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The Center for Microbial Dynamics and Infection will host a special recording of the podcast "This Week in Microbiology" (TWiM) on October 16, 2019. Sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology, TWiM is one of the most popular science podcasts in the country. The podcast will focus on one or two recent papers from CMDI members, who will join the hosts in discussing the work in front of an audience.
The podcast will focus on two recent papers by CMDI labs.
The first (Lewin et al. 2019, PNAS) presents the intriguing finding that an oral pathogen does better (higher fitness) in the wound environment when it infects alongside microbes from different (non-oral) environments, compared to microbes native to the oral environment. This effect appears to be related to an expanded metabolic repertoire provided by the non-natives, and is also tied to a core set of genes essential for success during co-infection.
The second (Beatty et al. 2019, Science Advances) focuses on a different system: the complex microbial community on corals. The study shows that the ability of coral water (sterilized washes of coral fragments) to suppress a known pathogen declines in corals on reefs subjected to overfishing compared to reefs in marine protected areas. This effect coincides with subtle differences in the coral microbiome.
Both studies highlight the importance of microbial interactions, a core theme of CMDI. Both are lead-authored by two young scientists: recently graduated CMDI graduate student Deanna Beatty and postdoctoral researcher Gina Lewin.