MicroMicrobe's Latest Posts
Last week, there was media coverage of a paper published in PLoS pathogens. The study found Plasmodium falciparum, the parasite which causes malaria, makes their mosquito host more attracted to human body odour compared to uninfected mosquitoes. Parasites are known for their ability to alter the mind of their host for their own benefit. Toxoplama gondii for example, is a parasite that infects rodents but needs to infect cats to complete its life cycle. To do this, it alters the behaviour […]
Microbial image of the month This is a great image of a biofilm growing on a micro-fibrous material. Biofilms are aggregates of bacteria that are coated with a ‘slimy’ substance consisting of polysaccharide, DNA and proteins. Bacteria are very sociable; more than 90% live in biofilms because they confer many benefits, including resistance to antimicrobials and harsh environmental conditions. They are everywhere, including on our teeth, in our showers and down our sinks. Image by Paul […]
A to Z of epidemiology This is a fantastic microbiology video produced by Jennifer Gardy. It’s brilliant, so check it out - just make sure you don’t miss the ‘cooties’ rap at the end! If you’ve come across any other funny microbiology videos, then please comment below!
Have you ever wondered what bacteria have for lunch? Just like us, bacteria are choosy in what they eat, picking certain sugars first and utilising nutrients in their environment. They also help us break down our own food; for example, Lactobacillus breaks down food we eat containing lactose. But apart from sugars and nutrients, bacteria may also eat other bacteria, and in some cases, even their own kind. Photo credit:David Wacey There have been cases when humans have resorted to cannibalism […]
If you’re a microbiologist and enjoy baking, then you’re going to love what the microbiology department at Newcastle University did yesterday. Forget The Great British Bake Off, it’s all about The Great Bacterial Bake Off now! Phil Aldridge (@wragbags) organised a microbial cake competition for his students, and I very much enjoyed seeing what was produced on Twitter; here are some of my favourite creations: #GreatBacterialBakeOff E. coli version 2 Gram stained […]
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