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Ancient Water Discovery In Depths Of Iron Range Mine

02/19/2011
SOUDAN, Minn. (WCCO) — Scientists in Minnesota have discovered a place like nowhere else on earth right here in Minnesota. It’s in the water found at the bottom of the Soudan Mine on the Iron Range. Where the water comes from is still a mystery, but it could possibly be ...

Constructing the Microbial Biomap for Planet Earth

02/13/2011
Have you heard about the Earth Microbiome Project? Led by the laboratories of Jack Gilbert from Argonne National Labs along with Folker Meyer (Argonne), Janet Jansson (LBNL), Rob Knight (University of Colorado), this is a pioneering effort to characterize the global microbial taxonomic and functional diversity from samples collected ...

Microbial Warfare in the Underworld: Searching for New Antibiotics

02/06/2011
This month we talked with Dr. Christine Salomon, Assistant Professor at the Center for Drug Design in the University of Minnesota. Dr. Salomon’s work intersects chemistry and microbial ecology in the hunt for interesting new natural products with far reaching potential applications. While much effort has been expended ...

Multiple Displacement Technology Goes Digital: a method for enumeration of bacterial nucleic acid contamination in enzymes

01/18/2011
Is bacterial DNA contamination in your whole genome amplification kit a problem? For microbiologists it sure is. WGA is a technique where the complete genomic content of a sample is amplified non-specifically and at a single temperature (isothermically). The presence of any contaminating DNA in the enzyme or buffers will ...

Microbes in the Spotlight: The 74th Annual SoCal ASM Conference, Nov. 5-6, La Jolla, SD

09/13/2010
An exciting program is planned for the Southern California Regional American Society for Microbiology conference being held November 5-6 in La Jolla, San Diego at the beautiful Hilton La Jolla Torrey Pines resort. Early bird registration ends September 15th so get your forms submitted either online or printed out at ...

SCASM - Molecular Microbiology Methods Workshop: Verification, Validation and Quality Systems

09/10/2010
The workshop will provide an overview of molecular method verification and validation and the application of biostatistics, which are now critical to the operation of a microbiology laboratory. The workshop will focus on current CLIA regulations for verification and implementation of user defined molecular assays. Decision Support and Implementation Algorithms ...

Southern California ASM Membership Drive and Social Event

09/05/2010
When I was a graduate student at the Medical College of Virginia, many of the microbiologists in my department were very active in the local ASM. Our local ASM provided opportunities to graduate students and postdocs to present their work to an outside audience of scientists from the surrounding ...

Important Considerations for a Career in Biotech

08/02/2010
When I was in graduate school, it seemed that almost no one aspired to work in industry or be part of a company. But times are changing. Now, when I go to conferences and talk to scientists in training, I am asked, ”how do I get a job in a ...

Next Generation Sequencing Data Analysis Made Easier with PANGEA

07/15/2010
Next generation sequencing is a powerful method increasing in popularity for use in metagenomic and transcriptomic analysis in environmental microbiology. Compared to Sanger sequencing, next generation allows for sequencing of the complete genomic content of a sample without the need to make clone libraries. Using this technique, microbial community analysis ...

Measuring the Impact on Microbial Diversity after an Oil Spill

07/07/2010
As the U.S. struggles with the after effects of the oil spill on tourism, animal health, and food safety due to the largest environmental disaster in U.S. history, microbiologists are stuggling to determine the scope of damage to microbial diversity in the ocean water and sediment. The explosion of the Deepwater ...

High Resolution Melting Analysis - Beyond the SNP

07/01/2010
Real-time qPCR using SYBR Green and melting curve analysis to verify specific product amplification has become a standard laboratory technique for rapid, high throughput gene quantification. An extension of this melting curve method – High Resolution melting analysis (HRMA)– is now doing the same for the analysis of sequence ...

How Silica Spin Column DNA and RNA Preps Work

07/01/2010
We give a lot of troubleshooting help on DNA and RNA isolation on Bitesize Bio because almost everything we do in molecular biology requires DNA or RNA at the very first step. These days, most labs use commercial kits, which employ spin columns, for the isolation of nucleic acids. ...

The Hand Microbiome: Your Real DNA Fingerprint

06/25/2010
In the past 100 years we’ve learned that each one of us has unique fingerprints, and unique DNA sequences. Now through the Human Microbiome Project, we’re learning that every one of us has a unique and identifiable bacterial community not only inside of us, but also growing on our ...

The Minimum Information for Publication of Quantitative Real-Time PCR Experiments

06/13/2010
The video of the seminar given by Dr. Shipley on how to get your qPCR data published is available now at the Source link. Dr. Shipley is the director of the Quantitative Genomics Core Laboratory where they have been performing and optimizing assays for qPCR for the last 13 years. ...

Kids Read Science Summer Reading Contest 2010

06/09/2010
Joanne Manaster is a woman on a mission. She loves science and she wants to introduce kids to everything there is to love about science. So this summer, her mission is to stimulate the minds of children and teens everywhere by challenging them to read non-fiction science books. In collaboration with ...

How to Store Water Filters for Microbial DNA Analysis

06/07/2010
Microbial communities in the Gulf of Mexico have surely been impacted by the oil disaster over the last couple of weeks. Labs are now beginning to assess the damage done by collecting water onto filter membranes and shipping the filters back to their labs for DNA analysis. A frequent question we've ...

How to Get Your Real-Time qPCR Data Published

06/04/2010
Have you ever read a research article with qPCR data and wished that the authors had given you more information about what they did or how they did it? Or have you ever felt your data was more heavily scrutinized and criticized compared to others? The MIQE guidelines serve to ...

ASM 2010 Posters: The results of fruitful collaborations with scientists all over the world

06/01/2010
Most of you are probably back to work after the ASM conference in San Diego. It was a great conference with a lot of exciting talks and posters and we hope you enjoyed our beautiful city. MO BIO Labs presented four posters at ASM and the PDFs are now available online ...

eBay – The other source of lab equipment

05/31/2010
While almost all of you are probably familiar with the power of eBay to bring you everything from concert tickets to electronics to your very own Batmobile, you may not have realized that the world’s largest garage sale also has quite a collection of laboratory equipment. I’ve been turning to ...

Magic in Solution: An Introduction and Brief History of PCR

05/28/2010
If you missed the opportunity to hear Carl Wittwer talk about the history of PCR and his invention of the LightCycler, the video is now available on line. The polymerase chain reaction (PCR) has become a fundamental tool in molecular research and clinical testing. Our presenter, Carl Witter, who has been ...

Significance of Controls and Standard Curves in PCR

05/28/2010
Are you looking for help and more explanations about the proper controls for PCR and how to prepare standard curves? If you are, then you may want to attend this online seminar by expert, Ian Kavanagh, from Thermo Scientific R&D. He is going to give a 30 minute presentation on ...

Do Hand Sanitizer and Liquid Hand Soap Remove Viruses?

05/26/2010
While reading my back issues of Applied and Environmental Microbiology (AEM), I came across an interesting paper that detailed an in-depth study on the effectiveness of hand cleaners to remove Norwalk virus (NV) from intentionally contaminated hands. Yes that’s right – intentionally contaminated, and how. The study volunteers allowed a 20% ...

A Story of the Naturally Obsessed

05/22/2010
Richard Rifkind is chairman Emeritus at the Sloan-Kettering Institute for Cancer Research and Carole Rifkind an author and educator, together their documentary entitled Naturally Obsessed: The making of a Scientist is a peek into the lifestyle of people who toil away because of their interest to know things and just ...

Murphy’s Law in Science

05/22/2010
Murphy’s law states that anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. Nowhere is this law more abundantly evident than in the life of a scientist. Here are just a few of the examples that I’ve witnessed: •if you drop one tube from the whole rack, it will be ...

Getting the Most Out of PCR

05/11/2010
Learn about PCR and qPCR from world experts on the subject in this 6-part series brought to you over the web. Topics include the history of PCR from Carl Wittwer, an inventor of the LightCycler, discussions on the optimization and chemistry for PCR, and applications including methylation PCR and high ...

Get Ready for an Exciting ASM 2010 in San Diego!

05/07/2010
This year, the American Society of Microbiology (ASM) Annual Conference is in the great city of San Diego, which also happens to be the location of many leading biotech companies, including MO BIO Laboratories. We are excited to be the host city for our favorite event of the year: ASM. Among ...

Practical application of Phenol/Chloroform extraction

05/03/2010
While there are many more methods to choose from for cleaning up your RNA or DNA than there used to be, sometimes Phenol/Chloroform extraction is still the best way to go. Here I’ll discuss some of the practical aspects of using this technique. Nick introduced the topic of Phenol/Chloroform extraction in ...

At the Ends of the Earth: Antarctic Extremophiles

05/03/2010
Dr. Laurie Connell, of the University of Maine, is involved in a number of research projects spanning from the development of field detection instruments for the detrimental potato wart, to the analysis of paralytic shellfish toxins, to the extreme microbial habitats at the southern most region of our planet. Along ...

Infection, kill thyself: New wound dressings drive bacteria down a suicidal path

05/01/2010
By Rachel Ehrenberg Scientists are turning harmful bacteria into agents of their own destruction. In an effort to create antibacterial wound dressings, a new material comes laden with microbial booby traps that are triggered by the activity of harmful bacteria, scientists report online April 20 in the Journal of the American ...

Lab Stuff I Wish I Could Use In My Kitchen

04/30/2010
Do you ever take a look at what you’re doing in the lab and think, “Wow, this would really come in handy at home?” Here are a few of the things I use in the lab that I would love to have in my kitchen: 1. Stir plates and stir bars ...

Colorectal cancer risk linked to stomach bacterium, inflammation

04/25/2010
WASHINGTON — A chronic stomach infection or high levels of inflammation may place a person at risk of colon cancer — or serve as an early warning sign of the disease — according to two studies presented April 19 at a meeting of the American Association for Cancer Research. Past research ...

New Strain of Virulent Airborne Fungi, Unique to Oregon, Is Set to Spread

04/23/2010
ScienceDaily (Apr. 22, 2010) — A newly discovered strain of an airborne fungus has caused several deaths in Oregon and seems poised to move into California and other adjacent areas, according to scientists at Duke University Medical Center. "This novel fungus is worrisome because it appears to be a threat to ...

The Basics: How Alkaline Lysis Works

04/23/2010
Alkaline lysis was first described by Birnboim and Doly in 1979 (Nucleic Acids Res. 7, 1513-1523) and has, with a few modifications, been the preferred method for plasmid DNA extraction from bacteria ever since. The easiest way to describe how alkaline lysis works is to go through the procedure and ...

Counting sea life, sometimes little things are big

04/21/2010
If the Census Bureau thinks it has its hands full counting Americans, imagine what scientists are up against in trying to tally every living thing in the ocean, including microbes so small they seem invisible. And just try to get them to mail back a form. The worldwide Census of ...

The Basics: How Phenol Extraction Works

04/20/2010
Phenol extraction is a commonly used method for removing proteins from a DNA sample, e.g. to remove proteins from cell lysate during genomic DNA preparation. It’s commonly used, but not commonly understood. This article describes the basic protocol and explains solvents in detail before an expanded discussion on how proteins are ...

Important Considerations for Determining qPCR Efficiency

04/20/2010
One of the very first things you need to do when getting set up for quantitative PCR (qPCR) is to determine the efficiency of the assay because knowing the assay efficiency is critical to accurate data interpretation. And you have to do this every time you design and purchase a ...

DO’s and DON’Ts for Isolation of DNA and RNA from Biofilm

04/20/2010
In a previous article, we discussed the basic characteristics of biofilm samples and factors that influence sample prep and handling. Today we want to share with you some very important tips for isolation of DNA or RNA from biofilm samples. After working with numerous different biofilms and biomats, these ...

Will the iPad Replace Your Lab Notebook?

04/05/2010
The release of the iPad this week may bring the long-expected replacement of the paper-bound lab notebook by electronic notebooks one step closer. But are scientists, particularly PIs, comfortable with electronic lab notebooks? The rise of the tablets The concept of an electronic lab notebook isn’t anything new, and even the idea ...

Renew your Knowledge of Microbiology

03/29/2010
Enjoy this scientific spring scavenger hunt and find the answers to these 10 questions on the history of microbiology. The birth of microbiology revolved around many key discoveries beginning around the mid to late 1600’s. These discoveries were at the cutting edge of science at the time and thanks ...

When Your Partner is NOT a Scientist

03/27/2010
A recent article published by The Scientist called Power Couples gave advice and examples for scientist couples who have successfully balanced their life at home and in the lab. It was interesting from the perspective of how two very busy and career motivated people work together to have ...

10 Ways to Be Your OWN Boss In The Lab

03/27/2010
In an ideal world, every PI would be a nurturing and challenging mentor who carefully guides your project and is invested in developing your skills as a scientist. In the real world, however, that kind of leadership can be hard to find. In any case, one of the most important and ...

10 Tips for the Isolation of High Quality RNA from Soil

03/24/2010
RNA Isolation from soil is one of the most difficult applications we perform in environmental molecular biology. RNA purification is always an arduous task and from soil it becomes a bigger challenge. One of the biggest problems is the yield of RNA from soil. Because typical yields of RNA ...

Sucker-Like Structures on the Pathogenic Amoeba Naegleria fowleri

03/23/2010
Scanning electron microscopy photograph of a human isolate of Naegleria fowleri amoeba grown in axenic culture displaying sucker-like structures, called amoebastome, used for a novel form of phagocytosis. There appears to be an inverse correlation between the mean number of suckers per amoeba and the virulence of a particular strain ...

Baby Seal near McMurdo Station in Antarctica

03/19/2010
This baby seal was found on the sea ice near McMurdo Station during one of many excursions to collect soil samples for microbiological analysis. During November and December, there are many baby seals in the area. Photo taken by Hubert Staudigel from the Scripps Institution of Oceanography and ...

How to Make a Decision: Advice for Scientists

03/17/2010
Which grad school should you go to?… should you take that new job?… should you quit your current job?… should you stay in science?… should you get married, go for a run, eat that chocolate bar?….. You have a multitude of decisions to make in your life. But now you are ...

18 Things You Need to Know for Job Hunting Success in Biotech

03/16/2010
Travis Medley, Bitesize Bio's resident scientific employment guidance counselor, recently attended a meeting for job seekers in the biotech industry during which a panel of senior Human Resources professionals answered questions and provided insight for people looking to find work within biotech. The points that they shared were not all ...

Resourceful Science: How to Build a Plate Centrifuge for $25

03/15/2010
I recently visited a lab that had a salad spinner on their lab bench and at first I wondered if they were putting together a salad lunch there but when I took a peek I got a nice surprise. It turns out that the salad spinner was actually a bench ...

Cyanobacterial mat on the shores of Lake Fryxell in the McMurdo Dry Valley region of Antarctica

03/15/2010
The cyanobacterial mat is on the shores of Lake Fryxell in Taylor Valley- the McMurdo Dry Valley region of Antarctica. These organisms actively grow only a few weeks a year during December and January. Photo taken by Scott Craig and contributed by Dr. Laurie Connell.

Molecular Biology of Biofilm: An Introduction

03/15/2010
After spending many months working with all types of biofilms and biomat samples from around San Diego and speaking with scientists all over the world, we understand the difficulty in determining the microbial diversity in these sample types. In many ways, biofilms are similar to soils in that they are mixed ...

The Invention of PCR

03/11/2010
Few technical breakthroughs have changed the face of their field like the Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR). Gene cloning, sequencing of complex genomes, DNA fingerprinting and DNA-based diagnostics are just some of the techniques that were either inefficient, crude or plain impossible before PCR. The technique has revolutionized biological research and ...

Water you waiting for? Find out more about choosing water filter membranes for DNA and RNA Isolation

03/10/2010
We speak with many scientists each week who are working with filtered water for the isolation of microbial DNA and RNA. Because there are many choices for filter membranes, each with their own benefits, choosing the best one for your sample type and microbial load can be confusing. This article ...

Lab Hacks: Lab equipment from the hardware store

03/09/2010
While almost every lab has a small toolbox with some screwdrivers, pliers, and such, here are some tools that may not have obvious utility at the bench, but could make your life easier. Jode Plank, a Postdoctoral Fellow studying DNA repair at the University of California at Davis shares some ...

UCLA Pioneering Microbiology Educator and Author Discusses Innovative Teaching Methods

03/08/2010
In this monthly interview series, meet Erin Sanders-Lorenz, an Adjunct Assistant Professor in the Department of Microbiology, Immunology, & Molecular Genetics at UCLA , co-author of the new book, "I, Microbiologist: A Discovery-based Course in Microbial Ecology and Molecular Evolution" and a leader in the development of novel education programs ...

How to Create an Effective PowerPoint Presentation

03/06/2010
Presenting your work is a fantastic opportunity to get feedback on your project, demonstrate the significance of your results, and make the connections that will enhance your future career. And yet, how many incomprehensible lab meetings have we all sat through? How many seminars have you attended that left you ...

Quick reference: Determining DNA Concentration and Purity

03/04/2010
The most comprehensive way to evaluate DNA concentration and purity is to use both UV spectrophotometeric measurements and agarose gel eletrophoresis. This quick reference guide gives an overview of the information that can be derived from both. This article is a clear and concise guide to the common contaminants in DNA ...

Grad School is for Life, Not Just for Science

03/04/2010
You are going to spend at least 4 years or more in graduate school, and around 3-5 years in a postdoc position. That’s a big chunk of your life, so apart from doing experiments, writing papers or your thesis and maybe doing some teaching, what else are you doing? To paraphrase ...

Hot Off the Press: Current Research Papers in Microbiology

03/02/2010
In an ideal world, we would have time to read every great paper coming out in all the microbiology journals each month. Instead we have to focus our reading on the topics that directly impact our research. But reading papers from other fields can often help us to find ...

Cannabinoid receptor activation blocks HIV Tat protein induced macrophage migration: a new avenue for therapeutics

03/01/2010
We all are very familiar with the effects of cannabinoid receptor stimulation on the body. Relaxation, pain relief, and increased appetite probably come first to mind. These psychoactive effects result from activation of the CB1 receptor found on cells in the brain by tetrahydrocannabinol (THC). But there is another receptor, ...

Molecular Biology of Soil: an introduction

02/27/2010
This article is the first in a series that discusses the issue surrounding the molecular studies of soil microbiology. In this first article we cover the basics of soil and why it is one of the most challenging samples to study and how to overcome those challenges. There are major ...

The Microbiology of Food

02/27/2010
Its seems as though every day there is another outbreak of bacterial contamination in food products, if you follow the twitter feed of the FDA and the posts on Microbeworld.org daily, as I do. Most recently, red pepper and Italian sausages were the source of salmonella contamination and had to ...

What's Going On with Peer Review?

02/23/2010
This past week I found myself asking this question quite a few times. What is going on with the peer review process? Is anyone actually reviewing the papers getting into journals anymore? Peer review is a process that is meant to ensure that only high quality scientific publications make it to ...

Identification of Pathogenic Amoebae in Warm Ground Water Aquifers

02/22/2010
This new 2010 paper from the Journal of Environmental Quality takes a closer look at the presence of a pathogenic amoeba, Naegleria fowleri, in drinking water from various wells and at different times of year from the Phoenix, Arizona area. It was previously determined that the contamination of a ground ...

Journal Club: Get Rid of False-Positives in 16s rDNA PCR

02/20/2010
How many of you run into problems of false- positive PCR or lack of sensitivity in qPCR when trying to use 16S primers because of the background genomic DNA in your PCR enzyme mixes? At MO BIO Labs, we do. This article is a review of a new paper in ...

How To Prevent Other People’s Mistakes from Affecting Your Work

02/20/2010
Chances are, in the course of your scientific career, you will encounter a common problem in research: losing time due to someone else’s mistake. Whether the problem is an incorrect strain or plasmid given to you by another lab, incorrectly made buffers or media from within your own lab, or, ...

DNA Precipitation: Ethanol vs. Isopropanol - a discussion of best practices

02/18/2010
Since our most popular article of all time (“The Basics: How Ethanol Precipitation of DNA and RNA Works”) was published, many Bitesize Bio readers have asked us to further explain the difference between precipitating DNA with ethanol vs. isopropanol and which is the better choice. This article discusses the pros ...
02/18/2010
Problems achieving high yield and purity DNA are exaggerated in environmental samples because of the added complexity of microorganism lysis and inhibitor removal. Quantifying the nucleic acids in these samples is the easy part. But if you don’t know what to look for, you can easily make mistakes ...

Show some LOVE for environmental microbiology

02/12/2010
One of the most unique fields within microbiology is environmental microbiology and ecology. With discovery literally underfoot, opportunities to identify new organisms and solve challenging puzzles that impact the entire planet make this area of science exciting and fun. These were just some of the reasons scientists told us ...
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