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Infectious agents with no genome

If the reader does not believe that viroids and satellites are distinctive, then surely prions, infectious agents composed only of protein, must impress.

The question of whether infectious agents exist without genomes arose with the discovery and characterization of infectious agents associat... Read More

Click-Chemistry Labeling of Oligonucleotides and DNA - Lumiprobe - Protocol


Click chemistry is a versatile reaction that can be used for the synthesis of a variety of conjugates. Virtually any biomolecules can be involved, and labeling with small molecules, such as fluorescent dyes, biotin, and other groups can be readily achieved.

Click chemistry reaction takes pl... Read More

HeLa RNA is everywhere

The first immortal human cell line ever produced, HeLa, originated from a cervical adenocarcinoma taken from Henrietta Lacks. The cell line grew so well that it was used in many laboratories and soon was found to contaminate other cell lines. Now HeLa RNA has made its way into human sequence dat... Read More

Magical Monsoon:rAiNs and Geosmin

A Geosmin Story:
A Musty / Muddy smell - the earthy odour after a heavy spatter of rain is aesthetic to senses.
A poet sitting in such ambiance lets his thoughts to wander randomly and comes out with a sweet piece of write up.
An Artist can do wonders on his canvas flowing with the mood.
Man... Read More

Mineralization of sand particles boosts microbial water filtration

Mineral coatings on sand particles actually encourage microbial activity in the rapid sand filters that are used to treat groundwater for drinking, according to a paper published ahead of print in Applied and Environmental Microbiology. These findings resoundingly refute, for the first time, the... Read More

Retroviral influence on human embryonic development

About eight percent of human DNA is viral: it consists of retroviral genomes produced by infections that occurred many years ago. These endogenous retroviruses are passed from parent to child in our DNA. Some of these viral genomes are activated for a brief time during human embryogenesis, sugge... Read More

asm2014: Five Things Not to Miss at ASM’s 114th General Session

You don’t want to miss asm2014. We’ve compiled a list of five things not to miss at the 114th American Society for Microbiology General Session.

Click the "source" link or copy/paste this URL into your browser: http://blog.puritanmedproducts.com/bid/383376/asm2014-Five-Things-Not-to-Miss-at-... Read More

Immunological Reaction of Poison Ivy - Explained Through Poetry

Immunology Explained Through Poetry - What happens when one touches a poison ivy?

Enjoy!

Billy was at summer camp,
And wanted to feel like a champ,
So he searched for a flower,
That would stop Susie’s glower,
But found poison ivy instead.

While Billy was later playing,
He had no i... Read More

Sushi protects mosquitoes from lethal virus infections

As far as I know, mosquitoes do not eat sushi. But mosquito cells have proteins with sushi repeat domains, and these proteins protect the brain from lethal virus infections. Read More

Virus-host co-evolution under a modified nuclear genetic code

For what may be the first time, researchers have discovered a virus inside a host with a non-standard nuclear genetic code — one that differs from the standard genetic code that almost all living things use to produce proteins.


“The finding is significant because it shows that these viruses... Read More

Remembering Carl Woese: A Memorial Issue of RNA Biology

The journal "RNA Biology" just published a memorial issue dedicated to the late, great Carl Woese. The entire issue is open access. I have a small contribution, but the entire issue is filled with great science, wonderful memories, and a fine celebration of a scientist who changed the way we l... Read More

Should you consider attending ASM 2015 this spring?

The general program for the 2015 American Society of Microbiology meeting in New Orleans is out, and registration is now open. The sessions look incredible, and I've listed them below as I imagine they might resonate with many of the readers of this blog. The bolded sessions look particularly in... Read More

New Report Released by the American Academy of Microbiology: "FAQ: West Nile Virus"

The American Academy of Microbiology has released its newest report about the West Nile virus. Questions answered include: Can West Nile virus outbreaks be prevented? Why do some people get West Nile fever? How did the West Nile virus spread across the country so quickly?

The free report can ... Read More

Student Creativity and Student Study Guides

In this blog entry, I discuss the perennial problem for educators: helping students find study strategies that help them reach their educational goals. I have found that student-generated study material is most helpful...and is sometimes quite artistic! Read More

Be curious

During my visit to the University of Vermont today I had lunch with seven talented Microbiology Ph.D. students. One of them asked me what was an important quality to have for achieving success in science. I said without hesitation, ‘Be curious’. It’s the answer I always give. Being curious is th... Read More

Report on Viruses Looks Beyond Disease

Recently, the American Academy of Microbiology released a new report, Viruses Throughout Life & Time: Friends, Foes, Change Agents that delves into the origin of viruses, the overlooked biological and microbial ecological role of viruses, and how these live forms have contributed to evolution. T... Read More

Some "Rules" for Academia and Research

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

Pet rats as a source of hantavirus in England and Wales

Researchers report the detection of a strain of Seoul hantavirus (SEOV) in pet rats in England and Wales. The discovery followed an investigation of a case of haemorrhagic fever with renal syndrome in Wales. Hantavirus RNA was detected via real-time reverse transcription-polymerase chain reactio... Read More

Viral genomes in 700 year old caribou scat

Recovering viral genomes from ancient specimens can provide information about viral evolution, but not many old nucleic acids have been identified. A study of 700 year old caribou feces reveals that viruses can be protected for long periods of time – under the right conditions. Read More

Livestock-Associated Staphylococcus aureus: The United States Experience

Animal associated S. aureus are distinct from human strains but some recent studies suggested the human infection caused by animal origin strain of MRSA. Extensive and unregulated use of antibiotic in animal husbandry might be one of the causes for development of multidrug resistant strain. Tran... Read More
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