Microbiology

Category archives for Microbiology

Bacterial Ice-9?

Ice 9 by toastforbrekkie. The idea of Ice-9, although fictional, has always fascinated me. Its properties are so powerful, so influential, that one “seed crystal” can direct its entire surroundings, freezing oceans. A recent discovery of one component of the cell wall of bacterium reminded me of this effect. Let me explain.

New Anthrax Scare in Pakistan

Color-enhanced scanning electron micrograph shows splenic tissue from a monkey with inhalational anthrax; featured are rod-shaped bacilli (yellow) and an erythrocyte (red) Credit: Arthur Friedlander A university professor has allegedly mailed anthrax to the Pakistani prime minister’s office in October, accoding to today’s The New York Times. Could this be the beginning of a new…

Source. Actor George Clooney is recognized for more than his roles in television and film. He has worked diligently to support human rights issues in regions in crisis such as the Sudan. In The New York Times blog “On the Ground,” reporter Nicholas Kristof joins Mr. Clooney to address readers’ questions about malaria. What role…

Scientists including the news media in the process of discovery is a volatile affair, as we have all witnessed recently. My fellow bloggers on ScienceBlogs, We Beasties, discussed the role of bloggers and scientists in the process of the NASA scientists announcing their discovery of “arsenic-based life forms”. Generally speaking, as a scientist I have…

Adult human breast stem cells (red) are found in ductal regions. Lineage-restricted progenitor cell types (green) reside outside Scientists based at a medical center in Berlin have accomplished something extraordinary: they have used stem cells to prevent viruses to grow in a patient infected with HIV. This patient had been taking antiviral drugs but discontinued…

Today’s report of Arsenic-eating bacteria published in Science could have some unanticipated benefits: clean up and bioremediation after an oil spill. I may be off base, but here’s my reasoning. Caveat: these newly discovered bacteria may not be useful in reducing arsenic levels after an oil spill if they are “fastidious” or too finicky to…

Thanks, “We, Beasties” for your article on cholera. As you pointed out: As cholera rampages through Haiti, some epidemiologists are warning that the country could face more than half a million cases over the coming year. Yet tracking and treating the disease is proving increasingly difficult as civil unrest grips the county. While oral vaccines…