofilms. Vaughn Cooper tells us what bacterial biofilms are, why biofilms differ from test tube environments, and how long-term evolution experiments combined with population genomics are teaching us how bacteria really work. He also discusses using hands-on bacterial evolution activities to introduce high schoolers to future STEM possibilities. Host: Julie Wolf Subscribe (free) on iPhone, Android, RSS, or by email....