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Ocean microbes display remarkable genetic diversity in each drop of seawater

The smallest, most abundant marine microbe, Prochlorococcus, is a photosynthetic bacteria species essential to the marine ecosystem. An estimated billion billion billion of the single-cell creatures live in the oceans, forming the base of the marine food chain and occupying a range of ecological... Read More

Bacteria Used to Create Fossil Fuel Alternative

British and Finnish scientists have found a way of generating renewable propane using a bacterium widely found in the human intestine and say the finding is a step to commercial production of a fuel that could one day be an alternative to fossil fuel reserves.

"Although we have only produced ... Read More

Pig-killing PEDv virus moves into Canada

Canada has discovered its first two cases of the Porcine Epidemic Diarrhea virus (PEDv), which has already killed more than 1 million pigs in the United States, government and industry officials said on Thursday.

The Ontario government is investigating a hog farm in the province's Middlesex C... Read More

Cancer-Causing HPV Virus Directly Damages DNA

Human papillomavirus (HPV) can damage chromosomes and genes directly, researchers report in a new study. HPV is a virus that can cause anal, cervical, head and neck cancers, and according to experts, it produces two viral proteins (E6 and E7) that are involved in the development of those diseas... Read More

How the Body’s Cells Hold on Tight

When I was nine, biology gave me my first existential crisis. If I am built out of trillions of tiny cells, I worried, what’s to keep me from crumbling into a pile like a dried-out sandcastle? Almost two decades later, as a Ph.D. student in mathematics at the University of California, Davis, I’m... Read More

A Bacterial Bioluminescent Valentine's Day

In this short post, I celebrate Valentine's Day with words of light---using bioluminescent bacteria! Read More

Metabolomics and microbes - Pseudomonas aeruginosa in cystic fibrosis

Entry for ASM global video challenge - short description of metabolomics work on Pseudomonas aeruginosa Read More

To combat the overuse of antibacterials, stop using the absolutely terrible word, "antibiotic"

There are many reasons why bacteria evolve resistance to antibacterials, but one of the preventable reasons is the over-prescription of antibacterials to patients who don't have bacterial infections. But how to get people to stop asking for antibacterials? My suggestion is to stop using the wor... Read More

New research shows that bacteria survive longer in contact lens cleaning solution than previously thought

Each year in the UK, bacterial infections cause around 6,000 cases of a severe eye condition known as microbial keratitis - an inflammation and ulceration of the cornea that can lead to loss of vision. The use of contact lenses has been identified as a particular risk factor for microbial kerati... Read More

Environment influences ability of bacterium to block malaria transmission

The environment significantly influences whether or not a certain bacterium will block mosquitoes from transmitting malaria, according to researchers at Penn State.

The researchers used a species of malaria parasite that affects rodents, Plasmodium yoelii, and the mosquito, Anopheles stephens... Read More

fluorescent from Chicago River!

A group of students (Adrienne Linzemann, Jose Aveja, Elsa quintero), staff (William Thompson), and faculty (Farahnaz Movahedzadeh) from Harold Washington College participated in Chicago River interdisciplinary project with the leadership of VP Margie Martyn, and isolated Pseudomonas fluorescens ... Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis using transmitted light

Isolated colony of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs at 37 degrees C. Margin is lobate with an irregular-rhizoid form. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

The Science Behind Honey’s Eternal Shelf Life

Modern archeologists, excavating ancient Egyptian tombs, have often found something unexpected amongst the tombs’ artifacts: pots of honey, thousands of years old, and yet still preserved. Through millennia, the archeologists discover, the food remains unspoiled, an unmistakable testament to the... Read More

Japanese superfood prevents flu infection

Scientists have discovered that bacteria found in a traditional Japanese pickle can prevent flu. Could this be the next superfood?

The research, which assesses the immune-boosting powers of Lactobacillus brevis from Suguki – a pickled turnip, popular in Japan – in mice that have been exposed ... Read More

TWiM 74 Letters

Katja writes:


Thank you for the great podcast! You've explained our story very well and it was funny to listen to it. I didn't know that "Speak friend and enter" is from lord of the rings! I just wanted to explain the name CYCLOPS because this was a question mark in t... Read More

How bacteria in your gut affect your mental health

Scientists searching for the underlying causes of mental illness have discovered a surprising contributor — it appears the bacteria that live in your gut may play a major role in your mental health and well-being.

CBC Radio science columnist Torah Kachur spoke to researchers such as Karen Mad... Read More

Bacitracin test on Streptococcus pyogenes

Bacitracin test done on a lawn of Streptococcus pyogenes grown on blood agar. The zone of inhibition around the bacitracin disc, approx 14mm measuring the entire length of the zone, indicates sensitivity. The zone of inhibition is red because the red blood cells did not lyse. Grown for 24 hr... Read More

Salmonella grown on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar

The following picture shows the isolated black colonies of Salmonella on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar. S-S Agar is used as a selective and differential medium for the isolation of Salmonella and some Shigella species. The inclusion of bile salts is to inhibit gram-positive organisms. Ferric ci... Read More

Breakthrough antibacterial approach could resolve serious skin infections

Like a protective tent over a colony of harmful bacteria, biofilms make the treatment of skin infections especially difficult. Microorganisms protected in a biofilm pose a significant health risk due to their antibiotic resistance and recalcitrance to treatment, and biofilm-protected bacteria ac... Read More

MAP OF THE DAY: States With 'Nightmare Bacteria' 2001 Vs. 2013

Each year, 2 million people get an infection that is resistant to antibiotics, the CDC has reported. Twenty-three thousand of them die as a result of the infection, and many more die from related complications.

Carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae (CRE) are just one variety of antibiotic-r... Read More

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