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An ancient killer: Ancestral malarial organisms traced to age of dinosaurs

CORVALLIS, Ore. - A new analysis of the prehistoric origin of malaria suggests that it evolved in insects at least 100 million years ago, and the first vertebrate hosts of this disease were probably reptiles, which at that time would have included the dinosaurs. Read More

Neanderthals may have been infected by diseases carried out of Africa by humans

A new study suggests that Neanderthals across Europe may well have been infected with diseases carried out of Africa by waves of anatomically modern humans, or Homo sapiens. As both were species of hominin, it would have been easier for pathogens to jump populations, say researchers. This might ... 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

The six kingdoms of living things in 90 seconds

When I have to explain the organism classification to my students I usually use the one stablished by Woese in the 70s. In this classification, all living things are classified in six kingdoms, that are Eubacteria, Archeobacteria, Protista, Plantae, Fungi and Animalia. All of these groups evolve... Read More

Unknown contaminant on Blood agar

Unknown contaminant, possible Bacillus spp, seen on an old blood agar plate that had been inoculated with Strep bovis. The plate had been incubated at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs then held at room temp for a week. One colony was mucoid with a brain like appearance the other being mucoid and smoo... 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

Structure and genome of Zika virus

Group: Group IV ((+) ssRNA)
Family: Flaviviridae
Genus: Flavivirus
Species: Zika virus

Structure of Zika Virus
•The virion is approximately 40 nm in diameter with surface projections that measure roughly 5-10 nm.
•Nucleocapsid is 25-30 nm in diameter surrounded by a host-membrane derive... Read More

Biohazard Bin Swab

Colonies from a swab of the lid of a biohazard waste bin from one of my students in the Microbiology lab at Miami-Dade College, Wolfson in Miami, FL. Streaked on Nutrient Agar and incubated at 30 degrees Celcius for 72 hours.

Elena M. Cortizas, M.S.
Adjunct Professor of Microbiology
MDC W... Read More

Vials of Zika virus

Like many other virologists we have also begun to work on Zika virus, to apply our expertise and knowledge to this emerging pathogen. Here is a photo of some of the vials of Zika virus that we have recently obtained. Shown are the MR766 and DAK AR 41542 strains and plasma from a Zika virus infec... 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

Serratia marcescens on Mac Agar

Serratia marcescens a Gram (-) rod seen on MaConkey Agar a selective differential agar used to isolate Gram (-) organisms. Culture was grown at 37 degree for 24 hrs, cultures we light pink. The plate was held at room temperature for 24 hrs after that and the majority of Serratia turned red, pr... Read More

Ontario rotavirus hospitalizations drop >70 percent after launch of infant vaccine program

Hospitalization for rotavirus infections decreased by > 70% following the introduction of a vaccine program in Ontario, Canada, according to a study published May 11, 2016 in the open-access journal PLOS ONE by Sarah Wilson from Public Health Ontario and the Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sci... Read More

Temple scientists eliminate HIV-1 from genome of human T-Cells

(Philadelphia, PA) - A specialized gene editing system designed by scientists at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University is paving the way to an eventual cure for patients infected with HIV, the virus that causes AIDS. In a study published online this month in the Nature journal, ... Read More

Electron microscopy captures snapshot of structure coronaviruses use to enter cells

High-resolution cryo-electron microscopy and supercomputing have now made it possible to analyze in detail the infection mechanisms of coronaviruses. These viruses are notorious for attacking the respiratory tract of humans and animals. Read More

Happy New Year 2017

This is our way to wish a Happy New Year to all the Microbiologists community!
The numbers were made as follows:
2: E. coli, MacConkey Agar plate incubated at 37 C, 20h.
0,1: MRSA on blood Agar plate, incubated at 37 C + 5%CO2.
7: M. fortuitum on Chocolate Agar plate, incubated at 37 C + 5%... Read More

New mouse model to aid testing of Zika vaccine, therapeutics

A research team at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis has established a mouse model for testing of vaccines and therapeutics to battle Zika virus. Read More

E. coli: The ideal transport for next-gen vaccines?

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Most people recoil at the thought of ingesting E. coli. But what if the headline-grabbing bacteria could be used to fight disease? Read More

Unknown contaminant on Blood agar close up

Unknown contaminant, possible Bacillus spp, seen on an old blood agar plate that had been inoculated with Strep bovis. The plate had been incubated at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs then held at room temp for a week. One colony was mucoid with a brain like appearance the other being mucoid and smooth ... Read More

A quick and easy new method to detect Wolbachia bacteria in intact Aedes mosquitoes

Aedes aegypti mosquitoes transmit dengue, chikungunya, and zika viruses. A study published in PLOS NTDs reports a new technique that could make one approach to mosquito control--using Wolbachia bacteria that reduce the mosquitos' ability to transmit viral pathogens--a whole lot easier and che... Read More

Mold contaminant on yogurt

Mold culture growing on top of a home made yogurt culture. Yogurt was made using whole milk and incubated for 8 hrs at a ~30 degree's C then refrigerated. This culture had been in the refrigerator for over 2 weeks, well past expiration for home made yogurt. The green mold had spore formation ... Read More
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