Plasmids

Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Plasmids

After Friday’s post, I’ve held off on writing much about the German E. coli outbreak, often referred to by its serotype, O104:H4, or as HUSEC041 (HUS stands for hemolytic uremic syndrome). Having had the weekend to digest some of the ongoing analysis and news reports, here are some additional thoughts: 1) The multilocus sequence type…

I haven’t gone after creationists in quite a while, because it just starts to feel like picking on the slow kid. Both PZ Myers and Kele Cable attended a seminar by Answers in Genesis High Wackaloon Terry Mortenson. I don’t think you could pay me enough to wade through that morass of unadulterated bullshit, but…

Over at The Tree of Life, Jonathan Eisen asks: What do people think are the potential benefits that could come from finishing? For those who don’t know what genome finishing is, I’ll let Eisen give the short summary: Finishing: Using any combination of laboratory, computational and other analyses one can both fill in gaps in…

Yesterday, four people emailed me, asking about Brian Palmer’s Slate article about antibiotic resistance. Since I’ll probably get more such emails (and thank you for sending them), I’ll offer my thoughts below: 1) Palmer’s basic point about antibiotic development not being the answer is right. All a new drug does is kick the can down…

In the midst of the concern about TEH SWINEY FLOO!, very few people (other than the Mad Biologist), have been discussing the double whammy of influenza followed by bacterial infections. A couple of years ago, I first started describing reports of KPCs: No, KPC isn’t a new fast food restaurant. It’s short for Klebsiella pneumoniae…

Unnecessary Bioterrorism Hysteria

A recent post about the looming specter of bioterrorism by William Lind due to ‘biohacking’ seems overblown to me. But before I get Lind, what I find particularly disturbing about hyping a non-existent bioterror threat is that it makes combating infectious disease–the stuff that kills millions worldwide–much harder due to unnecessary regulations and restrictions. Onto…

…the signal peptide? Interesting. I’ll start at the beginning.

While I’m away at ASM, here’s something from the archives for you When I read Olivia Judson’s post about hopeful monsters, I didn’t think she used the term correctly (here are some good explanations why), but I was surprised by Jerry Coyne’s response.

Why VRE Is a Problem

ScienceBlogling Revere links to a news article about high levels of VRE, vancomycin resistant enterococci in beach sand. While Revere and the article both describe how this indicates that VRE are established in the community, I think a far more chilling problem isn’t mentioned at all: VMRSA.

This is not good. A recent article in Emerging Infectious Diseases describes two separate cases of community-acquired ST398 MRSA–and neither case was associated with agriculture. Let me explain what this means and why this is really bad news.