C&T Round Up for August 2021

Issue 141 | August 27, 2021
5 min read
Capsid and Tail

This week, we’re highlighting the three features we published in August! We’ve got a reflection on African phage scientists’ challenges and progress by Raphael Hans Lwesya, a reflection (plus stats!) on Evergreen 2021 (including how to access >100 talks and posters), and a behind-the-paper on coevolutionary phage training by Joshua Borin!

What’s New

US phage biotech company Intralytix received a Fast Track NIH SBIR contract to develop a universal, scale-independent AI-based platform for manufacturing high titer phage preparations for clinical applications. Intralytix will receive a Phase I award of $299,672, with an option for a Phase II award of $1,498,045.

Biotech newsGrant funding news

Michael Shamash (McGill University, Canada) and colleagues published a perspective in ISME Journal on phages in the infant gut. They propose a theoretical framework governing early childhood gut virome assembly and development, which depends on phage and bacterial densities and diversity. They describe how understanding infant gut virome dynamics can inform identification of therapeutic windows for phage-driven gut microbiome remodeling.

Bioinformatics ToolGut viromeMicrobe-phage interactions

Nicole Rutbeek (University of Manitoba, Canada) and colleagues published a research article in JBC on the molecular mechanism of quorum sensing inhibition in Streptococcus by the phage protein paratox. They demonstrated an example of convergent evolution between Gram-positive and Gram-negative phages to inhibit quorum-sensing, and highlighted the versatility of small phage proteins.

Phage proteinsQuorum sensingResearch paper

Michael Roach (Flinders University) and colleagues published a new paper in F1000 Research entitled Philympics: Prophage Predictions Perplex Programs. They present a library of gold-standard bacterial genome annotations that include manually curated prophage annotations, and a computational framework to compare the predictions from different algorithms.

Bioinformatics ToolProphage

Kristopher Kieft (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) published a paper in Cell Reports on virus-associated organosulfur metabolism in human and environmental systems. They reported the discovery of 39 gene families involved in organosulfur metabolism encoded by 3,749 viruses from diverse ecosystems, including human microbiomes. Results reveal viruses as drivers of organosulfur metabolism with important implications for human and environmental health.

Human microbiomeResearch paperVirus metabolism

Latest Jobs

Sponsored Ad MicrobiomePhage Therapy

Postdoctoral Scholar

University of California San Diego

San Diego, California

The Pride Lab at the University of California, San Diego is seeking a postdoctoral fellow to investigate the role of bacteriophages as members of the human microbiome and to assist in the efforts to identify bacteriophages that kill human pathogens. The work will be carried out in conjunction with the Center for Innovative Phage Applications and Therapeutics (IPATH). Salary is commensurate with the NIH salary payscale.

Please send CV and the names of 3 referees to Dr. David Pride at [email protected].

Phage researchPost Doc
Karen Weynberg (Australian Centre for Ecogenomics) is seeking to appoint a post-doctoral researcher with expertise on phage research to work for 6-month on full-time basis or a 1-year on part-time basis. Interested candidates may contact her at [email protected].

Community Board

Anyone can post a message to the phage community — and it could be anything from collaboration requests, post-doc searches, sequencing help — just ask!

For PHAVES #21, Aël Hardy, PhD student at Forschungszentrum Jülich, Germany, will give a talk entitled ‘Molecular multitasking: inhibition of phage infection by aminoglycoside antibiotics’ on September 7 at 6PM CEST! Register here! (If you’re already signed up for the PHAVES series, no need to register again; we’ll send you the link closer to the date).

PHAVESVirtual Event

Thanks so much to all who joined us for our very first Phage Phun hour this week! We’ll be hosting these monthly, at alternating times (9AM Pacific, then 3PM Pacific, repeating) on the last Wednesday of each month! Next month will be Wed, Sept 29 at 3PM Pacific! Register here! (If you’re already signed up for the PHAVES series or a past Phage Phun, no need to register again; we’ll send you the link closer to the date).

Happy hourMeetupVirtual Event

C&T Round Up for August 2021

Profile Image
PhD Candidate
La Trobe University

I am a third year PhD student from La Trobe University, Melbourne, currently isolating and researching the use of bacteriophages for skin infections in animals. I have a background in Animal & Veterinary Bioscience and hope to continue research of bacteriophages as therapeutics within the veterinary or livestock sector. I am also currently developing and optimising the use of animal-alternative models for safety and efficacy trials of phage therapy. I am always willing to chat about phage research and would like to connect with phage biotech companies as I am interested in jobs within the industry sector.

In this month’s Capsid & Tail Monthly Round Up issue, we’re highlighting the three feature articles we published in August. Be sure to check them out if you missed them, and let us know if you have thoughts, comments or questions! Reach us anytime by email or Slack!

C&T Throwback!

There’s lots of great phage stuff in the C&T archive! Remember this article on Using Galaxy for phage genome annotation?


Many thanks to Atif Khan for finding and summarizing this week’s phage research and jobs posts!

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