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Gram stained slide from oil enrichment culture, samples enriched from soil. I would love to know what the HUGE bacilli are - can anyone help? Read More


Another major goal of synthetic biology is to engineer unnatural molecules and compounds into systems and tools that mimic those found in biology. For instance, Joanna Aizenberg and her laboratory have pioneered using self-assembling synthetic nanofibers to generate capture-and-release devices t... Read More

Clathrin coated vesicles

TEM picture of HEK 293 cells with clatherin coated vesicles

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Keeping Viral Load Low

Over the past 30 years, the combined efforts of scientists and clinicians have delivered remarkable successes in HIV therapeutics. Since 1987, the FDA has approved more than 30 antiviral drugs, including 12 HIV protease inhibitors and one integrase inhibitor. These drugs stop ~99% of viral repli... Read More

Predictably beautiful

As the bacteria grow within a biofilm, they organize themselves into reproducible patterns and shapes that can be predicted with mathematical models.
Image: Confocal microscopy of a bacterial biofilm composed of Escherichia coli expressing the fluorescent proteins mCherry and sfGFP. The image w... Read More

Taking out the defender

The in vivo interaction between a Pseudomonas aeruginosa biofilm, on a silicone implant, and the responding polymorphonuclear leukocytes.
Image: SEM imaging depicts the interaction at day 1 post insertion of the implant in the peritoneal cavity of a mouse. The leukocytes (yellow) are damaged wi... Read More

Feeling Blue, Trypanosoma brucei

Trypanosoma brucei, a protozoan parasite, is the causative agent of African sleeping sickness in humans (T. b. gambiense and T. b. rhodesiense) and nagana in cattle (T. b. brucei). These diseases result in much economic hardship and morbidity in Sub-Saharan Africa. The life cycle of these organi... Read More

Tricky Trichy

Trichomonas vaginalis is a protozoan parasite of the urogenital tract in men and women and causes a sexually transmitted disease, trichomoniasis, in about half of infected women. Infections are associated with pelvic inflammatory disease, adverse pregnancy outcomes, infertility, an increased inc... Read More

Dangerous Rendezvous

A macrophage (pale brown) interacts with Borrelia cells (blue), the spirochete bacteria that cause Lyme disease. Although the outer membrane of Borrelia contains a strong antigen, the OspC protein, the bacterium successfully evades the human immune system by hiding out in places less accessible ... Read More

Clues to Making Vaccine for Infant Respiratory Illness

Scientists from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, have identified the structure of a critical RSV component called the fusion glycoprotein.

Respiratory syncytial virus, or RSV, is a respiratory virus that infects th... Read More

Hilary Koprowski, Columbia University Medical Center, 2005

Hilary Koprowski flanked by Vincent Racaniello and Richard Kessin on the occasion of Dr. Koprowski's 'History of Science' lecture at Columbia University College of Physicians & Surgeons, April 2005. Read More

Harmful Algal Blooms - Microcystis ehrenbergii

You may notice a green, red or brown film on your favorite boating or swimming area in the summer. This coloring could mean that the water is affected by harmful algal blooms. Harmful algal blooms are an accumulation of tiny organisms known as algae and can release harmful toxins into the enviro... Read More

The life cycle of the malaria parasite (animation)

View an interactive animation of the life cycle of the malaria parasite, of the genus Plasmodium. The lifecycle of the malaria parasite is split between female mosquitoes and humans. In the mosquito gut, the parasites complete sexual reproduction and then multiply rapidly to produce many more p... Read More

Giardia protozoan

This digitally-colorized scanning electron micrograph (SEM) depicted the dorsal (upper) surface of a Giardia protozoan that had been isolated from a rat’s intestine. Some of the identifying morphologic characteristics include pairs of thread-like flagella that facilitate motility, and a ventolat... Read More

Bacteria biofilm

This confocal micrograph, taken as part of a synthetic biology project, shows Bacillus subtilis, a Gram-positive, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil. Distinct lineages of bacteria expressing different fluorescent proteins were initially mixed randomly on a petri dish. As the bac... Read More

Strange Biology Inspires the Best New Materials

From the shiny, strong nacre that gives abalone shells an unbreakable, opaline sheen, to the goopy mix of proteins fired by a velvet worm that solidify and trap prey upon impact, nature is packed with inspiration for scientists designing new materials.

Waterproof adhesives and self-cleaning s... Read More

Pictures Considered. The E. coli Chromosome Caught in the Act of Replicating

We continue our series of images that have made a difference in microbiology. This one, published by John Cairns in 1963 has earned a most deserved place in textbooks and reviews. It shows a radioautograph of an intact E. coli chromosome in the act of replicating. From this image, Cairns conclud... Read More

Bacterial colonies lend whole new meaning to "smartphone culture"

A relatively straightforward classroom experiment produces fascinating images by students at the University of Surrey when they imprinted their smartphone onto a bacterial growth medium. Read More

Tapeworm Echinococcus granulosus Hydatid Cyst

Echinococcus granulosus is a tapeworm parasite that in its larval form can cause hydatid disease, which is characterized by cysts forming within the victim's body. In order to complete its lifecycle, the tapeworm must infect two hosts, a carnivore and a herbivore.

The adult form of Echinococc... Read More

HIV particles infecting a human T cell

Scanning electron micrograph of HIV particles infecting a human T cell. Credit: NIAID, NIH Read More
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