The blog has a new look

Microbe Post has a new look and has moved to the Microbiology Society’s website.

If you wish to subscribe to the blog, you can do so via the blog RSS feed. If your browser doesn’t support RSS feeds you can download an extension or subscribe via Outlook.

Since 2012 Microbe Post has featured blog posts about the latest research being published in our journals, videos and podcasts about microbiology, and reported on policy updates and Society events. In 2017 the blog won the Dr Katharine Giles award for best science blog at the ABSW Science Writers’ Awards.

Microbe Post now sits on our website underneath the News tab and will continue to publish high-quality posts about the latest journal news and Society activities, as well as the New to Science series and Twitter summaries of our events.

Newly published blogs will continue to be featured on our homepage, and you can explore the blog archive and the different categories via the blog landing page.

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JMM Editor’s Choice: The changing face of diphtheria in Malaysia

The Journal of Medical Microbiology (JMM) is a journal published by the Microbiology Society, focused on providing a comprehensive coverage of medical, dental and veterinary microbiology and infectious diseases, including bacteriology, virology, mycology and parasitology.

This month, Norman Fry, Co-Editor-in-Chief of JMM, has selected an outstanding paper from the January issue to highlight as Editor’s Choice. The paper, titled ‘Molecular characterisation of Corynebacterium diphtheriae isolates in Malaysia between 1981 and 2016’, discusses the changes in the microbial populations that cause diphtheria in Malaysia.

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Microbiology Editor’s Choice: A new player in Salmonella type three secretion

Each month, a manuscript published in our flagship journal Microbiology is chosen by a member of the Editorial Board. This month, the paper is SrcA is a chaperone for the Salmonella SPI-2 type three secretion system effector SteD and was chosen by Victor Cid.

Victor_J_CidIn this article, Godlee et al. convincingly define the role of the Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium protein SrcA as a chaperone for the SPI-2 effector SteD via type 3 secretion (T3SS). This allows Salmonella to interfere with mature Major Histocompatibility Complex class II (mMHCII) expression at the plasma membrane of infected antigen-presenting cells. SrcA had previously been assigned a role as chaperone of other SPI-2 T3SS effectors, but this work refutes that idea, demonstrating that SrcA is involved in SteD stability, secretion and translocation.

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Policy Lunchbox: How to increase your policy impact as a research scientist

Dr. Steve Ormerod, Professor of Biosciences at Cardiff University, Co-Director of the Cardiff Water Research Institute, and Vice President of the Royal Society for the Protection of Birds (RSPB), spoke at this month’s Policy Lunchbox. In his talk on the importance of academic engagement with policy, Steve shared his personal experiences in engaging with the policy process and how other scientists can maximise their policy impact. Here, Eva Scholtus from the Microbiology Society’s Policy Team, summarises Steve’s key take-home messages for academics wanting to engage with policy-makers.

From picking a pub for a night out to deciding on the management principles of ecosystems, most of the decisions we make rest on political interactions. When it comes to nature conservation, such interactions have global ramifications. Although Steve’s research activities are explicitly ecological, solutions to the problems of freshwater ecosystems through policy are an important focus of his work. His research has influenced the policy-making and advocacy activities of a range of government bodies and major NGOs for years.

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Microbe Talk: Junior Awards for Microbiology

The panic that sets in just before taking the stand at a conference is all too common. Wouldn’t it be great if there was some way to get presenting experience in a relaxed, friendly environment?

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Best of the blog 2018

With the end of 2018 fast approaching, we are taking a look back at this year’s blog posts. This year has turned out to be a great one; from fatbergs to antimicrobial resistance, we really have learnt about some amazing microbiology. 

So here we go, a countdown of the top most-viewed posts from the blog this year:

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Best of the Journals 2018

As we approach the end of 2018, this week on Microbe Post we will be looking back at some of our achievements from the year. Today, we are looking at the Microbiology Society’s journals portfolio and some of the amazing microbiology research that was published in 2018.

Fish Farm with floating cages

In Microbial Genomics, researchers used genetic information to understand the spread of diseases. One paper discussed the genomic epidemiology of Renibacterium salmoninarum, a pathogen that causes bacterial kidney disease in farmed salmon. The paper focused on when the disease was introduced into Chile and how it spread after the first outbreak. Another paper was published describing how resistance to multiple drugs has evolved in the pathogen that causes TB. The researchers studied Mycobacterium tuberculosis isolated from an outbreak in Papua New Guinea.

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New microbes found in snow, the north pole, and pine trees

Each month, the Microbiology Society publishes the International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology (IJSEM), which details newly discovered species of bacteria, fungi and protists. Here are some of the new species that have been discovered and the places they’ve been found.

With Christmas just around the corner, we thought we’d bring you a festive New to Science! Whilst here in the UK there may not be many white Christmases, there are plenty of microbes being found in the snow. Researchers in China isolated Conyzicola nivalis from a sample of glacial snow from the Zadang Glacier on the Tibetan Plateau. Whilst not the snow you may immediately think of, researchers discovered Muricauda marina in a sample of marine snow. Marine snow is organic material that constantly falls to the depths of the ocean. The composition of marine snow varies, but is mainly dead animals, phytoplankton, protists, and faecal matter; not the kind of snow you’d want to be making snowmen from!

Arctic winter in south Spitsbergen. Aurora borealis over the glacier.

Aurora borealis over Svalbard

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Microbiology Editor’s Choice: an improved understanding of the Mycobacterium cellular envelope

Each month, a manuscript published in our flagship journal Microbiology is chosen by a member of the Editorial Board. This month, the paper is ‘Deletion of MSMEG_1350 in Mycobacterium smegmatis causes loss of epoxy-mycolic acids, fitness alteration at low temperature and resistance to a set of mycobacteriophages‘ and was chosen by Professor Gail Preston.

Prof G. Preston: “Mycobacterium smegmatis is used as a model organism to understand the biology of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, the causal agent of tuberculosis (TB) and other mycobacterial pathogens. Thiacetozone (TAC) is an anti-tubercular drug that has been shown to interfere with the synthesis of mycolic acids, long chain fatty acids that form an important component of the cell envelope of mycobacteria…

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Keeping up with virus taxonomy: biopesticides, African swine fever and plant diseases

Continuing the ‘Keeping up with virus taxonomy’ blog series, in this post we will be discussing the virus that causes African Swine Fever, a family of viruses that infects insect larvae, and the Geminiviridae — members of which cause some of the most economically-important plant diseases in the world.

ICTV Taxonomy profiles are published in the Journal of General Virology and provide concise overviews of the classification, structure and properties of virus orders, families and genera. In this series, Microbe Post will be investigating the families published as ICTV Taxonomy Profiles, as well as continuing the discussion on the changing field of taxonomy.

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