Mike the Mad Biologist

Category archives for Plasmids

Yesterday, I mentioned my doubts about there being two anthrax strains used in the 2001 attacks. Thanks to an article identified by reader TomJoe, I’m convinced that there was only one anthrax strain involved, if the only evidence for the existence of two strains is that there is a DNA inversion.

I’ve written before about CTX-M-15 beta-lactamases which make bacteria resistant to most cephalosporin antibiotics–those antibiotics that begin with cef- (or ceph-) or end with -cillin. I’ve also discussed the role of clonal spread in the rise of antibiotic resistance: most (but obviously not all) resistant infections are not the result of a sensitive strain evolving…

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.

The Fitness Cost of Resistance Could Be…

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

From Monday to Friday, I attended the American Society for Microbiology meeting held in Toronto. Before I get to some of the interesting science, my apologies to all of the people who suggested we meet up. Unfortunately, I never look at the blog (or almost never) while I’m on the road, so I missed your…

KPC: An Emerging Threat

No, KPC isn’t a new fast food restaurant. It’s short for Klebsiella pneumoniae carbapenemase. The bad news: it’s very hard to treat. The good news: it’s very rare…for now.

Or maybe terrifying is a better word. I just returned from the Network on Antimicrobial Resistance in Staphylococcus aureus meeting, where I learned some very interesting things about S. aureus (since I’m going to refer to MRSA, methicillin resistant S. aureus repeatedly, go check this link if you want to know more about MRSA):

A while back I posted about how awful it would be for the FDA to approve the use of cefquinome, an antibiotic similar to the medically important drug cefepime. I even coauthored a letter about it. Well, it turns out the IDSA wrote a letter about cefquinome too (the whole letter, in pdf). There’s good…

It’s My Birthday

…so no blogging. Instead, I’ll leave you with a “make sexy time” photo (to steal Borat’s phrase):