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
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
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
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.
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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
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.
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Deep in the heart of the Ecuadorian Amazon lies one of the worst environmental disasters in human history. Over the past several decades, oil companies have discharged more than 18 billion gallons of petroleum contaminated wastewater into the Sucumbíos region in northeastern Ecuador. The contami... Read More
Spring cleaning is always a good way to get rid of those hard-to-reach cobwebs that appear around the house. However, when they appear in cooling tanks for spent nuclear fuel and have never been seen there before, special attention is warranted.
Sometime in Fiscal Year 2011, “cobwebs” of bact... 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
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
The American Academy of Microbiology has released its newest report on the human microbiome. Based on the deliberations of some of the leading experts, the report answers common questions people have about this new field of science. While there is still much to be learned, this report presents t... Read More
Florida health officials are encouraging the state’s residents not to be alarmed following another death from the flesh-eating bacteria Vibrio vulnificus. The rare bacteria that thrives in saltwater has killed 10 people in Florida this year, while 31 people in all have been infected with the ... 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
Exploring signalling systems is often a multidisciplinary process, requiring genetic research, mathematical modelling and evolutionary biology. A recent paper looking at the bacterial phage shock response uses all of these approaches to build up a picture of the complete signalling system.
Th... Read More
That word "microbiome" — describing the collection of bacteria that live in and on our bodies — keeps popping up. This time, researchers say that children whose parents clean their pacifiers by sucking them might be less likely to develop allergic conditions because of how their parents' saliva ... 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
From ocean floors to office desks, bacteria coat nearly every inch of the Earth. Scientists have recently discovered bacteria are present high above the Earth, as well. Ten kilometers up, to be exact, in a region of our atmosphere known as the upper troposphere. In a place where freezing tempera... Read More
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration today allowed marketing in the U.S. of the first mass spectrometer system for automated identification of bacteria and yeasts that are known to cause serious illness in humans. The VITEK MS can identify 193 different microorganisms and can perform up to 192 ... Read More
This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!
(10 MB, 11 minutes)
A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More