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Inheritable bacterium controls Aedes mosquitoes' ability to transmit Zika

Aedes mosquitoes carrying the bacterium Wolbachia--found inside the cells of 60 percent of all insect species--are drastically less able to transmit Zika virus, say researchers at Brazil's Oswaldo Cruz Foundation (FIOCRUZ) in a study published May 4 in Cell Host & Microbe. Read More

New anti-inflammatory agents can control inflammatory responses to fungal infection

The most frequent fungal threat to humans, Candida albicans, is a common cause oral and genital infection. The fungal infections are often worsened by overwhelming inflammatory responses in the body and cause high mortality among risk groups. Umeå University doctoral student Ava Hosseinzadeh has... Read More

A 'tropical' parasitic disease emerges in the Canadian Arctic

Montreal, April 28, 2016 - An outbreak of an intestinal parasite common in the tropics, known as Cryptosporidium, has been identified for the first time in the Arctic. The discovery was made in Nunavik, Quebec, by a team from the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC... Read More

Happy Valentine's Day

Scientists need a sweetheart too! Use Kocuria rhizophila, Serratia marcescens, and Pseudomonas aeruginosa on TSA to show your Valentine how much you care. Read More

Pot of Gold found on an Agar Plate

My lucky day when I found a pot of gold while counting colonies. Found this gem while conducting biofilm research on environmental biofilms. The biofilm was taken from a rock in the nearby river. Read More

Experimental immunotherapy zaps 2 most lethal Ebola virus strains

January 13, 2016--(BRONX, NY)--Researchers at Albert Einstein College of Medicine and the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) have engineered the first antibodies that can potently neutralize the two deadliest strains of the virus that causes Ebola hemorrhagic ... Read More

Parasites help brine shrimp cope with arsenic habitat contamination

Artemia (the scientific name of the small crustacean that is also commonly known as 'sea monkey') is famous for being able to live in extreme environments and has become a model organism used to test the toxicity of chemicals in water. In addition, Artemia can produce dormant eggs, known as cyst... Read More

Structure and genome of Zika virus

Group: Group IV ((+) ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Zika virus

Structure of Zika Virus
•The virion is approximately 40 nm in diameter with surface projections that measure roughly 5-10 nm.
•Nucleocapsid is 25-30 nm in diameter surrounded by a host-membrane derive... Read More

An alternative TALEN/CRISPR-mediated gene insertion technique described in detail

A streamlined protocol for an alternative gene insertion method using genome editing technologies, the PITCh (Precise Integration into Target Chromosome) system, has been reported in Nature Protocols by Specially Appointed Lecturer Tetsushi Sakuma, Professor Takashi Yamamoto, Specially Appointed... Read More

Happy μ Year

Best wishes for 2016 from Serratia marcescens and Montgomery College-Germantown! Read More

Unknown Organism on Washed Hand Print

Unknown organism, possible Bacillus spp, seen on a hand print after hand washing. TSA plate was grown at 37 C for 24 hours then left at refrigerated temps for 4 weeks. Organism was a light brown and mat. The center of the growth was smooth with rhizoid like growth on the edges which were mucoid... Read More


A recent outbreak of Zika virus in Brazil is causing alarm throughout the Americas, with health officials warning that the disease is “spreading explosively.” The World Health Organization (WHO) held an emergency meeting to address the problem, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention ... Read More

Unknown contaminant on Blood agar

Unknown contaminant, possible Bacillus spp, seen on an old blood agar plate that had been inoculated with Strep bovis. The plate had been incubated at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs then held at room temp for a week. One colony was mucoid with a brain like appearance the other being mucoid and smoo... Read More

Unknown Organism/hand print finger tip

Unknown organisms seen on finger tip on MH. One organism is round, smooth and mucoid almost transparent the other is mat, with several rings of lumpy growth. The mucoid colony is starting to overgrow the other colony. Both are possible Bacillus spp. Read More

Microbiology, Creativity, and Extra Credit!

I have long believed that there are many ways for students to learn. In several of my classes, I encourage students to use "creative" approaches to explore course concepts. In the Fall of 2015, here is what my micronauts in my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound came up with..... Read More

The six kingdoms of living things in 90 seconds

When I have to explain the organism classification to my students I usually use the one stablished by Woese in the 70s. In this classification, all living things are classified in six kingdoms, that are Eubacteria, Archeobacteria, Protista, Plantae, Fungi and Animalia. All of these groups evolve... Read More

Ontario rotavirus hospitalizations drop >70 percent after launch of infant vaccine program

Hospitalization for rotavirus infections decreased by > 70% following the introduction of a vaccine program in Ontario, Canada, according to a study published May 11, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sarah Wilson from Public Health Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sci... Read More

Electron microscopy captures snapshot of structure coronaviruses use to enter cells

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy and supercomputing have now made it possible to analyze in detail the infection mechanisms of coronaviruses. These viruses are notorious for attacking the respiratory tract of humans and animals. Read More

It's always sunny in the micro lab

Just in time for Valentine's Day! Send a "flower" to your sweetheart on a TSA plate with Serratia marcescens, Kocuria rhizophila, and Corynebacterium xerosis. Read More

Temple scientists eliminate HIV-1 from genome of human T-Cells

(Philadelphia, PA) - A specialized gene editing system designed by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University is paving the way to an eventual cure for patients infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In a study published online this month in the Nature journal, ... Read More
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