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Behind the scenes: TWiV 200 at the NEIDL

We celebrated the 200th episode of TWiV by visiting the National Emerging Infectious Diseases Laboratories at Boston University Medical Center, where we met with Elke, Paul, and Ron to talk about building and working in a BSL4 facility. It was an amazing visit that will be fully documented in an... Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis

Streak plate of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs. Read More

Ebola

Ebola Virus
Colorized scanning electron micrograph of filamentous Ebola virus particles (blue) budding from a chronically infected VERO E6 cell (yellow-green).

Photo taken from NIAID flicker 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

Staphylococcus aureus

Scanning electromicrograph of Staphylococcus aureus bacteria. Credit: National Institutes of Health/Department of Health and Human Services (NIAID). Read More

STREPTOCOCCUS

A colorized electron microscope image captures delicate chains of streptococcus in a laboratory sample. Though some strep infections can be deadly, many strains are harmless—among the thousands of benign beings that make their home in our bodies.

Photograph by Martin Oeggerli, with support fr... Read More

Streptococcus mitis on blood agar

Growth of Streptococcus mitis on blood agar demonstrating alpha hemolysis seen as a greenish color around the growing colonies due to a reduction of the hemoglobin to methemoglobin in the surrounding agar. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

Starch Agar

Starch agar contains high molecular weight starch molecules (soluable starch). When Iodine is added it reacts with starch to produces a dark brown/purple color. A zone of clearing forms around organisms that produce the exoenzyme amylase after addition of iodine. This plate was incubated for ... Read More

Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA)

Mannitol Salt Agar (MSA)
•Important Ingredients: Phenol red, mannitol (sugar), 7.5% NaCl
•Differential: between pathogenic S. aureus and S. epidermidis
•Selective: NaCl inhibits non-halophilic organisms. Organism that can grow are halophilic.
•Mannitol Fermentors: fermentation of acid cau... Read More

You'll Want To Wash Your Hands Immediately After Reading This (Infographic)

Germaphobes, maybe you're on to something.

Sickness-causing bacteria and viruses can lurk on surfaces long after they're expelled in an infected person's sneeze or snot. Some can even stay on a surface for months, given the right conditions. While the ability of these microorganisms to actual... Read More

Bacterial Artistry - Serratia marcesens

Serratia marcesens is a Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium that is commonly found in soil, water, on plants and in animals and thrives in damp conditions. This organism is well known for its production of the blood red pigment, prodigiosin. Production of prodigiosin can be influenced by several... Read More

Bioluminescent art: Beautiful bacteria glow in the dark

Bioluminescent art blends science and creativity to create images that can only be seen in the dark. What do you get when you add a chemical engineer, a graphic designer and a research scientist? Beautiful art. In a wondrous combination of nature and design, bioluminescent art involves using nat... Read More

Methyl Red/Vogoes-Proskauer (MR-VP)

Methyl Red/Vogoes-Proskauer (MR-VP)
One medium used for two separate but related tests, identifying butanediol (VP) or acidic fermentation products (MR) as part of the IMViC test used in the identification of Enterobacteriaceae.

•Methyl Red (MR): detects the ability of an organism to produc... Read More

Cartography of the Human Body

Artist Sonja Bäumel explores the skin microbiome in her project Cartography of the Human Body. Bacteria isolated from Bäumel’s skin were characterized and grown individually, then used to reconstruct an artificial microbiome with many layers of differently-colored species. Giant petri dishes gre... Read More

E-coli on TSI

E-coli on TSI Read More

ASM GM 2014 - Where Pathogens Can Linger on Airplanes

Many air travelers are concerned about the risks of catching a disease from other passengers given the long time spent in crowded air cabins. New research shows disease-causing bacteria can linger on surfaces commonly found in airplane cabins for days, even up to a week. Participants discuss ... Read More

Salmonella grown on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar

The following picture shows the isolated black colonies of Salmonella on Salmonella-Shigella (S-S) Agar. S-S Agar is used as a selective and differential medium for the isolation of Salmonella and some Shigella species. The inclusion of bile salts is to inhibit gram-positive organisms. Ferric ci... Read More

Contaminant snowman

Some holiday fun from last winter composed of different collected plate contaminants. Based on colony morphology and wet mounts, these bacteria are likely to be: Staphylococcus sp. (white), Serratia marcescens (dark orange), and Micrococcus luteus (creamy yellow). The design was incubated for 5-... Read More

Shoe Swab

Unknown organism isolated from a swab taken off the bottom of a shoe. Students were asked to swab something in the classroom. One swab was done on the bottom of a shoe and incubated on a TSA plate for 48 hrs at 37 degree’s C. The organism was difficult to scrape so a small chunk of the organis... Read More

Physarum polycephalum

Physarum polycephalum, slime mold, grown in a large perti plate on moist paper towels using oatmeal as the food source. Culture was grown in the dark at room temperature. The paper towel was moistened every day with tap water. After 3 week’s the culture formed sporangia (fruiting bodies). Im... Read More
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