A subdivision of microbiology dedicated to the study of bacteria.

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Do bacteria die of old age?

I know that the cells of mammals at least stop dividing when they are old, and then die a programmed cell death. Then other cells have to replace them. But in a bacterial colony, each cell ...
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What is the advantage of circular DNA in bacteria?

From what I understand, bacteria have circular DNA. What advantages does it have over linear strands like for eukaryotes? Do there exist bacteria with more than one ring of DNA?
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Hot water and bacteria

I know that it is common to say, "use hot water when washing your hands" or when you've got a cut, "wash your hands with warm water," etc. I was wondering, why is this the case? Since bacteria grow in ...
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If a human takes antibiotics are all bacteria in the body killed?

From my basic understanding, antibiotics kill living things, bacteria for example. Do the antibiotics consumed by a human-being distinguish between what they kill? Or do they just kill every bacteria ...
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Why is there now only one Salmonella species?

Once upon a time, I chanced upon an old microbiology book that detailed the rather colorful world of enterobacteria. Salmonella in particular stood out, as it seemed there were a lot of species: typhi ...
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What causes the development of antibiotic-resistant strains of bacteria?

I understand bacteria have become resistant to antibiotics due to selection pressures, but how do resistant bacteria process antibiotics when exposed to it, compared to non-resistant bacteria. Also, ...
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Why does Penicillin only affect bacterial cell walls

I was quite fascinated by the feature Should Science Pull the Trigger on Antiviral Drugs—That Can Blast the Common Cold? in this month's Wired magazine. They explain that Penicillin is effective at ...
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What are the requirements for a stable carbon cycle in sealed “bottle gardens”`?

The most famous example of a sealed bottle garden is David Latimer's bottle with a Spiderworth plant, pictured below, which has been sealed for 40 years. My own attempt at a bottle garden is failing ...
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How long can E. coli stocks be stored at -20°C?

I'm volunteering for a biohacker lab - biocurious in Sunnyvale. The have a pretty good set of equipment - gel boxes, incubators, but they don't have a -80°C freezer yet. I'd like to set up some ...
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Is there an equivalent to “Fields Virology” for Bacteria?

I've gotten a staggering amount of use out of my copy of Fields Virology as a general reference for "getting me up to speed" on whatever pathogen I'm currently looking at. I don't know of a similar ...
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What is the advantage of using starter cultures for growing bacteria?

Many DNA isolation and protein expression protocols contain instructions to use a starter culture of E. coli that is then used to inoculate the main culture. What are the advantages of using starter ...
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How to obtain bacteria samples at home?

As the original question went from hold to closed, I thought I would write up a more appropriate question. How should one go about getting bacterial samples to look at under a microscope at home? ...
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How does isopropyl alcohol disinfect less in higher concentration?

Isopropyl alcohol can be used as disinfectant. For increasing concentration of it in water, the effect as disinfectant increases, and then decreases again. Typical concentrations for use as ...
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241 views

What are the functions of magnetic bacteria?

I'm trying to understand why are bacteria "equipped" with magnetosomes and why/what for do they need such organelles.
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Why would taking antibiotics increase stamina and energy?

I often hear that people who are taking antibiotics experience wild fluctuations between feeling full of energy and completely alert but soon after feeling impossibly fatigued and sick. Does this ...
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194 views

What advantage would the initial 'donor' in horizontal gene transfer by conjugation have received?

I am struggling to think why horizontal gene transfer between bacteria would have persisted during the course of evolution as surely it puts the 'donor' at a disadvantage? For example, consider a ...
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136 views

Are these Gram stain substitutions acceptable?

In the context of a Gram stain on a blood smear: Are the following acceptable substitutions and/or what differences could arise by substituting them? Using methylene blue instead of crystal violet ...
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787 views

Are there grass or fiber eating birds?

My understanding, that may be wrong, is that cellulose/fibre has little nutritional value to many animals because it's hard to break down thus making consumption inefficient. However, Ruminating ...
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What bacteria do unborn babies contain?

This Scientific American article states that "[human] infestation [by bacteria] begins at birth". This would suggest that unborn babies are free from any bacteria. However, if the mother catches a ...
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572 views

Which bacteria have the highest mutation rate?

From my reading on M. tuberculosis, I know that this organism has a pretty high mutation rate due to uncorrected sloppy replication, which leads to a high rate of development of spontaneous resistance ...
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219 views

Why pick just a single bacterial transformed colony

So after bacteria have been transformed to perhaps grow up a plasmid of interest, why pick only a single bacterial colony from a selective plate for further expansion? I understand that this is to ...
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What is the difference between an antibiotic and an antibacterial?

Concerning medicine, what are the differences between antibiotics and antibacterials?
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374 views

Where do the bacteria within the vagina originate from?

I understand that it's feasible the bacteria within the gastrointestinal tract originate from the food we eat and air we breath, but where does this population of microbes originate from?
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How do prokaryotes perform cellular respiration without membrane-bound organelles?

In order to survive, prokaryotes such as bacteria need to produce energy from food such as glucose. In eukaryotic cells, respiration is performed by mitochondria, but prokaryotic cells do not have ...
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626 views

Why vaccines do not cause bacterial resistance?

Since bacteria can evolve to overcome antibiotic use, why wouldn't be able to evolve to overcome antibody or cell-mediated immunity? Thanks One possible explanation: antibiotics have only one target ...
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How are antibiotic resistant bacterial infections treated?

For example, how are infections of antibiotic resistant strains of MRSA, Streptococcus, or Gonorrhea treated?
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Can a bacteriophage be used to treat bacterial diseases?

Some bacteriophages reproduce using the lytic cycle which ends with the destruction of the host bacterial cell. I was wondering if theoretically this could be used theraputically to treat bacterial ...
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What would cause E. coli to change from filamentous growth to normal growth?

In my lab we've observed a phenomenon in which a culture of E. coli is found to shift from normal rod growth to filamentous growth and then back to normal rod growth again several times over the ...
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362 views

Do antibiotics attenuate immune response on subsequent exposure to same bacteria?

A healthy immune response to a bacterial infection includes "memory" to permit the body to thwart subsequent exposure to same bacteria. What are the dynamics of using antibiotics on initial exposure ...
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109 views

How long can Cholera bacteria survive in a dead host?

How long can cholera bacterium survive inside a dead host? Can they remain dormant in such conditions? BACKGROUND On a hill not far from where I live, there was a hospital operating since 16th until ...
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337 views

Are bacteria necessary for an individual's life, or, how long could a person live without bacteria? [closed]

Bacteria are essential to life in that they are responsible for breakdown of organic substances, etc. but are bacteria necessary for an individual's life? In other words, how long would a human ...
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Why does botulinum toxin seem to be more dangerous to humans than to other mammals?

Various mammals seem to get away with eating parts of carcasses that we would prefer to not even touch, and that we assume will make us sick. Because of that, I assume botulinum toxin is more ...
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Bacterial cell lysis - what solution to use?

I am trying to determine how quickly detergents act on bacterial cells (cell lysis). I would like to compare some detergents at difference concentrations for bacteriolytic activity. I don’t care about ...
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Why are pili more common in Gram negative bacteria than in Gram positive?

Although pili have been observed in some species of Gram positive bacteria, the preliminary research that I have done indicates that pili are significantly more common in Gram negative bacteria. Is ...
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How is the exogenous DNA protected from degradation during bacterial transformation?

During transformation, a bacterium can take up DNA from its environment. A small fraction of bacterial species are known to be naturally competent, meaning that they can engage in this sort of ...
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How do infectious bacteria know when their numbers are high enough to attack a host?

When you get sick, you generally don't contract enough bacteria at once for them to succeed in battling your immune system, right? Their numbers must gradually increase in the host's body before they ...
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Why do different bacteria have different shapes?

Why do different bacteria have different shapes? Is it only related to their function?
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How to measure bacterial content

I´m using water container placed on a radiator to humidify room air. Someone might argue that it is a perfect nest for bacteria. I have to put copper coins into the water to kill the bacteria. I ...
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Why do some bacteria have most genes on the leading strand of the genome?

Genes in the (+) strand are black and genes in the (-)strand are red. The gene distribution in E. coli genome is somewhat expected: transcribed regions would tend to alternate with non transcribed ...
6
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178 views

Does every wave length of UV kill bacteria?

Will every wave length of UV work for killing bacteria? So will UV A, UV B and UV C all work? Or will only the shortest of the three, UV C, work? Also, will the average UV lamp help against bacterial ...
6
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405 views

Alternatives to CFU plating for measuring number of viable cells?

I am hoping to measure growth rates of a bacterial culture in several growth conditions. I am concerned that these growth conditions may cause cell death, which would lead to a decreased ...
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427 views

Aren't antibiotic resistant probiotics dangerous?

Multidrug resistant probiotics are often recommended by doctors in various cases. But since bacteriae can easily exchange genes by conjugation or other means they could promote the drug resistance of ...
6
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221 views

Is there a detectable amount of bacterial DNA in the blood of infected persons?

With which bacterial infection in humans has it been shown that bacterial DNA can be found in the blood? If any is found it is likely not to be very much, and even difficult to distinguish from ...
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How can promoter binding sites be determined?

I have been trying to find out which sigma factor is responsible for the transcription of RNA polymerase subunits $\alpha$ (rpoA) and $\beta ^{\prime}$ (rpoC) in Bacillus subtilis. I would expect it ...
6
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200 views

Whole genome amino acid composition tool?

I'm interested in a statistical tool to get bacterial codon usage at genomic level. Ideally, the tool should be flexible to analyse hundreds of bacterial genomes. I've looked in MeSH terms database ...
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How does heat shock transformation work?

What exactly happens when competent cells like DH5ɑ are heatshocked with DNA present? How does the DNA get inside the cells? Specifically, why are all the steps necessary? What if you heatshock right ...
6
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1answer
98 views

Proteins that are strongly overproduced in E. coli and S. cerevisiae?

I'm looking for some pointers to proteins that produce at really gigantic levels in E. coli and yeast (S. cerevisiae). Can anyone point to some champion proteins? Even in inclusion bodies and non ...
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Are there mechanisms that limit the amounts of time conjugation and F-plasmid transfer can happen? If yes, what are they?

Not all bacteria have acquired F-plasmids through conjugation. Some of the mechanisms for this are unsuccesful conjugation events (mechanical disruption), no transfer due to integration in bacterial ...
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What bacteria shed harvestable energy from root zone organic matter?

I recently heard of a successful effort that harvests energy from soil at plants' bases due to apparently bacterial breakdown of wastes from the plants: Via photosynthesis a plant produces organic ...
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Approximately how long do bacteria live for? [on hold]

I would like to know how many days or years do the bacteria live approximately.