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Why do some infections persist? Blame bacterial socialism, says new study

New research to be published January 13 in the journal Scientific Reports shows that some bacterial cultures adopt an all-for-one/one-for-all strategy that would make a socialist proud in preparing for the possibility of an antibiotic onslaught. Read More

Microbes After Hours – Missing Microbes with Dr. Martin Blaser

Why are obesity, juvenile diabetes and asthma increasing? Is it something in the environment or in our modern lifestyle? Dr. Martin Blaser thinks that it may be due to changes in our microbiome – the ecosystem of tiny microscopic creatures that live in and on us. Learn about his hypothesis th... Read More

Let It (Microbially) Snow...

I made this video in October of 2015, with my Biology 350 Microbiology students at the University of Puget Sound. A drop of Pseudomonas syringae expressing ice nucleation protein hits supercooled pure water, and fun results. This is the way that Snomax works to commercially generate snow, inci... Read More

Happy Luxmas 2015!

In this blogpost, I celebrate the microbiological season with some microbial merriment: ice nucleation bacteria, drawing with reporter gene bacteria, and painting with bioluminescent microbes. Every day is Luxmas to me! Read More

Microbiology, Creativity, and Extra Credit!

I have long believed that there are many ways for students to learn. In several of my classes, I encourage students to use "creative" approaches to explore course concepts. In the Fall of 2015, here is what my micronauts in my Microbiology course at the University of Puget Sound came up with..... Read More

How to make Blood Agar Plates

Blood agar is universal bacterial growth medium contains mammalian blood (usually sheep or horse), typically at a concentration of 5–10%. It is enriched, differential media used to isolate fastidious organisms and detect hemolytic activity. Read More

How to identify bacteria and fungi by MALDI-TOF

Matrix-assisted laser desorption / ionization time-of-flight (MALDI-TOF)
The principle is the bacteria grown on a solid medium and transferred to a steel plate. The sample be shot with a laser and fragments are separated by size / charge. Fragment patterns are a fingerprint that can be used bot... Read More

MWV 101 - Profiling the Poglianos (TWiM 115)

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Special guests: Kit Pogliano and Joe Pogliano

Vincent take This Week in Microbiology to th... Read More

TWiM #115: Profiling the Poglianos

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Special guests: Kit Pogliano and Joe Pogliano

Vincent visits the laboratories of Kit and J... Read More

MWV 100 - Milestones in Blue: TWiM live at the University of Michigan

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio Schaechter and Michele Swanson record l... Read More

TWiM #114: Milestones in Blue

Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio Schaechter and  Read More

Happy #MicrobialHalloween From My #Bio350 Students (Plus Some Happy #ParasiticHalloween Wishes)!

I enjoy mixing Hallowe'en with my classes. In this blog post, I show how my microbiology students do exactly that, with humor and style. In addition, my freshman writing students do the same with their course on symbioses and parasitism. Enjoy...and #HappyMicrobialHalloween! Read More

MWV 99 - Microbial Monsters: #algae #vampirococcus #halloween

Watch the pilot episode of BioFilms in which we explore some creepy microbes just in time for Halloween. Learn how algae can suffocate a pond of all its life, discover the vampire bacterium known as Vampirococcus who literally sucks the life out its victims, and watch out for those sweet Hall... Read More

Animals (and Plants) in a Microbial World

In this blog post (and fourth "Mu-Tube" video), I explore the idea that all animals and plants have evolved as part of a microbial world, and thus microbes are a part of us. I do this by having my undergraduate students explore two recently publications by Dr. Margaret McFall-Ngai,and recording... Read More

MWV 98 - TWiM #113 Waves of Change

Vincent meets up with Romney Humphries and Duncan MacCannell at the 79th annual meeting of the Southern California branch of the American Society f... Read More

TWiM #113: Waves of Change

Host: Vincent Racaniello

Special guests: Romney Humphries and Read More

The #LuxArt2015 Art Competition By My Students!

Because of all the recent interest in "microbiological art," I decided to challenge my Biology 350 students to "paint" using luminous bacteria. We have a balloting process, tallied the results, and made some appropriate awards! I think the world of my students, and I hope you enjoy this view i... Read More

How I Became a Microbial Supremacist...

In this third installment of my "Mu-Tube" video series about microbiology and microbiology education, I discuss how I was initially labeled a "microbial supremacist" as a joke, and then embraced the title with enthusiasm. I also show many examples of the microbiology-related art I use to encour... Read More

What Should First Year Students Learn About Microbiology?

Many institutions, such as my own, only have one microbiology course. In this second "Mu-Tube" video, I ask my current junior and senior Microbiology students what *they* think first year students ought to know about #MattersMicrobial. I think their opinions are interesting, and will inform my... Read More

Meningitis model shows infection's sci-fi-worthy creep into the brain

DURHAM, N.C. - Scientists at Duke Medicine are using transparent fish to watch in real time as Cryptococcal meningitis takes over the brain. The resulting images are worthy of a sci-fi movie teaser, but could be valuable in disrupting the real, crippling brain infection that kills more than 600,... Read More
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