Best of Microbial Sciences Blog 2018

Dec. 22, 2018

The wide array of microbiology subfields was evident in the wide variety of topics covered in Microbial Sciences during 2018. From public health to evolution to synthetic biology, our blogger team has covered the big-small stories, once again demonstrating that microbiology touches everything! Did you catch all of the below stories?
Let us know what you thought were the biggest microbiology stories of the year, or what you want to see more of next year, on Microbial Sciences.
The Bulls-Eye Rash of Lyme Disease: Investigating the Cutaneous Host-Pathogen Dynamics of Erythema Migrans
Why is the bullseye rash specific to a Lyme disease diagnosis? Ashley Hagen Griffin explains how the interaction between Borrelia burgdorferi and the human immune system results in this characteristic symptom.
Of Moms and Microbes: Baby’s First Microbiome
Microbes help babies’ digestion and immunity. In this post, Rita Algorri discusses how the newborn gut microbiome can be affected by different birth types or antibiotic treatment.
Yeast through the Years: from Hidden Fermenters to Synthetic Biology
Earlier in 2018, several groups reported Saccharomyces cerevisiae strains with manipulated chromosome numbers. Jennifer Tsang discusses the importance chromosomal numbers, and the history of yeast in science.
If You Give a Baby a Bath, and More Microbial Myths
Ada Hagan explores microbiology myths such as whether delaying a baby’s first bath establishes skin microflora or whether you can sanitize your sponge in the microwave.
Plants and the Bacteria at the Root of it All
How do soil bacteria promote plant growth and how can farmers use this to utilize their crop yield? Erica Bizzell writes about the close relationship between plants and soil bacteria.
A Brief History of Cancer Biology
Cancer etiology is multifactorial, but microbes have a role to play. Jennifer Brubaker covers the way that infectious diseases can directly and indirectly influence the development of different cancers.
May I Borrow a Cup of Catalase? Prochlorococcus and its Helpful Neighbors
Microbes depend on one another for nutrients and protection. Janet Goins features the relationship between the marine microbe Prochlorococcus and its bacterial neighbors that provide essential protective enzymes.
Examining Flint: New Research Highlights Lack of Legionella Public Policy
The Legionella outbreak in Flint, Michigan, is a story about infrastructure, politics, and infectious disease. Ada Hagan summarizes the research that tied a change in water sourcing to the disease outbreak.
Digesting the Indigestible: How Microbes are Chewing through our Big Plastic Problem
The discovery of a plastic-metabolizing marine microbe offers hope that we might eliminate this long-lasting material. Monica Buzcek summarizes how Ideonella sakiensis breaks down the common plastic PET.

Thanks to our wonderful Microbial Sciences blog team! We’ll be back in 2019 with more microbial sciences stories. Happy holidays and happy new year!

Author: ASM Communications

ASM Communications
ASM Communications staff.