E. coli

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for E. coli

…and I can’t blame them. The recent and ongoing E. coli outbreak which began in Germany was originally claimed to have been traced to Spanish cucumbers. Erm, not so much: German agricultural authorities on Sunday identified locally grown bean sprouts as the likely cause of an E. coli outbreak that has killed 22 people and…

…in Europe. I’ll get to that in a moment. You’ve probably heard of the E. coli outbreak sweeping through Germany and now other European countries that has caused over one thousand cases of hemolytic uremic syndrome (‘HUS’). What’s odd is that the initial reports are calling this a novel hybrid or some new strain of…

A seminal discovery of modern biology was Joshua Lederberg’s demonstration that bacteria can swap genes through a process known as bacterial recombination. Not only is recombination the mechanism by which antibiotic resistance genes are transferred, but it’s also been turned into a useful tool for genetically manipulating E. coli, which has led to so many…

Nick Loman listed the fifty most sequenced bacterial genomes according to NCBI. A reader at Nick’s blog came up with an improved list–one that reflects the genomes for which we actually have data (depending on who is doing the sequencing, a project will be registered with NCBI, often months before any sequencing is done). Here’s…

Consider this the post wherein I channel my Inner ERV. During the last week, I’ve come across a couple sensationalist article about E. coli and Staphylococcus aureus being found on common surfaces. Here’s one article about shopping carts and E. coli: Researchers from the University of Arizona swabbed shopping cart handles in four states looking…

Lest there be any doubt that I’m not as nuts in real life as I am on the blog, here’s a slide I used yesterday during a full-blown fancy-schmancy professional talk: Just saying. For context, read this post (IT HAZ SCIENTISMZ!!).

I don’t see the need to redescribe the recent paper about the discovery of bacteria that can might replace, in extremis, phosphorus with arsenic, which was overhyped by NASA, was poorly covered by most journalists, and which has compromising methodological problems (for good coverage, read here, here, and here; and snark). But what the paper…

If you haven’t heard, there’s a new antibiotic resistance gene, NDM-1, which stands for New Delhi metallo-beta-lactamase-1. This gene has been found in Gram-negative Enterobacteriaceae (E. coli and Klebsiella), and confers resistance to every penicillin derivative. Like the KPC genes, this gene is found on miniature chromosomes that also carry other resistance genes, making this…

When I first saw the title of this PloSOne article, “Unauthorized Horizontal Spread in the Laboratory Environment: The Tactics of Lula, a Temperate Lambdoid Bacteriophage of Escherichia coli“, I thought, “Hunh?!? You can actually publish articles about laboratory contamination?”, but it’s actually a very interesting article. In short, the article describes the discovery of a…

If you want the short version, Superbug: The Fatal Menace of MRSA is a must read. While I have a couple minor quibbles (more about those in a bit), they don’t detract from either the importance or the style of this book. While there has been a lot written about methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)…