Showing category "Phage" (Show all posts)

EhV on the move

Posted by Heather Maughan on Monday, June 8, 2015, In : Phage 
Blooms of the alga Emiliania huxleyi can cover thousands of square kilometers in the ocean.....until cells are lysed by the EhV virus. These relatively large double-stranded DNA coccolithoviruses lead to the rapid demise of E. huxleyi blooms. 

It was already known that EhV moves about in oceanic waters through diffusion, advection, and mixing. Now Sharoni et al have recently shown that EhV is distributed through ocean aerosols. Through a series of crafty laboratory experiments, they showed tha...
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Detailed duel between phage(s) and host

Posted by Heather Maughan on Friday, May 15, 2015, In : Phage 
It's not every day we get to see an arms race in action. Every gory detail is laid out by Paez-Espino et al in the March/April issue of mBio*. The authors use deep DNA sequencing to track CRISPR acquisition in the bacterium Streptococcus thermophilus when challenged with Streptococcus phage 2972 (a phage featured in Life in Our Phage World). 

As S. thermophilus evolved in the presence of 2972, its CRISPR loci acquired new spacers employed to recognize future invasions of 2972 phage DNA, thereb...

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Catching phages in the act

Posted by Heather Maughan on Thursday, April 30, 2015, In : Phage 
Phages are everywhere but almost none of them can be easily studied. We can scoop up their DNA (and sometimes RNA), sequence it, and try to put the pieces of their biology together. But often we cannot figure out which bacteria they would infect unless we bring them into the lab, coddle their host into culture, and then experimentally mix the two. Now it is becoming feasible to isolate single bacterial cells to see which phage is lurking within, according to a new publication by Labonte et al...
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Life in Our Phage World published!

Posted by Heather Maughan on Sunday, January 18, 2015, In : Phage 
Have you ever wondered about the tiny viruses that are everywhere, on everything, in every organism? What do they look like? Where do they live? Who are they related to? What information is in their genomes? What do they do all day long? 

These questions are answered in Life in Our Phage World, a book I recently co-authored with Forest Rohwer, Merry Youle, Nao Hisakawa, and a brilliant group of phage researchers. Full of short action stories, and beautifully illustrated by Leah Pantea and Ben ...
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