For those of you interested in keeping up with the emerging scientific literature of the H1N1-swine variant of influenza I would like to call your attention to the following site: PLoS Currents:Influenza. This resource contains a moderated collection of resources, scientific results and ideas ... Read More
After searching through hundreds of potential chemicals, German immunologist Paul Ehrlich discovers a compound that can selectively kill the parasitic spirochete that causes syphilis. The following year, he sends 65,000 free samples of the drug, now known as the first modern chemotherapy agent, ... Read More
As noted entomologist E.O. Wilson accepts his 2007 TED Prize, he makes a plea on behalf of his constituents, the insects and small creatures, to learn more about our biosphere. Wilson states that as we're still discovering tiny organisms indispensable to life we're steadily, methodically, and vi... Read More
The soft flesh of a banana provides a ready source of DNA. Using a few simple purification steps in a classroom setting, students can yield loads of crudely prepared DNA. To begin, the banana is mashed in a detergent/salt solution to lyse the cellular and nuclear membranes. Cellular lysate is st... Read More
A brief video history of Robert Koch, one of the founding fathers of Bacteriology and Microbiology who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for his contributions and discoveries on Tuberculosis.
An article by Alan Derman, Project Scientist in Joe Pogliano’s lab at the University of California at San Diego, published on the Small Things Considered blog presents a point-by-point analysis of a paper "Quantitative genome-scale analysis of protein localization in an asymmetric bacterium" pub... Read More
Stanley Falkow, Professor Microbiology and Immunology, Geographic Medicine, Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, presents the second part of a lecture on host-pathogen interaction. This one focuses on H. pylori (the ulcer bacterium) and the story behind its discovery by A... Read More
Stanley Falkow, Professor Microbiology and Immunology; Geographic Medicine; Infectious Diseases, Stanford University School of Medicine, presents a lecture on host-pathogen interaction.
"Ninety percent of the cells humans carry are microbes. Only a few of the bacteria we encounter are pathoge... Read More
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