Here I remember a person who a great deal of influence on my views about microbiology in the classroom, and the laboratory: the late Abigail Salyers. RIP, Abigail. Read More
In this blog post, I describe some "rules for academics" as well as my own "rules for research." I hope that readers find them useful and perhaps a bit humorous. Read More
This episode: Gut bacteria may convert cortisol into important human hormones!
(6 MB, 6.5 minutes)
Note: Episode 144 is now available too. Sorry about that. Not sure what went wrong there, but it is regrettable.
A minor player in the gut, Clostridium scindens,... Read More
Emergence of antibiotic resistance and extended spectrum β- lactamase (ESBL) among uropathogens in the pediatric unit of hospitals created serious health care concern. This study deals with antimicrobial susceptibility and ESBL analysis of uropathogenic Escherichia coli isolate... Read More
Did you see this paper in PLoS Computational Biology? It's mind-blowing. U. Maryland researchers found evidence for Acinetobacter and Pseudomonas nucleic acid integrated into human chromosomes and mitochondria, po... Read More
This episode: Bacteria could reduce mercury's toxicity in their environment!
(6.5 MB, 7 minutes)
Methanotrophs (bacteria that use methane for their carbon and energy) secrete siderophore-like compounds that are usually used to chelate copper and make it more bioavailable, but ... Read More
The hemagglutinin (HA) and neuraminidase (NA) glycoproteins of the influenza virus particle serve distinct functions during infection. The HA binds sialic acid-containing cellular receptors and mediates fusion of the viral and cell membranes, while the NA removes sialic acids from glycoproteins.... Read More
New recommendation encourages physicians to prescribe _antibacterials_ instead of antibiotics for bacterial infections. This recommendation is based on compelling evidence that the word "antibiotic" confuses almost everyone, including some doctors. The confusion leads to strong patient demands... Read More
Dr. Naowarat Cheeptham, is a famous cave microbiologist. Dr. Cheeptham has been fascinated with the world of biology since she was out catching butterflies as a child with her father in her native country, Thailand. Her interest in microbiology developed while studying at Chiang Mai University ... Read More
For anyone interested in Antibiotic Awareness Week, a big part of the story is that patients (or their parents) demand antibacterials even for viral infections. And doctors often comply, just to get rid of them (the patients, that is). This high-resolution PDF can be printed out for waiting ro... Read More
New Massive Online Open Courses (MOOC) in Spanish about Pandemics and new viral infections.
This is a mini online open course about basic concepts of virus and pandemics. We answer questions as what is a virus?, how a virus multiplies inside a cell?, what is a pandemic?, why appear new influe... Read More
This poster has ten (10) mildly interesting facts about antibiotics, just in case you needed a poster or handout for Antibiotic Awareness Week (Nov 18-24, 2013). You can download PDF at "source" URL, above. Please feel free to share this graphic with your students, classmates, colleagues, frien... Read More
It is well known that aquatic birds are a major reservoir of influenza A viruses, and that pandemic human influenza virus strains of the past century derive viral genes from this pool. The recent discovery of two new influenza A viruses in bats suggests that this species may constitute another r... Read More
Got your attention, eh? This page discusses why so many people believe that antibiotics kill viruses, and what you can do about that myth. Actually, it's not even a myth ... antibiotics DO work against viruses. The problem is that the word "antibiotics" is redefined by some to be a synonym of... Read More
The influenza virus particle is made up of the viral RNA genome wrapped in a lipid membrane (illustrated). The membrane, or envelope, contains three different kinds of viral proteins. The hemagglutinin molecule (HA, blue) attaches to cell receptors and initiates the process of virus entry into c... Read More
There are many reasons why bacteria evolve resistance to antibacterials, but one of the preventable reasons is the over-prescription of antibacterials to patients who don't have bacterial infections. But how to get people to stop asking for antibacterials? My suggestion is to stop using the wor... Read More
If you teach students about viruses and bacteria, recent episodes of The Walking Dead have been using the term "antibiotic" to stand for antivirals. Since students are probably watching the show, it might be a good time to highlight the mistake. I summarized the issues at the associated URL (ht... Read More