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A true cell-fie!

We all know about selfies, made popular by the camera in our cell phone. Well, here is the *real* deal - the 'cell-fie'. It's a photograph of my cell culture incubator full of stacks of plates in which HeLa cells are growing - and it's complete with my reflection. Read More

Molecules seen binding to HIV-1's protective capsule, blocking infection

New research shows an HIV-1 inhibitor and a host protein binding to HIV-1's protective capsule, preventing it from disassembling. Viral genetic information is kept inside. Researchers believe the process can be targeted for therapeutic purposes in HIV-1 infections. Read More

New Study Underscores Importance of Accurate CF-Related Microbiological Diagnostic Procedures

A new study entitled “Microbiological diagnostic procedures for respiratory cystic fibrosis samples in Spain: towards standard of care practices” was published in BMC Microbiology by Juan de Dios Caballero and a group of researchers from Spain. In this study, the authors evaluated the compliance... Read More

Serpentine cording in Mycobacterium tuberculosus

Pictured is a culture of Mycobacterium tuberculosis growing colonies in the distinctive "serpentine cord" form seen in many strains of M. tuberculosis. These cords are made up of chains of cells that make chains due to a cell wall factor of MTB.

The cell wall structure of Mycobacterium is a m... Read More

Ebola Patient Is Moved to London, and 2 Others Are Tested in Britain

A health worker who returned from West Africa and was found to have Ebola when she arrived home in Scotland was transferred on Tuesday to Britain’s designated treatment center for the disease in London.

The authorities also reported that two more people were being tested for the virus.

The... Read More

Harnessing bacteria to move microscopic gears and ratchets

Previous research has already demonstrated that substantial quantities of self-motile or active agents such as bacteria in a fluid environment can be harnessed to do mechanical work like moving microscopic gears and ratchets. Bacteria as well as algae can also be used to transport or displace ma... Read More

Global Microbiology Testing/Clinical Microbiology (Instrument, Analyzer, Incubator, Kit, Microscope, Molecular Diagnostics) Market - Forecast to 2019

Clinical microbiology consists of a wide array of techniques for the detection of infectious diseases. The respiratory diseases segment accounted for the largest application segment of the clinical microbiology market in 2014. According to the WHO, in 2012, there were about 450,000 new cases of ... Read More

TWiP 81 letters


Allan writes:


Dear Vincent & Dickson… and Daniel,


I always enjoy listening to TWIP here in Kona, Hawaii.


Our weather today is 79ºF and clear but we have just experienced a record 25-year overnight low of 54ºF,
(FREEZING, as few of us hav... Read More

Satellites - the viral kind

Satellites are subviral agents that differ from viroids because they depend on the presence of a helper virus for their propagation. Satellite viruses are particles that contain nucleic acid genomes encoding a structural protein that encapsidates the satellite genome. Satellite RNAs do not encod... Read More

Test developed by UAB scientists could help fight deadly infection

Researchers from UAB have developed a tool for diagnosing bacterial meningitis that uses the same technology as a home pregnancy test.

The test measures the level of certain proteins that are present in the spinal fluid of patients with bacterial meningitis. If the level is high, the test wil... Read More

Scientists discover bacteria that survives solely by eating electricity

Researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms.

This work goes far beyond traditional genetic engineering, which involves moving a gene from one organism to another. In this case, they're actually rewriting th... Read More

Acid Fast Stain#2

Acid Fast stain done on a mix of Staphylococcus aureus and Mycobacterium smegmatis. The stain was done on a culture of M. smegmatis that was incubated on a TSA slant with 1ml TSB added at 37 degree's C for 4 days, S. aureus was incubated in TSB at 37 degree's C for 24 hrs. Several loops of eac... Read More

Five intriguing facts about viruses that cause measles, Ebola and other scourges

Viruses are incredibly simple, arguably the most simple living organisms on the planet. They have no brains, no metabolism, and they can’t reproduce on their own. Yet they are able to wreak incredible havoc on our bodies and to outwit the scientifically advanced weapons that humans have invente... Read More

Whooping cough proteins evolving 'unusually' fast

Whooping cough may be evolving to outsmart the currently used vaccine, say researchers.

Analysis of strains from 2012 shows the parts of the pertussis bacterium that the vaccine primes the immune system to recognise are changing.

It may have "serious consequences" in future outbreaks, UK r... Read More

Deadly bacteria on medical scopes trigger infections

The deadly pattern of illnesses began to emerge in 2012 at hospitals in Seattle, Pittsburgh, Chicago. In each case, the culprit was a bacteria known as CRE, perhaps the most feared of superbugs, because it resists even "last defense" antibiotics — and kills up to 40% of the people it infects.

... Read More

Ebola Survivor: The Best Word For The Virus Is 'Aggression'

When Dr. Ian Crozier arrived in West Africa this past summer, he was stepping into the epicenter of the Ebola hot zone. The American doctor was working in the Ebola ward of a large, public hospital in Sierra Leone's dusty city of Kenema.

The trip nearly cost him his life. First came a fever, ... Read More

Bacteria ‘factories’ churn out valuable chemicals

A team of researchers led by Harvard geneticist George Church at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) has made big strides toward a future in which the predominant chemical factories of the world are colonies of genetically engineered bacteria... Read More

Trial confirms Ebola vaccine candidate safe, equally immunogenic in Africa

Two experimental DNA vaccines to prevent Ebola virus and the closely related Marburg virus are safe, and generated a similar immune response in healthy Ugandan adults as reported in healthy US adults earlier this year. The findings are from the first trial of filovirus vaccines in Africa. Read More
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