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Getting Started with MicrobeWorld

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Portraits of Microbiologists Using Luminous Bacteria as "Paint."

My wife Jennifer Quinn​ hits it out the park: a portrait of Kenneth Nealson​ and the late Woody Hastings "painted" with luminous bacteria, giving them props for the early days of quorum sensing---where the basic principles were first uncovered in bioluminescent microbes. This principle of "aut... 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

Study adds to evidence that viruses are alive

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- A new analysis supports the hypothesis that viruses are living entities that share a long evolutionary history with cells, researchers report. The study offers the first reliable method for tracing viral evolution back to a time when neither viruses nor cells existed in the fo... Read More

An ounce of prevention . . .

As the old saying goes, can beat a pound of the Shigella bacteria, seen here penetrating the intestinal mucosa of some poor soul.
Killing approx. 1 million people annually - most of them children, Shigella is best prevented by two simple strategies: washing hands before handling food & thorou... Read More

Red blood cell infected with malaria parasites

Colorized electron micrograph of red blood cell infected with malaria parasites (blue). The small bumps on the infected cell show how the parasite remodels its host cell. Uninfected cells (red) have smoother surfaces.
Credit: NIAID/RML

Related story: "Scientists Find Genetic Basis for Key Pa... Read More

Bacillus subtilis

Gram stain of B. subtilis showing characteristic G +streptobacillus morphology. Read More

Streptococcus pneumoniae

Electron micrograph of type 4 Streptococcus pneumoniae adherent to pharyngeal epithelial cell Read More

Bacteroides fragilis colonies on blood agar

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

Chickenpox vaccination does increase shingles cases, but mainly in young adults

Vaccinating one-year-olds against chickenpox could temporarily nearly double the incidence of shingles in the wider population, but in younger adults than previously thought. Read More

Photomicrograph of Algae - 1856 by John William Draper

A multitalented scientist and inventor, John William Draper worked as a chemistry professor at the University of New York, where he conducted research in numerous fields, ranging from medicine and philosophy to spectrum analysis and photography. This photograph displaying the physiological chara... Read More

Swarm of paramecia

Swarm of paramecia surrounding an unidentified protozoan. Taken from the Wistreich Collection. 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

GUT TRANSIT TIME CHANGES WITH ‘TRAVELER’S DIET’

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

Lab Agar Drawings: Chromobacterium violaceum shaped into Biohazard Symbol

Created by: Michelle Vu, Research Associate, BS Microbiology
Isolate: Chromobacterium violaceum
Agar: Mueller Hinton Agar
Incubation Conditions: 24 hours at 37C + 24 hours at Room Temperature

Pictured is Chromobacterium violaceum shaped in a biohazard symbol. This drawing was done at a mic... Read More

Treponema pallidum

Electron micrograph of Treponema pallidum from a patient Read More

"The Unseen World"

Philadelphia artist Kate Kaman (www.katekaman.com) has designed a dynamic larger-than-life sculptural depiction of the most plentiful and ancient microscopic life forms -- bacteria. Suspended throughout an area measuring approximately 130 feet long, 27 feet wide and 41 feet tall, “The Unseen Wor... 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

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

Red algae Scagelia

Red algae Scagelia, showing reproductive tetraspores and golden diatoms. 2nd place winner of Olympus BioScapes photomicrography contest 2012.

Credit: Dr. Arlene Wechezak, Anacortes, Washington Read More

Stopping malaria in its tracks

A new drug acts as a roadblock for malaria, curing mice of established infection, according to a study in The Journal of Experimental Medicine. Treatment was not associated with obvious side effects, suggesting that the drug may also be safe and effective in humans. Read More
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