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Typhoid toxin increases host survival and promotes asymptomatic infection

Genotoxins damage the genetic material in cells and can cause mutations and cancer. Some bacteria code for and produce genotoxins. A study published on April 7th in PLOS Pathogens reports the surprising finding that one of them, typhoid toxin, actually increases survival of the infected host and... Read More

Canadian innovation for killing mosquito eggs could help Zika fight

Toronto, Canada - With Canadian Government funding, a team of innovators from Canada and Mexico have successfully tested a low cost, environmentally-friendly way of destroying the eggs of the mosquito genus that spreads dengue, and likely spreading the Zika virus. Read More

NIH launches large clinical trials of antibody-based HIV prevention

Enrollment has begun in the first of two multinational clinical trials of an intravenously delivered investigational antibody for preventing HIV infection. Known as the AMP Studies, for antibody-mediated prevention, the trials will test whether giving people an investigational anti-HIV antibody ... Read More

HITTING INFECTIONS HARD CAN BE ‘THE WORST THING TO DO’

The standard practice of treating infections with the highest tolerable dose of antibiotic medications may not always be best way of preventing the evolution of drug resistance, a new study suggests. Read More

Salmonella Koi

At the request of a friend, they wanted me to draw a "Petri fish". Hektoen agar, Salmonella typhimurium, E. coli.
Read More

Immune response differences might determine severity of West Nile Virus disease

While most West Nile Virus (WNV) infections in humans are asymptomatic and go unnoticed, the virus causes serious and sometimes fatal neurologic illness in some people. A study published on January 21st in PLOS Pathogens suggests that an exaggerated and abnormal immune response contributes to th... Read More

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

Experimental dengue vaccine protects all recipients in virus challenge study

A clinical trial in which volunteers were infected with dengue virus six months after receiving either an experimental dengue vaccine developed by scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) or a placebo injection yielded starkly contrasting results. All 21 volunteers who received th... Read More

Holiday Time, smile!

Holiday time......Bacteria/Yeast used:
Hat and letters, Serratia marcescens
Hat trim: Staph epidermidis
Smile: Environmental yeast isolate
Mix of Serratia and Staph for a bit of "snow" Read More

Colonial Variation in Serratia marcescens

A common denizen of the undergraduate microbiology laboratory, Serratia marcescens is well known for the production of a bright red pigment, prodigiosin. Prodigiosin has been investigated over many years for its possible antimicrobial, antifungal, and even antitumor effects. Still, the relevan... Read More

Bacteria take 'RNA mug shots' of threatening viruses

Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin, the Stanford University School of Medicine and two other institutions have discovered that bacteria have a system that can recognize and disrupt dangerous viruses using a newly identified mechanism involving ribonucleic acid (RNA). It is similar... Read More

Deep sea microbes may be key to oceans’ climate change feedback

Microbes are hardly the poster-children of climate change, but they have far more impact than polar bears on Earth’s carbon cycle – and therefore on our climate. A new study published Friday in Science Advances finds that seabed bacteria and archaea (which look like bacteria but have very differ... 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

Happy Halloween Plate

Saw your plates in my facebook feed and i'd like to share one a diagnostic microbiology professor made for our class.
I would have to ask or pull out a text book to remember the specifics of the plate. It's an identification plate that will tell you one or two things about a specific bacteria'... 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

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

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

Unknown Contaminant on BEA

Unknown organism, presumable yeast, seen on Bile Esculin Agar (BEA) after several months at refrigerated temperatures. Organism was mucoid.circular, and a light brown in color. The brown coloration around the colony indicates the organism can to convert the esculin into 6,7-dihydroxy-couarin p... Read More

Happy μ Year

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