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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

Bacitracin test on Streptococcus pyogenes

Bacitracin test done on a lawn of Streptococcus pyogenes grown on blood agar. The zone of inhibition around the bacitracin disc, approx 14mm measuring the entire length of the zone, indicates sensitivity. The zone of inhibition is red because the red blood cells did not lyse. Grown for 24 hr... 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

Microphotograph showing scolex of Echinococuus granulosus.

Microphotograph showing scolex and hooklets of Echinococcus granulosus. 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

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

Micrococcus luteus

Micrococcus luteus grown on TSA for 96 hrs. 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix

Serratia marcescens/Escherichia coli mix grown on TSA for 48 hrs. Serratia marcescens grows red due to prodigiosin and Escherichia coli grows opaque white. 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

Evidence-based antibiotic usage

New recommendation encourages physicians to prescribe _antibacterials_ instead of antibiotics for bacterial infections. This recommendation is based on compelling evidence that the word "antibiotic" confuses almost everyone, including some doctors. The confusion leads to strong patient demands... Read More

Biology Plug N' Play

When you're hard drive fails, you order a new one online and then swap it out. Why can't we do that for biological parts as well? From DNA robots and "organs-on-a-chip" to nanobristles that grab-and-release drugs, this slideshow explores the two major goals of synthetic biology: to build new bio... Read More

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