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THESE YEAST CELLS SAY ‘HI’ AND OTHERS RESPOND

Scientists have engineered yeast cells that can “talk” to one another using a versatile plant hormone called auxin.

Typically, these simple fungal cells (Saccharomyces cerevisiae) usually do their jobs—making bread rise or converting sugar into alcohol—without having to communicate or work to... Read More

Streptococcus pneumoniae mucoid strain

Streptococcus pneumoniae cells are Gram-positive, lancet-shaped cocci. Usually, they are seen as pairs of cocci, but they may also occur singly and in short chains. In this photo a mucoid strain on blood agar showing alpha hemolysis (green zone surrounding colonies). Note the zone of inhibition ... Read More

Chip-based technology enables reliable direct detection of Ebola virus

A team led by researchers at UC Santa Cruz has developed chip-based technology for reliable detection of Ebola virus and other viral pathogens. The system uses direct optical detection of viral molecules and can be integrated into a simple, portable instrument for use in field situations where r... Read More

Ice Nucleation Bacteria, Twitter, and Me!

In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More

Fungi at root of plant drugs that can help, or harm, sick monarch butterflies

Previously, biologists at Emory University and the University of Michigan discovered that butterflies use plant toxins as a drug to cure their offspring of parasitic infections. Now they've dug a little deeper and found that the fungi associated with the roots of milkweed plants change both the ... Read More

Paenibacillus glucanolyticus spore

Paenibacillus species have been isolated from a wide variety of sources including soil, water, the plant rhizosphere, plant materials, food, fodder, faeces and diseased insect larvae. They are facultative anaerobes or strict aerobes and mostly motile, endospore forming rods. This is the first ti... 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

Echinococcus granulosus

This is a picture of Echinococcus granulosus from an infected liver specimen recently received in our laboratory. It is pictured in a saline wet mount at 40X magnification. The picture shows an evaginated scolex from an immature worm with hooklets.

The adult worm of Echinococcus granulosus l... Read More

Agar Art Contest 2015

This picture depicts that microbes too can add colours to life. As the beginning of a New Year adds colour to life. This agar art shows how microbes like serratia marcescens, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Staphylococcus Citrus add to happiness of new year and too add colours to life. Read More

Viruses thrive in big families, in sickness and in health

SALT LAKE CITY - The BIG LoVE (Utah Better Identification of Germs-Longitudinal Viral Epidemiology) study, led by scientists at the University of Utah School of Medicine, finds that each bundle of joy puts the entire household at increased risk for infection with viruses that cause colds, flu, a... Read More

New resource makes gene-editing technology even more user friendly

Researchers at Harvard University and the University of California, San Diego, have developed a new user-friendly resource to accompany the powerful gene editing tool called CRISPR/Cas9, which has been widely adopted to make precise, targeted changes in DNA. This breakthrough has the potential t... Read More

Simple intervention can moderate anti-vaccination beliefs, study finds

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- It might not be possible to convince someone who believes that vaccines cause autism that they don't. Telling skeptics that their belief is not scientifically supported often backfires - strengthening, rather than weakening, their anti-vaccine views. But researchers say they h... Read More

Stanford researchers genetically engineer yeast to produce opioids

For thousands of years, people have used yeast to ferment wine, brew beer and leaven bread. Now researchers at Stanford have genetically engineered yeast to make painkilling medicines, a breakthrough that heralds a faster and potentially less expensive way to produce many different types of pla... Read More

Swarming Motility/ Proteus mirabilis

A sample of Proteus mirabilis was inoculated on to a TSA plate by taking a sterile swab and placing a drop in the center of the plate. The plate was then incubated at 37 degrees for 8 hrs. Swarming motility can be seen as a clear halo and finger like projections coming from and around the grow... Read More

"Never Really Alone" with Seth Bordenstein (Including Current News!)

This blog post describes a "video meeting" between Seth Bordenstein and my freshman writing class in the Fall of 2014. My freshman class revolved around ideas in symbioses and parasitism, so Seth's ideas regarding holobionts and the hologenome were particularly apt. Furthermore, last week Seth... Read More

Vaccination on the horizon for severe viral infection of the brain

Researchers from the University of Zurich and the University Hospital Zurich reveal possible new treatment methods for a rare, usually fatal brain disease. Thanks to their discovery that specific antibodies play a key role in combating the viral infection, a vaccine against the disease "progress... Read More

Hookworm egg

Shown here is a picture of a hookworm egg found on a concentrate in an ova & parasite exam

Human hookworms include the nematode species, Ancylostoma duodenale and Necator americanus. These species have indistinguishable eggs and can only be distinguished by their larvae.

Infective larvae g... Read More

Delftia acidovorans

Delftia acidovorans (formerly Comamonas acidovorans) is an aerobic gram-negative rod. It is unique because produces an orange color in the medium with the addition of Kovac's indole because of the production of anthranilic acid from typtone, though the organism is biochemically indole-negative. ... Read More

New method to treat antibiotic resistant MRSA: Bacteriophages

MRSA is bad news. If you've never heard of it, here's what you need to know: It's pronounced MER-suh, it's a nasty bacterial infection and it can cause serious disease and death. Read More

Detecting HIV diagnostic antibodies with DNA nanomachines

New research may revolutionize the slow, cumbersome and expensive process of detecting the antibodies that can help with the diagnosis of infectious and auto-immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and HIV. An international team of researchers have designed and synthetized a nanometer-scale... Read More
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