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Volume 1 Issue 8, August 2016

Volume 1 Issue 8

We are the champions

Following the success of the inaugural games, the Microbial Olympics return with a new series of events and microbial competitors. The games may have moved to a new hosting venue, but the dedication to training, fitness, competition (and yes, education and humour) lives on.

See Nelson et al. 1, 16122 (2016)

Image: Neil Smith                 Cover Design: Karen Moore

Editorial

  • Editorial |

    The lead up to the Rio Olympics has been littered with concerns over Zika virus and polluted waterways rich in pathogenic viruses and potentially drug-resistant bacteria. Despite these fears, appropriate precautions should ensure the games are celebrated for their sporting triumphs, not condemned for public health failures.

Correspondence

Comment & Opinion

  • Comment |

    Multi-omic techniques are often seen as the future of microbiome studies. We argue that recent strategies for simplifying complex omic-derived data will need to be combined with improved cultivation techniques to pave the way towards a more targeted approach for understanding microbial communities.

    • Cristina Vilanova
    • Manuel Porcar
  • Q&A |

    Few science writers capture the attention of readers quite like Ed Yong, columnist for The Atlantic, author of soon-to-be-published I Contain Multitudes, and all-round nice guy. We asked Ed a few questions; it felt like taking Lewis Hamilton out for a Sunday drive.

    • Andrew Jermy
  • Comment |

    Whole genome sequencing is often used to determine the presence of known antimicrobial resistance genes and identify new resistance mechanisms. However, without phenotypic confirmation of resistance, caution needs to be taken in attributing relevance to any genes hitherto not shown to confer drug resistance.

    • Laura J. V. Piddock

Books & Arts

  • Books & Arts |

    • Silvia Bulgheresi

Features

  • Feature |

    Following the success of the inaugural games, the Microbial Olympics return with a new series of events and microbial competitors. The games may have moved to a new hosting venue, but the dedication to training, fitness, competition (and yes, education and humour) lives on.

    • Michaeline B. Nelson
    • Alexander B. Chase
    • Andrew J. Jermy

News & Views

  • News & Views |

    Scientific analysis of funding support suggests that interdisciplinary research proposals are less successful than those focused on single disciplines. This has negative implications for the development of interdisciplinary research such as microbiology, and may hinder our ability to solve society's grand challenges.

    • Paul C. Blainey
  • News & Views |

    The surprising discovery of viable mutants that retain a peptidoglycan cell wall but lack the essential director of normal cytokinesis, FtsZ, reveals that Escherichia coli can proliferate in a completely unexpected manner.

    • Piet A. J. de Boer
  • News & Views |

    Deep sequencing of hydrothermal vent and upper ocean water samples further implicate the ocean as a microbial ‘seed bank’. Do these data finally reveal that everything is everywhere? To some extent, but questions remain as to whether these ocean-borne microbes are, in fact, viable and colonize distant locales.

    • Peter Girguis
  • News & Views |

    A new study provides clues to the physiological function of amyloid-β (Aβ), the plaque-forming peptide associated with Alzheimer's disease and finds a role for Aβ in fighting infection in the brain, by entangling pathogens in a web of amyloid fibrils. These data add to a growing appreciation of the role of microorganisms in neurodegenerative disease.

    • Roman M. Stilling
    • John F. Cryan

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