In this blog post, I describe a simple "colony transformation" experiment I have done with my freshman students, illustrating transformation, antibiotic resistance, and GFP. The visual aspects help drive home the points effectivel. Read More
Our bodies are made up by cells containing our own DNA. Plus 10 times as many with foreign DNA. The bacteria found on our skin, and inside our organs (intestine, vagina, mouth, nose, etc.) are referred to as our “microbiome”, outnumber our own cells by 10 to 1, and make up a vital organ with ind... Read More
There have been over 60 human infections with avian influenza virus H7N9 in China, and cases have been detected outside of Shanghai, including Beijing, Zhejiang, Henan, and Anhui Provinces. Information on the first three cases has now been published, allowing a more detailed consideration of the... Read More
Three years ago today, on 13 January 2011, the last case of poliomyelitis was reported in India. This achievement represents a remarkable turnaround for a country where control of the disease had for years been extremely difficult. As recently as 2009 there were 741 confirmed cases of polio caus... Read More
This episode: Bacteria use fungal filaments like highways to swim through soil!
(7.7 MB, 8.3 minutes)
Dear Vincent and Dickson,
Listening to TWiP on cyclosporiasis. Because I am all too aware of the possible contamination of many crops as a former public health nurse who worked in epidemiology for my state (Florida), I always wash my fruits and v... Read More
This episode: Scientists engineered E. coli to seek and destroy pathogens!
(10 MB, 11 minutes)
A bacterium can sense pathogens in the body, swim toward them, and release a deadly biofilm-busting payload. This process is called pseudotaxis, and could be modified for many... Read More
In this post from my microbiology/education blog, I discuss a post on Boing Boing recently that used a video I had made of ice nucleation bacteria. Ice nucleation bacteria are very interesting of course, and I link to the Boing Boing post. In addition, I provide an additional video of students... Read More
In this paper we describe the perspective of following the achievements in medicine, where gut microbiome transplants are proving to be a powerful method to overcome several gastrointestinal disorders and many other physiological problems, to possible solve diseases in plants. There is strong si... Read More
It causes human mucormycosis and bovine mycotic abortion.
It is distinguished from R.arrhizus by its shorter stalk, and smaller sporangia and spores.
Var.oligosporus : has elongated columellae ; spores less obviously striated.
Var.rhizopodiformis : has ... Read More
This episode: Nitrogen-fixing bacteria could provide nitrogen to algae in biotech processes!
(7.4 MB, 8 minutes)
Our vaccine unit here at NIH did a study of malaria vaccine with some promising results. I know Dickson has been a champion of conquering malaria.
Those of you with an interest in virology, or perhaps simply sensationalism, have probably seen the recent headlines proclaiming another laboratory-made killer influenza virus. From The Independent: ‘Appalling irresponsibility: Senior scientists attack Chinese researchers for creating new strain... 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
Two back-to-back papers were published last week that provide a detailed analysis of what it would take for avian influenza H5N1 and H7N9 viruses to switch to human receptors. A single amino acid change in the viral hemagglutinin protein is sufficient to quantitatively change binding of the viru... Read More
In this blog, I share some "first word that comes to mind" responses of my freshman biology class to the words "germ," "bacteria," "cell," and "DNA." The way that we perceive an idea or concept definitely impacts our relationship with it. Thus, finding out what students think, coming into our ... Read More