C&T Round Up for July 2021

Issue 137 | July 30, 2021
8 min read
Capsid and Tail

This week, we’re highlighting the four features we published in July! We’ve got a sneak-peek into the upcoming Evergreen Phage Meeting, a blog post on Phage Directory’s new phage research feedback exchange initiative, ‘Instill’, an interview with Branko Rihtman and Richard Puxty about strange things roseophages do with their DNA, and a profile of Adaptive Phage Therapeutics by Kyle Jackson, who’s recently come on board to help keep us all updated on phage companies!

What’s New

Yue Liu (Wageningen University & Research, Netherlands) and colleagues published a new preprint investigating a phenomenon where massive numbers of lipid-engulfed tailless phage particles are released from Lactococcus lactis without causing cell lysis.

Non-lytic phage releasePreprintResearch paperTailless phage

Most lysogeny-associated adaptations are through new gene acquisition, but prophages can also insert into functional genes and impart a benefit by disrupting their expression (‘active lysogeny’). Christopher Marshall (Marquette University, Wisconsin) and colleagues published a new Science Advances paper showing that active lysogeny can fuel rapid, parallel adaptations in establishing a chronic infection.

Prophage biologyResearch paper

CRISPR-Cas12j is a recently identified family of miniature RNA-guided endonucleases from phages. Arturo Carabias (University of Copenhagen) and colleagues published a new Nature Communications paper on the structure of CRISPR-Cas12j3. This is the first structural insight into this new nuclease family, and shows why Cas12j unleashes unspecific ssDNA degradation after activation.

CRISPRResearch paperStructural Biology

It’s recently been discovered that during replication, some jumbo phages (genomes > 200 kb) establish complex subcellular organization within their host. Vorrapon Chaikeeratisak (University of California San Diego) and colleagues published a new minireview in Frontiers in Microbiology on what’s currently understood about jumbo phages that form a nucleus-like structure, or ‘phage nucleus’ during replication.

Jumbo phageResearch paperSubcellular organization

Joshua Kirsch (University of Colorado School of Medicine) and colleagues published a new review in Annual Review of Virology on phage-bacteria interactions in the gut, from invertebrates to mammals. They discuss diverse interactions, including genetic coexistence through lysogeny and direct modulation of microbiota and the immune system, and how their consequences may drive health and disease.

Gut phagePhage-host interactionsResearch paper

Latest Jobs

Sponsored Ad Phage Biotech

Multiple positions

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics

Gaithersburg, MD, USA

Adaptive Phage Therapeutics, a clinical-stage, phage-based biotech company in Gaithersburg, Maryland, USA, is hiring for several positions. To apply, email your cover letter and resume to [email protected].

Clinical Data Manager

Design and manage an electronic database, including data verification, data cleaning, and quality assurance.

Project Manager, Project & Alliance Management

Lead and manage teams developing drug and vaccine candidates to ensure integration of project and company goals.

Quality Control Manager

Manage QC operations, direct staff, assist in designing QC systems to ensure patient safety and data integrity.

Quality Assurance Documentation Specialist

Manage QAD operations to ensure compliant and efficient management of controlled cGMP documents.

Quality Assurance (QA) Specialist/Sr. Specialist

Participate in QA operations and act as QA point-person.

Manufacturing Associate I/II

Amplify and purify clinical phages, including propagating, maintaining, and cataloguing bacterial cell and phage lines.

Manufacturing Technician I/II

Operate standard processing equipment (e.g. peristaltic pumps, filtration systems, liquid handlers), and perform microbiological assays.

Manufacturing Fill Finish Technician I/II

Perform Fill/Finish operations, routinely monitor manufacturing processes, recognize potential issues.

Phage engineeringPhage-host interactionsPost Doc
Lawrence Berkeley National Lab (Bay Area, California) is hiring a biologist postdoctoral fellow to develop and apply methods to isolate novel phages, study host-phage interaction determinants, use viral metagenomic and metatranscriptomic datasets to ecologically contextualize new isolates, and attempt to engineer host determining factors in the novel phages.
PhD projectPost Doc
The Anantharaman Lab at University of Wisconsin Madison is hiring for multiple PhD and postdoctoral positions to study phage in marine and human microbiomes for NSF and NIH-supported projects. Please contact Karthik Anantharaman with CV if interested!

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!

The 24th Biennial Evergreen International Phage Meeting is coming up in a few days (Aug 2-5, plus workshop days on Aug 1 and 6)!

The schedule is up on https://evergreen.phage.directory if you’d like to check it out! And it’s not too late to register if you’re still interested in attending! (This is a hybrid meeting, so you can attend either online or in-person!)

This iconic meeting is organized and hosted, as always, by Betty Kutter and her amazing entourage of Evergreen phage enthusiasts, past and present. Phage Directory is proud to help support the online aspect of the meeting. And of course, a huge shoutout to the sponsors of Evergreen this year, who’ve helped make it a reality in this challenging year: PhageBiotics Research Foundation, TAILOR Labs, and JAFRAL!

Looking forward to seeing many of you very soon!

ConferenceVirtual EventHybrid

OnePetri for iOS is now publicly available — accelerating common Petri dish assays with the power of AI! Count hundreds of phage plaques in a matter of seconds and easily perform plaque assay calculations in the palm of your hand. Support for bacterial CFUs & other assays is coming soon.

For more information and to download OnePetri (for free!), visit onepetri.ai! Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions!

— Michael Shamash (McGill University, [email protected])

Phage AppsAI

The Sullivan Lab at OSU has announced that the next OSU Viromics Workshop will be 13-15 October 2021 in Columbus Ohio. Full agenda and application information coming soon!


Want to learn more about phage training? The Phage Phridays Clubhouse team has posted their most recent recording, How to Train a Phage, part 2, which featured Dr. Ville-Petri Friman. Missed part 1? This was a chat with Josh Borin, who shared his new phage training research; catch the recording here!

ClubhousePhage PhridaysPhage trainingVirtual Event

Thanks to all who came out to hear from Dr. Gina Suh and John Haverty for PHAVES #20 last week! Gina and John graciously shared their combined ‘doctor-patient experience’ with phage therapy — such an enlightening session! Recording now available here!

PHAVESPhage TherapyRecordingVirtual Event

BCM TAILOR Labs created a video that explains how clinicians can apply for expanded access or compassionate-use approval of phage therapy in the US through the FDA.

Phage TherapyVideo

C&T Round Up for July 2021

Profile Image
Postdoctoral Researcher
Iredell Lab, The Westmead Institute for Medical Research, Sydney, Australia, Phage Australia

Stephanie is a postdoctoral researcher for the Iredell Group at Westmead Institute for Medical Research, NSW. Her project focuses on phage therapy for compassionate human cases (as part of Phage Australia), with a particular interest in Staphylococcal phages. In 2021, Stephanie completed her thesis titled ‘Exploring phage therapy for Staphylococcus pseudintermedius infections in canines’. Steph is always willing to chat about phage research and would like to connect with phage biotech companies.

In this month’s Capsid & Tail Monthly Round Up issue, we’re highlighting the four feature articles we published in July. 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! For example, check out this article on Tailoring phages for patients: Inside Baylor College of Medicine’s TAILΦR initiative by a group of researchers led by Dr. Anthony Maresso at Baylor College of Medicine.

Thanks a ton to Atif Khan for digging up so many awesome finds for this week’s phage news and jobs sections!

Capsid & Tail

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Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust

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