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A Bacterial Bioluminescent Valentine's Day

In this short post, I celebrate Valentine's Day with words of light---using bioluminescent bacteria! Read More

Mycobacterium smegmatis using transmitted light

Isolated colony of Mycobacterium smegmatis grown on TSA for 96 hrs at 37 degrees C. Margin is lobate with an irregular-rhizoid form. Image taken using transmitted light. Read More

These Renderings of HIV Show That a Deadly Virus Can Be Beautiful

For those of us who are normal, non-scientist people, an image of a virus doesn't necessarily hold any meaning. Which floating orb is a healthy cell? And which one is the actual virus? The CGSociety recently invited artists to create renderings of the HIV virus in blood—and the winning images ar... Read More

The Hidden Life of Microscopic Fungi

Most mushrooms actually do not produce the visible fruiting bodies known to us as boletus, champignons, or toadstools. Many fungal species are the familiar “mold” and other unappetizing films, or are completely unknown to us. Here, you can discover some of the remarkable shapes and lifestyles of... Read More

Micrococcus luteus

Micrococcus luteus grown on TSA for 96 hrs. 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

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

On a Cellular Level, We Are ALL Overachievers!

In this blog post, I show a science-cartoon by the great "Beatrice the Biologist" that illustrates an important point in my freshman introductory cell and molecular biology course: no matter how tired we might be, we are incredibly busy on a cellular level! Beatrice is a fine artist who underst... Read More

Creative "Extra Credit" Projects in Microbiology!

In this blog entry, I explore how students can use their creativity to learn microbiology in innovative and often artistic ways. It makes learning more personal! Read More

Cyanobacterium Anabaena planctonica

Olympus Bioscapes, Honorable Mention, Dr. Petr Znachor, Laboratory of Phytoplankton Ecology, Institute of Hydrobiology,Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic.

Specimen: Cyanobacterium Anabaena planctonica, Technique: Nomarski contrast, 20x Objective Read More

Tube morphology

Three organisms inoculated in TSB to look at tube morphology. From left to right:
Staphylococcus aureus: flocculent growth/turbid, growth throughout the tube.
Mycobacterium smegmatis: pellicle, growth at the top of the tube. M. smegmatis tends to stick to the tube and grow up the side.
Ba... Read More

Microphotograph showing scolex of Echinococuus granulosus.

Microphotograph showing scolex and hooklets of Echinococcus granulosus. 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

Freshman Biology Creative Projects!

I have found that students become involved, energized, and enthusiastic when I give them opportunities to explore topics in my classes using their own creative approaches and interests. So this semester, in my Biology 111 course at the University of Puget Sound, I found that students explored f... Read More

Listeria monocytogenes on chromogenic agar

It's Friday and I can finally enjoy the beach! So I thought it would be nice to reflect my excitement at work growing this happy Listeria monocytogenes ;) Read More

Putting the "fun" in fungal cultures

I was checking our fungal culture plates in the microbiology lab...and came across this happy little colony of Candida albicans on an Inhibitory Mold Agar plate. Kind of made my day! 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

Mumps virus protein

This confocal micrograph shows the mumps virus protein (turquoise) in the endoplasmic reticulum of a cultured cell. This is a region of the cell that processes proteins. This particular protein is possibly involved in determining how effectively the virus can infect people. By looking at how it ... Read More

Antimicrobial affect of acidophil actimyces isolated from Azerbaijan's soil against E.coli

This picture proves antagonistic property of acidophil actinomyces against Escherichia coli. These cultures of actinomyces were isolated from Azerbaijan's soil in 2012 by me. Read More

Live/Dead Stain Microscopy

Tannery tanning fluid sample stained with Live/Dead BacLight under UV light. Either 40x or 100x oil immersion. Green bacteria indicate living cells, while Orange bacteria indicate dead cells. Some of the green cells were moving around even after staining! Read More

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