It might sound strange to say that humans have forgotten what human-food is, but many scientists believe this is the case. For thousands of years, the environment in which humans lived evolved at a glacial pace—our nutrition and culture changed slowly, and our bodies adapted to it at a matching ... Read More
This is a joint project with water color artist Sarah Roberts to study the interaction of bacteria with traditional water colors. Many different types of bacteria have been assessed but only two so far, can be said to paint. When the white pigmented bacterium Proteus mirabilis, and the red Serra... Read More
While it is true that Taenia saginata tends to be benign as helminthic infestations go in humans, the same cannot be said for Taenia solium.
In both cases, ingestion of (encysted) larvae leads to enteric infestation wi... Read More
For a fifth-grade science fair, Evie Sobczak found that the acid in fruit could power clocks; she connected a cut-up orange to a clock with wire and watched it tick. In seventh grade, she generated power by engineering paddles that could harness wind. And in eighth grade, she started a project t... Read More
Of all the public transit etiquette violations out there, the sneeze-and-touch at the height of cold and flu season is among the worst. Everyone who rides in a city has seen it: that sickly looking person across the train or bus who sneezes into a free hand then grabs the pole we all share. Rese... Read More
The production of Metallo-β-lactamase is one of the resistance mechanisms of Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Metallo-β- lactamases are members of Group B in the molecular classification of Ambler and are Clavulanic acid resistant enzymes which require divalent cations of zinc as co-factors for enzymat... Read More
Many bacteria have a trick for surviving a water shortage: They dry up like raisins and turn into spores, protecting their essential genetic code. But moisten a spore and it swells right up again.
Those capabilities give bacterial spores some interesting potential as an energy source, as scie... Read More
When you purchase chicken eggs at the market, they usually have white or brown shells. But some breeds of chicken produce blue or green eggs. The blue color is caused by insertion of a retrovirus into the chicken genome, which activates a gene involved in the production of blue eggs. Read More
During the April 2013 avian influenza A (H7N9) outbreak, more than 130 human infections with H7N9 were reported. Most patients had severe respiratory illness and 44 people have died. Studies suggest that the H7N9 virus has developed resistance to oseltamivir. A human interferon already in use fo... Read More
Another potentially significant answer in the long-running mystery behind colony collapse disorder (CCD) may have just emerged: Researchers have found a virus that typically infects plants has been systemically infecting honeybees in the United States and China.
Click on 'source' to read more... Read More
In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More
The disruption of the human microbiome through use of antimicrobials is a topic of growing interest among healthcare epidemiologists, not only because it is a major risk factor for C. difficile infection (CDI), but also because it could be a driving force behind the introduction and proliferatio... Read More
Andrew Anthony sent his stool off to have its bacteria sequenced. In the future, such techniques could help assess our susceptibility to conditions from diabetes, Parkinson's and Alzheimer's to autism, depression and cancer.
Click on 'source' to read more. Read More
I listened to the latest TWIP this morning. Dickson mentioned the herbicide atrazine but thought it was a fungicide. It is actually a herbicide in the photosynthesis inhibitor class. Another bit of trivia about ag chemicals is that old chemicals like ... Read More
Scanning electron micrograph of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacteria (yellow, round items) killing and escaping from a human white cell. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID) Read More
ANYONE who walks in the woods will be familiar with witches’ brooms (pictured). Many trees sport these bushy tumours, which have a variety of causes. An important one is a group of bacteria called phytoplasma that are, in turn, carried from plant to plant by sap-sucking insects such as leafhoppe... Read More
For my medical microbiology course at Kutztown University of Pennsylvania we were asked to take a sample from our nose. Using a sterile cotton swab, a sample was taken from a nostril and then spread onto the Mannitol Salt Agar plate supplied. The plate was incubated at 37 degrees Celsius, then e... Read More
Hunting the Nightmare Bacteria
Tuesday, October 22, 2013, at 10 p.m. on PBS
Addie Rerecich was a happy 11-year-old girl who loved sports and talked a mile a minute. But when a mysterious pain in her hip landed her in the hospital in 2011, she began a downward spiral into ... Read More