Microbiology is the study of organisms that are too small to be seen with the naked eye. This includes organisms like bacteria, fungi, protozoa, and others.

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Does freezing microorganisms such as probiotics kill them?

Does freezing microorganisms such as probiotics kill them? If not, what is the process that allows them to "come back to life" after the temperatures are increased? As an example, lets say you ...
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Sugar as a defence against bacteria?

An answer on another SE site mentions that sugar "at a certain level acts as a preservative". I've always been taught that microorganisms eat sugar and expel acids, that is why sugary food are ...
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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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Are all pathogens parasites?

If parasites are organisms that feed on other living organisms, then aren't all pathogens parasites? I've emphasised on 'feed' because I guess the pathogens just eat us (i.e. take nutrients to ...
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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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Spatial learning in microorganisms

Has there ever been an experiment performed that demonstrated a form of 'spatial memory' in a unicellular organism? I'm imagining something analogous to the classic 'rat in maze' experiments, but ...
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Organisms in food deposits

I have just discovered that my kitchen sink pipe has been leaking for quite some time (possibly months) which has resulted in water and food deposits collecting in my cupboard. I smeared some of the ...
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Models of quorum sensing for multi-agent systems

Quorum sensing is a system of stimulus and responses correlated to population density that is used by bacteria to coordinate gene-expression. I am looking for a simple computational/mathematical model ...
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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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If re-boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the milk hasn't developed the bacteria (and their toxins)?

Usually when left in hot temperature, the milk curdles (which I know when I boil it and it starts separating). If the re boiling does not curdle the milk, can that be taken as an indicator that the ...
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What happens to lactic acid I eat?

Let's say I drink some Kefir Milk, what happens to the lactic acid in the Kefir Milk that has entered my digestive system?
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Can genetically modified genes jump to bacteria in the eater's intestine?

The Guardian ran an article a while back talking about GM gene's jumping to bacteria in an eater's intestine. Has other research confirmed this phenomenon?
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Why do kefir grains stop growing in soy milk?

Kefir is a fermented milk drink made with kefir grains. It usually is prepared by inoculating cow, goat or sheep milk with kefir grains. I would like to prepare the drink with soy milk, which worked ...
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What happens during kefir fermentation process?

I’ve found many sources about the positive effects of kefir for the digestive system. However I haven’t found any information about the fermenting process. What is the exact biology (chemistry?) ...
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Are all known germs benign in small enough quantities? i.e. Why do we wash our hands?

We know that we wash our hands because germs can get into our body through the nose, the mouth, the eyes, cuts, etc. But I doubt we can completely clean our hands of germs every time we wash them, ...
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What does the 34/70 in Saccharomyces pastorianus Weihenstephan 34/70 stand for?

I've searched everywhere. No Wikipedia page. No information on NCBI. I searched all occurrences of 34/70 in some primary research articles! The best I've found is this brewery forum where someone ...
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Can an influenza virus carry other infectors with it?

This idea came to my mind when thinking about how many people become ill in many locations with similar symptoms (fever and rough cough) from Influenza. There are of course different types of ...
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How many different protein coding genes are in the Human Biome?

There are approximately 20k protein-coding genes found in the human genome. This number is presumably very small when considering all the genomes found in the diverse microbes associated with the ...
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If someone were to die on the moon, would their body decay?

I heard that the footprints of Neil Armstrong are still there, so I was wondering if someone were to die there, would they remain preserved, too? If not how long would it take for them to decay?
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Calculation of the bacterial growth rate from a spectrophotomer growth curve

Typically the microbial growth in liquid cultures is monitored by turbidity. Data is obtained with a spectrophotometer to measure optical density at 600nm. The slope of the bacterial kinetic curve in ...
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How do I measure bacterial growth in agar dishes (either by cell mass or by cell count)?

I am doing an experiment in which I am growing S. mutans in agar dishes, and I am not sure how I would measure the growth of the S. mutans. I am also not sure if I would do this by measuring cell mass ...
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What types of archaea have been found in animals?

I am curious as to the species or "types" of archaea that have been found to reside within animals symbiotically. One of the only ones I can think of off the top of my head are methanogens, which live ...
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Why does milk contained in cartons of milk expand?

In the morning, I went to the fridge to drink some chocolate milk. At night, when I took out the same carton of milk, the packaging seems expanded, like some kind of air is inside. Explain please !
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What is the distinction between F' plasmid and R plasmid?

Is there a difference between an F' plasmid that has taken up a chromosomal gene that conveys antibiotic resistance, and an R plasmid? Is a bacterium containing an R plasmid and yet lacking an F+ ...
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186 views

Fermentation to acetic acid

How much time is needed for the fermentation to acetic acid production cycle, and the conversion of apple vinegar in a sealed container incubated at 37 °C? Should be in the fully closed? What is ...
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215 views

Ethanol production by fermentation?

As bacteria are involved in the production of ethanol through fermentation and ethanol is also used as antiseptic that kills bacteria, so how and why bacteria are involved in the synthesis of such ...
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313 views

Why don't all bacteria have F-plasmids by now?

Some bacteria can undergo gene transfer by conjugation. Conjugation is a form of horizontal gene transfer, meaning from one (unrelated) bacterium to another (in contrast to vertical gene transfer, ...
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What Websites Have Image Libraries for Bacteria and other Microorganisms

What Websites Have Image Libraries for Bacteria and other Microorganisms? With age of cell phone microscopes and hand held spectrometers it would be interesting and valuable to be able to compare ...
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Is a sequential double transformation acceptable?

Standard protocol states having two compatible vectors being transformed simultaneously during the same procedure. I've come across a situation in which transforming one vector, obtaining results, and ...
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443 views

Is there a practical upper limit to amount of nucleotides or genes in a transformed plasmid?

I'm currently working on a synthetic biology project which involves working with lots of different parts. I would ultimately like to integrate these genes by transforming a single plasmid. I've heard ...
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107 views

Are all functions of a human cell known? [closed]

Please bear with me as I'm intruding into your world from a computer science background. In programming, once you have created a program, you know all functions of that program. Thus, 100% knowledge ...
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Scale up of Bacterial growth from 250mL to 1-5L?

I am currently growing up a specific strain of E.Coli with a knockout in 40mL of growth medium (LB) in a 250mL shaker flask... My ultimate goal is to scale up this process to a 1-5L large scale setup ...
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557 views

Survival of E. coli on agar plate at -20 degree C without glycerol stock

If I kept E. coli transformed with plasmid at -20˚C without making glycerol stock, will it survive? Actually I have kept it this way for 18 hours. What will happen with it? Will it grow in fresh ...
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Are Lambic beers the product of quorum sensing?

Lambic beers are a Belgian specialty which is still made by open-air "inoculation" by airborne microbiota first, followed by additional yeasts, LAB bacteria and more joining in at the time of ...
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Mutation-immunity in Luria-Delbruck experiment

If experiments like those of Luria and Delbruck on E. coli and T1 phage are the main source of our confidence in the mutation-immunity model, is it then highly unlikely that there are other types of ...
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How do single-celled predators chase other cells?

From my understanding, single celled organisms have been seen avoiding, and chasing, potential food or other organisms. How do they accomplish this? They do not have eyes or ears or a nervous system. ...
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Sparking during electroporation of plasmid DNA into bacterial cells

During electroporation of bacterial cells (I work with Mycobacterium tuberculosis, but I think this applies to E. coli as well), sometimes I get sparking. I've read this is due to salts present, ...
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Why do bacteria die in a high sugar content environment?

I was reading some questions in the test bank. Then in Chapter 27, I wonder why the answer is A. (undergo death by plasmolysis). Is the high concentration of sugar that kills them or the effects of ...
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Why do yeast ferment Equal sweetener

I had my students conduct a fermentation experiment manipulating sugar amounts (number of sugar packets in solution) and measuring CO₂ production via capture in a balloon and measuring circumference ...
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What is the mechanism of oxygen uptake in E. coli?

How does E. coli uptake oxygen? Most of the literature I found is concerned with response to oxygen level supplied in the medium, as opposed to how much is actually transported inside. Can they shut ...
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Medium for Pseudomonas?

What is a good minimal medium for Pseudomonas bacteria? Do I need different media for different Pseudomonas species?
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Do all Gram negative bacteria cause septic shock?

Do all Gram negative bacteria cause septic shock? If they don't could they if you attacked them with an antibiotic that could lyse the cell? For example any antibiotic that attacks the cell wall, ...
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What do you call a virus when it's cured?

When a cure has been found for a virus, can it be called such anymore? Virus implies it's something you've contracted that you just have to live with until (hopefully) your body can overwhelm and ...
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What is the difference between a spore and a cyst?

Last year I read a course in biology. During that course I learnt that Protozoa like Lamblia intestinalis or Entamoeba hystolitica form cysts in unfavourable conditions. This year I read a course in ...
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How small does a nanobot have to be to “swim through the brain” and access any neuron it wants to?

I read on this question What is in the space between neurons in a brain? that there is actually not much empty space in a brain. But my question is slightly different. Is there a visual demonstration ...
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Can we attack viruses by attaching proteins and such to their shells?

Haven't looked into this to very long, but an initial search didn't return anything. HIV uses certain co-receptors to enter our cells. Could we flood the blood stream with specially designed ...
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How long can you effectively store a glycerol stock at -20 degrees Celsius?

I know that glycerol stocks are typically kept in a -80 °C freezer, however there are some people who do not have access to such equipment. How long would you be able to keep a glycerol stock at ...
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Inoculation vs. vaccination

Is there any actual difference between inoculation and vaccination or are these terms interchangeable? In case the difference exists, would it be correct to say that inoculation is purposefully ...
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118 views

Re-solidify disturbed agar plates

I am stuck in trouble while pouring LB agar onto my petri dishes. I had to add kanamycin to my plates just before it started to solidify, out of forgetfulness, which I tried to mix using the tip. The ...
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Are there any bacteria, in our environment, able to break down nitrate under aerobic conditions?

Given a fix volume of water saturated with dissolved oxygen through aeration. Suppose that ammonium, Nitrosomonas, and Nitrobacter are always available in the water. We know that some of the ammonium ...