RSS stands for really simple syndication. It's an acronym encompassing various data formats (xml, atom, rss, rdf) used for providing users with frequently updated content. RSS also allows... Read More
Microbiology’s 50 Most Significant Events 1875–Present
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A virus is basically a tiny bundle of genetic material—either DNA or RNA—carried in a shell called the viral coat, or capsid, which is made up of bits of protein called capsomeres. Some viruses have an additional layer around this coat called an envelope. That's basically all there is to viru... Read More
Water molds are always found in wet environments, especially in fresh water sources and near the upper layers of moist soil.
In 1973, a Dallas resident went out to the backyard only to stumble upon a reddish, jelly-like mass pulsating in the grass. News reports on the discover... Read More
The name protozoa means “first animals.” As the principal hunters and grazers of the microbial world, protozoa play a key role in maintaining the balance of bacterial, algal, and other microbial life. They also are themselves an important food source for larger creatures and the basis of many fo... Read More
When viruses come into contact with host cells, they trigger the cells to engulf them, or fuse themselves to the cell membrane so they can release their DNA into the cell.
Once inside a host cell, viruses take over its machinery to reproduce. Viruses override the host cell’s normal functioni... Read More
Viruses can act as miniature couriers. When they infect, they may inadvertently take up a bit of their host’s DNA and have it copied into their progeny. When the offspring viruses move on to infect new cells, they may insert this bit of accidentally pilfered DNA into the new hosts’ genome. This ... Read More
Fungi are eukaryotic organisms. This means that their DNA-containing chromosomes are enclosed within a nucleus inside their cells. (The chromosomes of bacteria and archaea are not walled off inside nuclei, making them prokaryotic organisms.)
Viruses may be referred to often as the smallest infectious things. But there are some smaller contenders. Some of the agents of plant disease lack even a viral coat and are merely small strings of plain, or "naked," RNA. These particles are called viroids. They are believed ... Read More
Viruses exist for one purpose only: to reproduce. To do that, they have to take over the reproductive machinery of suitable host cells.
Upon landing on an appropriate host cell, a virus gets its genetic material inside the cell either by tricking the host cell to pull it inside, like ... Read More
Most fungi can best be described as grazers, but a few are active hunters.
Fungi absorb nutrients from living or dead organic matter (plant or animal stuff) that they grow on. They absorb simple, easily dissolved nutrients, such as sugars, through their cell walls. They give off special digestive enzymes to break down complex nutrient... Read More
Fungi can be found in rising bread, moldy bread, and old food in the refrigerator, and on forest floors. Most decompose non-living things, but some damage crops and plants. A few cause problems in people, such as Candida, which causes yeast infections.... Read More