Microbiology

Definition

Microbiology is the study of microscopic organisms, such as bacteria, viruses, archaea, fungi and protozoa. This discipline includes fundamental research on the biochemistry, physiology, cell biology, ecology, evolution and clinical aspects of microorganisms, including the host response to these agents.

Featured

Latest Research and Reviews

  • Reviews |

    This Review Article examines how microorganisms that have key roles in the ocean carbon and nitrogen cycles may respond to anthropogenic changes in the Earth's marine ecosystems.

    • David A. Hutchins
    •  & Feixue Fu
  • Research |

    Virus genomes reveal the establishment of Zika virus in Brazil and the Americas, and provide an appropriate timeframe for baseline (pre-Zika) microcephaly in different regions.

    • N. R. Faria
    • , J. Quick
    • , I.M. Claro
    • , J. Thézé
    • , J. G. de Jesus
    • , M. Giovanetti
    • , M. U. G. Kraemer
    • , S. C. Hill
    • , A. Black
    • , A. C. da Costa
    • , L. C. Franco
    • , S. P. Silva
    • , C.-H. Wu
    • , J. Raghwani
    • , S. Cauchemez
    • , L. du Plessis
    • , M. P. Verotti
    • , W. K. de Oliveira
    • , E. H. Carmo
    • , G. E. Coelho
    • , A. C. F. S. Santelli
    • , L. C. Vinhal
    • , C. M. Henriques
    • , J. T. Simpson
    • , M. Loose
    • , K. G. Andersen
    • , N. D. Grubaugh
    • , S. Somasekar
    • , C. Y. Chiu
    • , J. E. Muñoz-Medina
    • , C. R. Gonzalez-Bonilla
    • , C. F. Arias
    • , L. L. Lewis-Ximenez
    • , S. A. Baylis
    • , A. O. Chieppe
    • , S. F. Aguiar
    • , C. A. Fernandes
    • , P. S. Lemos
    • , B. L. S. Nascimento
    • , H. A. O. Monteiro
    • , I. C. Siqueira
    • , M. G. de Queiroz
    • , T. R. de Souza
    • , J. F. Bezerra
    • , M. R. Lemos
    • , G. F. Pereira
    • , D. Loudal
    • , L. C. Moura
    • , R. Dhalia
    • , R. F. França
    • , T. Magalhães
    • , E. T. Marques Jr
    • , T. Jaenisch
    • , G. L. Wallau
    • , M. C. de Lima
    • , V. Nascimento
    • , E. M. de Cerqueira
    • , M. M. de Lima
    • , D. L. Mascarenhas
    • , J. P. Moura Neto
    • , A. S. Levin
    • , T. R. Tozetto-Mendoza
    • , S. N. Fonseca
    • , M. C. Mendes-Correa
    • , F. P. Milagres
    • , A. Segurado
    • , E. C. Holmes
    • , A. Rambaut
    • , T. Bedford
    • , M. R. T. Nunes
    • , E. C. Sabino
    • , L. C. J. Alcantara
    • , N. J. Loman
    •  & O. G. Pybus
  • Research |

    Genome sequencing of Zika virus samples from infected patients and Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Florida shows that the virus was probably introduced into the United States on multiple occasions, and that the Caribbean is the most likely source.

    • Nathan D. Grubaugh
    • , Jason T. Ladner
    • , Moritz U. G. Kraemer
    • , Gytis Dudas
    • , Amanda L. Tan
    • , Karthik Gangavarapu
    • , Michael R. Wiley
    • , Stephen White
    • , Julien Thézé
    • , Diogo M. Magnani
    • , Karla Prieto
    • , Daniel Reyes
    • , Andrea M. Bingham
    • , Lauren M. Paul
    • , Refugio Robles-Sikisaka
    • , Glenn Oliveira
    • , Darryl Pronty
    • , Carolyn M. Barcellona
    • , Hayden C. Metsky
    • , Mary Lynn Baniecki
    • , Kayla G. Barnes
    • , Bridget Chak
    • , Catherine A. Freije
    • , Adrianne Gladden-Young
    • , Andreas Gnirke
    • , Cynthia Luo
    • , Bronwyn MacInnis
    • , Christian B. Matranga
    • , Daniel J. Park
    • , James Qu
    • , Stephen F. Schaffner
    • , Christopher Tomkins-Tinch
    • , Kendra L. West
    • , Sarah M. Winnicki
    • , Shirlee Wohl
    • , Nathan L. Yozwiak
    • , Joshua Quick
    • , Joseph R. Fauver
    • , Kamran Khan
    • , Shannon E. Brent
    • , Robert C. Reiner Jr
    • , Paola N. Lichtenberger
    • , Michael J. Ricciardi
    • , Varian K. Bailey
    • , David I. Watkins
    • , Marshall R. Cone
    • , Edgar W. Kopp IV
    • , Kelly N. Hogan
    • , Andrew C. Cannons
    • , Reynald Jean
    • , Andrew J. Monaghan
    • , Robert F. Garry
    • , Nicholas J. Loman
    • , Nuno R. Faria
    • , Mario C. Porcelli
    • , Chalmers Vasquez
    • , Elyse R. Nagle
    • , Derek A. T. Cummings
    • , Danielle Stanek
    • , Andrew Rambaut
    • , Mariano Sanchez-Lockhart
    • , Pardis C. Sabeti
    • , Leah D. Gillis
    • , Scott F. Michael
    • , Trevor Bedford
    • , Oliver G. Pybus
    • , Sharon Isern
    • , Gustavo Palacios
    •  & Kristian G. Andersen
  • Research |

    A tree biodiversity and ecosystem function experiment shows that leaf bacterial diversity is positively related to plant community productivity, and explains a portion of the variation in productivity that would otherwise be attributed to plant diversity and functional traits.

    • Isabelle Laforest-Lapointe
    • , Alain Paquette
    • , Christian Messier
    •  & Steven W. Kembel

News and Comment

  • News and Views |

    Structural and functional studies of the archaeum Methanocaldococcus jannaschii Argonaute (MjAgo) reveal a DNA-guided DNA nuclease that is also active without a guide. This unguided activity is suggested to prime MjAgo for its subsequent sequence-specific DNA-silencing role in host defence.

    • Lennart Randau
  • News and Views |

    Flaviviruses stimulate cross-reactive immune responses that may reduce or exacerbate manifestations of subsequent flavivirus infection. Recent work demonstrates that cross-reactive T cells protect against Zika in HLA transgenic mice, a key step in the development of safe and effective vaccines.

    • Matthew Collins
    •  & Aravinda de Silva
  • Comments and Opinion |

    We asked microbiologist and NASA astronaut Kate Rubins about her time on the International Space Station, the challenges of working with bugs in space, and what's next for science that is out of this world.

    • Emily White
  • News and Views |

    The antimalarial mefloquine has been used in the clinic for decades, yet its mode of action has remained elusive. Now, a study reports that the enantiomer (+)-mefloquine binds to the cytosolic ribosome of the major malaria parasite Plasmodium falciparum.

    • Jeremy Burrows
  • News and Views |

    Structural analysis of the mycobacterial ESX-5 secretion complex presents an important step towards understanding how the ESX type VII (T7) secretion systems can translocate a multitude of substrates — including virulence factors involved in pathogenesis — across the bacterial cell envelope.

    • Tracy Palmer
  • Editorial |

    From roles in the health, nutrition and performance of humans during spaceflight, through to the question of life on other worlds, microbiology has fundamental contributions to make to our exploration of the cosmos.