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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

Coccidioides immitis

Coccidioides immitis. Spherule in lung abscess endospore. Gridley stain. (400X) 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


To better understand the importance of gut bacteria in human health, researchers measured the time it takes food to move through the gastrointestinal tract, called gut motility, in mice—in a way that mimics the dietary effects of world travel. Read More

Candida albicans

Lactophenol cotton blue wet preparation of scraping from oral lesion, showing pseudohyphae of Candida albicans Read More

Bacteroides fragilis colonies on blood agar

Bacteroides fragilis colonies on blood agar (1:5) Read More

Worm sperm motility

Two worm sperm shimmy across a microscope slide. Unlike most cells that rely on motor proteins to propel themselves forward, worm sperm use tiny fibers at their front ends. Putting the fibers together and taking them apart sets the cells in motion. In a new advance, researchers disassembled the ... 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

"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

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

Prion trials and tribulations: Finding the right tools and experimental models

Prions are fascinating, enigmatic, and might teach us not only about rare prion diseases like Creutzfeld-Jakob disease, mad cow disease, or scrapie, but also about other more common neurodgenerative diseases. Two studies published on July 2nd in PLOS Pathogens report progress with novel tools an... Read More

It takes a village... to ward off dangerous infections? New microbiome research suggests so

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Like a collection of ragtag villagers fighting off an invading army, the mix of bacteria that live in our guts may band together to keep dangerous infections from taking hold, new research suggests. Read More

Mycobacterium tuberculosis. young colony on a brain heart infusion. typical virulent strain

Mycobacterium buberculosis. young colony on a brain heart infusion. typical virulent strain Read More

Dung fungi found on a cow pile

Specimen: Dung fungi found on a cow pile
Technique: Epi-illumination, 20 stacked images

Credit: Mr. Mike Crutchley, Pembrokeshire, Wales, United Kingdom - Olympus BioScapes Read More

New understanding of genetic susceptibility to infections by Candida and Mycobacterium

The discovery of bi-allelic mutations in RORC in patients with candidiasis and mycobacteriosis revealed the pivotal role of RORC in mucocutaneous immunity to Candida and in systemic immunity to Mycobacterium in humans. Read More

New Use for Well-known Algae

Shock! Horror! Some treasured molecular paleoenvironmental tools of organic biogeochemists—namely the alkenones, an esoteric group of long-chained compounds made by aquatic microalgae—are being put forward by O’Neil et al.1 as candidates for conversion to jet fuel on an industrial scale! (See... Read More

Ecological Genomics of Reef Corals

Young sibling polyps of staghorn coral (Acropora millepora) three days after settlement. In a National Science Foundation-supported study, researchers found that the ability to fluoresce may influence whether or not the coral settle on the reef of their origin or disperse, and go elsewhere.

M... Read More

Alcaligenes faecalis

Streak plate of Alcaligenes faecalis grown on TSA for 48 hr. Read More

Euplotes cell division


Euplotes belongs to the class Nassophorea in the phylum Ciliophora; the ciliates, of which there are approximately 8,000 species, are generally considered to be the most evolved and complex of the p... Read More

A Microbial Hallowe'en, Part II

Here I try to bring microbiology into Hallowe'en with costumes in class, and some bioluminescent microbial art of famous microbiologists! Read More
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