This lecture covers the biochemical basis of actin-based motility (focusing on the pathogen Listeria as a model system for this process), the biophysical mechanism of polymerization-based force generation, and an evolutionary perspective of cell shape in prokaryotes and eukaryotes. The first par... Read More
One of the basic requirements of evolution is variation in a population upon which selection can act. One of the sources of variation is mutation in DNA. These changes may or may not be reflected in the ensuing amino acid sequence of a protein. This exercise explores the additive effects of m... Read More
The Hygiene Council, an international initiative based out of the UK, has produced a short CGI/computer animation on how disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses. The animation is superb and in there is no corporate branding in the piece which makes it an excellent resource for young students.
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Google Knol is a website similar in idea to wikipedia in which it encourages experts to "share what they know and a write a knol." What's a knol? Well it's a unit of knowledge, of course! (Disclaimer: I had to look it up myself).
What's interesting is that the Public Library of Science is now... Read More
Most ethnic foods and cooking practices have incorporated the use of spices and other food additives. Many common
spices have crossed cultural boundaries and appear in multiple ethnic cuisines. Recent studies have demonstrated that many of these ingredients possess antimicrobial properties agai... Read More
Bacteria communicate with chemical languages that allow them to synchronize their behavior and thereby act as multi-cellular organisms. This process, called quorum sensing, enables bacteria to do things they can’t do as a single cell, like successfully infect and cause disease in humans.
Albert Osterhaus, head of virology at the Erasmus Medical Center, designed "The Great Flu" game with colleagues. In the game, as the head of the fictitious "World Pandemic Control," players pick a flu strain, and then monitor that strain's spread around the world.
Elio Schaechter from the Small Things Considered blog has brought to our attention a new internet resource called Bionumbers. "It enables you to find in a minute (or less) any common biological... Read More
The Institute of Medicine has been asked to make recommendations about how to protect healthcare workers against swine-origin H1N1 influenza. They have been hearing presentations concerning the effectiveness of facemasks in preventing respiratory infections. Read More
In this two-part activity, which uses discovery and an inquiry approach, the participants will be given cartoon drawings representing significant events in the history of the Earth and asked to place them on a timeline made of colored ribbon. Then they mathematically relate the geologic time sca... Read More
Oral Microbiology is an important emerging field of study. This article is from the Journal of Oral Microbiology (www.JournalofOralMicrobiology.net). All users are granted free access to the article under a Creative Commons License. In this article Lakio et al. investiate the possibility of usin... Read More
The blog www.ncbirofl.com is a great resource for amusing/interesting research papers that have been published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information's website. This week they highlight a paper on the regional differences in the metagenomic data of eukaryotes found in "bug splat."
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A team of researchers from The Wistar Institute has identified a protein that could serve as a target for reprogramming immune system cells exhausted by exposure to chronic viral infection into more effective "soldiers" against certain viruses like HIV, hepatitis C, and hepatitis B, as well as s... Read More
Scientists in Massachusetts are describing successful use of a test that enlists pinhead-sized worms in efforts to discover badly needed new antibiotics. Thestudy appears in ACS' Chemical Biology.
From the abstract:
The nematode Caenorhabditis elegans is a unique whole animal model system ... Read More
In this activity, each student is provided with a worksheet and three index cards. Each card indicates a different cell part (e.g. LPS, capsule, DNA). Students are placed in small groups and receive a written scenario regarding a bacterium with a certain goal it must carry out. They must work t... Read More
This teleconference is sponsored by the American Society for Microbiology and will review the history and importance of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) with a primary focus on the emergence of community-associated MRSA (CA-MRSA). The phenotypic and molecular identification of ... Read More
A recent study published earlier this week from Washington State University suggests Nosema ceranae, a unicellular parasite, and pesticides embedded in old honeycombs are two major contributors to the bee disease known as colony collapse disorder. Now, the first descriptive epizootiological surv... Read More
Scientists studying Staphylococcus bacteria, including methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MRSA), have discovered a potent staph toxin responsible for disease severity. They also found the gene for the toxin traveling with a genetic component of Staphylococcus that controls resistance to antibiotic... Read More
The Scrub Club created by NSF International is designed for children who are 3 to 8 years of age. The web site is a fun, interactive and educational resource that teaches children about the microbes that make them sick and the proper way to wash their hands. The site is a hodgepodge of fun flash... Read More