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Bread Bag Nightmares - Does it matter what kind of bread you use?

Molds grow better on some kinds of breads than others depending on the ingredients used and how the bread was made. Some breads are dry and some are moist. The amount of the sugar in different breads varies; some have sugar, honey or molasses added. Some breads are even acidic, such as sourdough... Read More

Bread Bag Nightmares - From this activity can you tell what helps mold to grow best?

Unless you used bread that had been sitting out for many days, you probably didn’t get much or any mold growth on the dry bread. Clearly, water is important for the growth of mold. The mold grew best on bread sprinkled with sugar water because the sugar serves as food for the fungi. The more foo... Read More

Bread Bag Nightmares - Experiment

As you know, we keep food in refrigerators so it will last longer. But still, sometimes you open a bag of bread or a jar of spaghetti sauce and what do you find? Mold!!


Ever wonder exactly what mold is? And how did it get there? And why sometimes it’s green and other times black or wh... Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - What would happen if you covered your jars or bottles with different colored plastic wrap?

If the bottles or jars are covered with colored cellophane, different microbes will grow because different ones need different colors of light to thrive. For example, purple sulfur bacteria need red to near infrared light, while green sulfur bacteria need green to red light. And cyanobacteria ne... Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - What would happen if you left a jar/bottle in intense heat?

A jar or bottle kept in intense heat will not show growth, unless the soil you collected came from a hot spring. That's because most living things can't survive temperatures hotter than 120 degrees Fahrenheit (50 degees Celsius). For comparison, your body temperature is 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit. Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - What would happen if you kept a jar/bottle in a dark closet?

A jar or bottle kept in the dark will not show any growth of bacteria because light energy is critical to the development of photosynthetic creatures. That does not mean there are no living microbes in the jar, however. Not all microbes need light to grow. Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - Why do some colors appear in one part of a jar/bottle and not another?

The patchiness you see is the result of the formation of microenvironments--that is, different communities of bacteria that live in different specific conditions. Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - What causes the red, orange, green, white and black colors?

Red and orange patches are purple photosynthetic bacteria. Green patches at or near the surface of the mud are cyanobacteria /sigh-an-o-back-tear-e-ah/ and algae. Olive-green patches in the middle or lower part of the jar are green sulfer bacteria. The black patches are iron sulfide, a chemical ... Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - Why are there different colors in the jars/bottles?

The different colors in the soil or mud indicate the presence of different kinds of bacteria. Read More

Biosphere in a Bottle - Experiment

Think about the different places various kinds of plants and animal live. As you know, many, like penguins and cacti, can only live in certain places.


Now think about times you’ve dug a hole in the ground. Did you notice differences in the color of the soil layers? Did you wonder what... Read More

Creepy Critters - Do you happen to know the biological classification scheme used by scientists who study living things?

For many years, scientists who study living things have agreed to an overall classification system of living creatures called the five kingdom system. The five kingdoms are: Monera (cells without nuclei; bacteria and bacteria-like organisms), Protista (includes protozoa and simple algae), Fungi,... Read More

Creepy Critters - Is your way the only way possible to organize the critter cards?

There are many possible groups you could create to organize the critter cards, just as there are many ways you could classify cars to go back to the example mentioned at the start of this activity. The cars could be organized as: cars made in the U.S., then cars made by Ford, all sports cars, al... Read More

Creepy Critters - Why do we classify things?

We classify things into groups and categories to help us stay organized, keep track of things and be able to compare different things. For example, similar foods are grouped together on supermarket shelves to make it easier for customers to find them. Different brands of peanut butter sit on the... Read More

Creepy Critters - Experiment

galaxyWhat if a new planet was discovered... Read More

Lesson Plans/Experiments for Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth

Incorporate MicrobeWorld’s video podcast series Intimate Strangers: Unseen Life on Earth into high school or two-year college curriculum.


Links to le... Read More

Classroom Experiments

Here's your chance to be an amateur microbiologist.


You don't have to have a scientific degree and wear a white lab coat to do these activities. All you have to do is be willing to muck around with dirt, paint, pondwater and other sometimes gooky stuff.


Most of the activities ... Read More

Nanotechnology drafts plant viruses for drug delivery

Researchers at North Carolina State University have successfully modified a common plant virus to deliver drugs only to specific cells inside the human body, without affecting surrounding tissue. These tiny “smart bombs” - each one thousands of times smaller than the width of a human hair - coul... Read More

TWIV 21: Viruses of Bacteria

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twivlogoIn episode 21 of This Week in Virolo... Read More

1995 Craig Venter, Hamilton Smith, Claire Fraser

995tigr Read More

1986 Kary Mullis

Kary MullisKary Mullis uses a heat stable e... Read More

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