The quest for the $500 home molecular biology laboratory >> Medical Laboratory Observer December 2011

“Molecular diagnostics and molecular biology in general are becoming more pervasive every day in a range of applications but are still seen by many as being an arcane science. Many undergraduate science curricula cover only the basics of theoretical components without exposure to laboratory practice, due to perceived cost and complexity of laboratory facilities needed. […]

Bacterial physiology: Bacteria get old : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“A new study using data from earlier work that had generated conflicting results now reveals that bacteria do indeed age, but aging and rejuvenation occur simultaneously. Aging appears to be related to inheritance of the old pole.” Seems interesting to think of bacteria aging. But aging is not really about the decay of normal systems […]

Viral infection: The gut microbiota: friend or foe? : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“We normally think of the gut microbiota as the ‘friendly’ bacteria that carry out many beneficial functions, including protecting us from infection. But two studies now identify a different side to the gut microbiota, showing that it can actually facilitate viral infection and promote transmission.” Another interesting review that is in a CLOSED ACCESS paper. […]

Microbiology puts food on the table : Nature Reviews Microbiology

“During the upcoming holidays, many events will involve traditional foods, such as turkey at Thanksgiving and Christmas. That microorganisms can spoil any of these foods, and thereby the entire party, is well known, but perhaps less obvious is the fact that microbiological processes are involved in the production of nearly all types of food. … […]

PLoS Pathogens: Microbial Spy Games and Host Response: Roles of a Pseudomonas aeruginosa Small Molecule in Communication with Other Species

“In their constant battles with competitors and the host immune system, (opportunistic) microbial pathogens have developed sophisticated cell–cell communication systems termed quorum sensing (QS) that allow exchange of critical information. In return, competing microbes, as well as the host immune system, have developed means to intercept and decode these messages. The information obtained by this […]

Research at Janelia: Life on the farm : Nature News & Comment

“But what happens next? Can Janelia Farm do ‘great science’ during the next 5 to 10 years? Will it pass Rubin’s deletion test? Can it rewrite the introductory biology texts (Cech’s favourite definition of great science), or foster “a couple of programmes that create a whole new direction” (Tjian’s favourite)? That is the great unanswerable […]

PLoS Biology: A Holistic Approach to Marine Eco-Systems Biology

“In summary, the Tara Oceans project leverages powerful new technologies and analytical tools to develop the first planetary-scale data collection effort that links biogeography with ecology, genetics, and morphology. Guided by the cross-disciplinary philosophy the pay-offs can be immense, considering the massive number of samples and data that have been collected, archived, and interconnected for […]

Thoughts on completing NaNoWriMo

NaNoWriMo, as you probably know, stands for National November Writing Month. It’s a crazy-ass month-long 50,000-word writing challenge. I’ve known about it for a long time and each year I make a less-wimpy attempt to gear up for it. But for some reason, this year clicked, and I did it. My experience I was slow […]