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Soil microbes flourish with reduced tillage

For the past several decades, farmers have been abandoning their plows in favor of a practice known as no-till agriculture. Today, about one-third of U.S. farmers are no longer tilling their fields, and still more are practicing conservation tillage—using equipment that only disturbs the soil to... Read More

Catalse Test on S. aureus

Organisms that have the catalase enzyme can detoxify the cell of hydrogen peroxide by converting it to oxygen gas. Bubbles indicate oxygen gas production after the addition of hydrogen peroxide directly to colonies growing on the TSA plate.
Read More

Potentially life-threatening fungus found in water distribution systems of five French hospitals

A specific strain of the fungus, Fusarium oxysporum, circulates in the water distribution systems of five French hospitals, in two widely separated cities. This microbe is potentially a life-threatening risk to immunocompromised patients. The research is published September 23, 2016 in Applied a... Read More

The Five-second Rule Debunked

In a very interesting development, a latest study has debunked the belief that it was safe to eat food fallen on the floor if picked up within “five seconds”.
Professor Donald W Schaffner, a food microbiologist at Rutgers University in New Jersey, said a two-year study he led concluded that no ... Read More

MWV 107 - The Necrobiome: Microbial Life After Death

What happens to us after we die?  A decomposing corpse becomes its own mini-ecosystem, hosting insects, scavengers and multitudes of microbes.  Microbes from the environment, the corpse, as well as the insects and scavengers are blended together and work to recycle tissues back to t... Read More

Bacteria: Third RNA binding protein identified

Small regulatory RNA molecules are vital for salmonella and other bacteria potentially harmful to humans: This RNA type controls gene activity and allows bacteria to quickly adjust to changing conditions of living and stress as are typical during an infection, for example, when entering the bloo... Read More

A New Zika Zone in Miami, but No Reason to Panic, Scientists Say

Florida announced a new Zika transmission zone on Thursday, saying that the virus had popped up in a mile-square patch of northern Miami and that five people had been infected.

The area, around the Little Haiti neighborhood, goes from NW 79th Street in the north to NW 63rd Street in the south... Read More

Post-Ebola Recovery in Sierra Leone

Advancing Partners & Communities is excited to launch part one of a two-part compelling, original video series showcasing the work in Sierra Leone to improve primary health care services at health posts and community levels. This first video focuses on the efforts needed to rebuild these service... Read More

Quorum Sensing for the Mutes

It is (almost boringly) obvious that cell-to-cell com­mu­ni­ca­tion is vital in multicellular organisms. To function pro­per­ly, all cells in a tissue have to know – and let their neigh­bors know – where exactly they are, which tasks they're performing right now, when it's time to dif­fer­en­ti­... Read More


Casein Plates contain the major milk protein found in milk. Pseudomonas aeruginosa grown on Casien agar for 72 hours at 37 degree's C to look for the presence of the exoenzyme proteases/caseases . Pseudomonas aeruginosa, casein hydrolysis, as noted by a zone of clearing around the organism, as... Read More

Cancer Killing Viruses

Guest host Lynda Coughlan reviews how oncolytic viruses, which specifically kill tumor cells, are designed and how they work. Read More

A Sweater and a Shirt Came Before Just a Shirt

It is not unexpected that the contemplation of bacteria and archaea should focus so much on the nature and im­portance of their cell envelopes. Here, after all, is the in­ter­face between the cell's interior and the outside world. It is also what a host perceives early on when becoming infected.... Read More

TWiM 136 Letters

Steve writes:

Hi Microbophiles,

Here's an interesting little historic snippet from The Lancet.
Venerable bacteria: In another interesting history of science piece, The Lancet gets bully over Koch's bovine TB samples--but not over the tragedy o... Read More

Carbon-Based (micro) Life

The bonded carbons are shown using E. coli, E. faecalis, and C. violaceum. Using BBL's CHROMagar, we were able to show the pi bonds in pink (E. coli) and blue (E. faecalis). Read More

Phenotyping Microbial Cells: How and Why by Barry Bochner, Biolog, Inc.

Barry Bochner with Biolog, Inc., presents an ASM Virtual Lecture on phenomics, a relatively new technology that can be applied with diverse microbial cells to expand our understanding of the effect of genetic or environmental changes on cells.

ASM’s virtual lectures are conducted by fellows ... Read More

2016 MacArthur awards name two geomicrobiologists

The 2016 MacArthur awards have just been announced. Among the handful of scientists are two microbiologists, Dianne Newman and Victoria Orphan, both at Cal Tech and both geomicrobiologists. We rejoice. Both are extraordinary scientists with an unusually broad range of interests.

Click "source... Read More

Happy Halloween MAC Style

E. Coli grown on MacConkey Agar at 37 degrees for 24 hours in the shape of a jack-o-lantern face.
-Important Ingredients: crystal violet, bile salts, neutral red (color indicator), lactose
-Differential: used to identify and isolate lactose fermenting G- enteric bacteria mainly Enterobacteriac... Read More

Serratia marcesens on Casein

Casein Plates contain the major milk protein found in milk. Serratia marcesens was grown on Casien agar for 72 hours at 37 degree's C to look for the presence of the exoenzyme proteases/caseases . Serratia marcesens exhibits casein hydrolysis as well as red colony pigment prodigiosin. Read More

Happy Halloween!

Staphylococcus aureus grown on Mannitol salt agar (MSA) for 24 hrs at 27 degree's C in the shape of a jack-o-latern smile.
MSA is a selective and differential agar used to differentiate between pathogenic S. aureus and S. epidermidis
•Important Ingredients: Phenol red, mannitol (sugar), 7.5% N... Read More

Interview with Phillip Sharp, PhD - Principles of Virology, 4th Edition

Vincent Racaniello of the This Week in Virology podcast interviews Phillip Sharp, PhD, about his career and professional experience in the field of virology. Sharp's research interests have centered on the molecular biology of gene expression relevant to cancer and the mechanisms of RNA splicing... Read More
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