Tagged Questions

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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Would two species of yeast with similar genome sizes have the same number of genes or chromosomes?

Similar organisms generally have similar genome sizes. Given this, would two species of yeast have the same number of genes and chromosomes? Edit: Fixed with thanks to @daniel-standage
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428 views

How was the diversity between ethanol fermentation and lactic acid fermentation evolved?

Quite simply, some organisms metabolize glucose under anaerobic conditions via Glucose->(2) Pyruvic Acid->(2)Ethyl Alcohol. Some organisms, however, metabolize to lactic acid. When did such a process ...
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Should we be looking for extra-terrestrial life on comets?

I have just read What elements are a possible basis for life? and I find myself wondering whether instead of seeking advanced life-forms at remote locales a La SETI, and perhaps fundamentally ...
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394 views

Can the RNA in the HIV virus make viral enzymes without entering the nucleus?

If the provirus was not formed yet, can the virus make viral enzymes? (I know that it already has some, but supposing it doesn't)
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210 views

What does “cellular” mean in this context?

I came across a confusing word when I was reading a Scientific American story, “Controversial Spewed Iron Experiment Succeeds as Carbon Sink” (by David Biello). It goes like this: “One key to the ...
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312 views

Can Naegleria fowleri enter through the eyes ( example rinsing/splashing eyes with water)

I understand that it primarily enters the body through the nose by by "feeding on the olfactory neurons in the nose" as answered here in a different question. Would the nerve cells in the eyes present ...
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657 views

“Acellular” designation for organisms

Why do some biologists refer to single-celled organisms such as Amoeba and Paramecium as acellular (i.e., without cells) rather than unicellular (i.e., one cell)?
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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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454 views

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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247 views

What is the effect of garlic on intestinal flora?

Now that we can compare whole microbiomes, has there been investigations on the effect of garlic (or diallyl disulfide, its main ingredient) on intestinal flora? From the proven antimicrobial ...
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48 views

Salvaging a plasmid from a cell culture stored at the incorrect temperature

I have E. coli with transformed plasmid on agar in a vial. It has been stored at -20 degree C without glycerol stock for 18 hours. This is a continuation of: Survival of E. coli on agar plate at -20 ...
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390 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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241 views

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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121 views

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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139 views

Non-monotonic knock-out effects in prokaryotes

Typically, when performing gene-knockout, the experimenters select one gene to remove/replace-with-junk and then see if the prokaryote can still undergo fission. If it continues to reproduce then the ...
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433 views

Does making yogurt from non-pasteurized milk work against possible disease bacteria?

In the past, when there was no pasteurization, could making yogurt from milk lower the chance of getting infected by bovine tuberculosis (or other diseases from infected milk)? For example, would ...
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226 views

Short-term Lamarckism in asexual single cell organisms

I was reading through the Karr et al. (2012) whole-cell computational model. One of the things they did was to induce single-gene disruptions in their model. They observed several to be fatal, but: ...
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340 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 ...
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Where can I find approximate rates of sequestration of CO₂ for different species of algae?

For a study, I want to compare the rates of CO₂ sequestration and fixation of a few different species of algae. I could not find any data on the sequestration rates. Any pointers to where I can find ...
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970 views

Is there a free alternative to Gelcompar for comparing banding patterns across multiple gels?

In order to run my microbial community samples from my experiments through DGGE, I was required to use multiple gels. Thus it is necessary to compare banding patterns across more than one gel. ...
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Vigorous shaking for HFR interrupted mating

I am trying to reproduce E. coli interrupted mating using an HFR strain, and I read that the cultures should be vigorously shaken at times to interrupt the DNA transfer from the F+(HFR) donors to the ...
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Is it plausible that eukaryotic organelles like flagella and cilia are the result of endosymbiosis with spirochetes?

This was a claim by Lynn Margulis explained over at this link. The sense organs of vertebrates have modified cilia: The rods and cone cells of the eye have cilia, and the balance organ in the ...
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Relationship between our microbiome and personalized nutrition

Recently, it has been asked whether there are 'metabolic types' between humans that can benefit from a sort of personalized nutrition. One answer suggested that one discerning factor could be the ...
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How do baby animals that primarily subsist on cellulose get their initial gut flora?

In the case of mammals like giraffes and koalas, is that bacteria common on the plants they eat so when a baby starts to try to stick something besides its mother's milk in its mouth, it can't digest ...
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What's the aim of genetically modifying of foods/organisms?

On news, articles etc. experts talking about Genetically Modified Foods and Organisms often mentions about their disadvantages like, their potential to harm human health allergies may become more ...
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Do probiotics survive digestion?

Pretty much this. I've been wondering if any of the yogourt and other "health" foods containing living probiotic cultures survive digestion to populate our intestines? If so, is there peer-reviewed ...
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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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3k views

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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147 views

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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462 views

Antibacterial hand soaps (and related products); what are they good for?

From Wikipedia: Household use of antibacterials in soaps and other products, although not clearly contributing to resistance, is also discouraged (as not being effective at infection control). ...
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1k views

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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118 views

Have there been any positive public health effects due to UV lights?

Occasionally, in hospitals and in eating establishments in the US, they have industrial grade UV lights in sconces attached to the wall (though they seem to be less prominent as the years go by). I ...
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312 views

Can Naegleria fowleri enter through wounds into the bloodstream?

All the sources I've read said that Naegleria fowleri enters the brain through the nose. But lets say that someone had cuts on their arm or leg and they are swimming in water that is conducive to ...
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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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338 views

How does the microbial environment in your gut initiate?

Clearly, a zygote does not harbor any microbes. As it develops, and the alimentary canal tissue is differentiated, I logically assume that there is still no microbial activity in the fetus's gut. I'm ...
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177 views

Why is the microbial ecosystem of the gut so susceptible to disruption by pathogens?

From all accounts, it seems as if the Escherichia, Enterobacter, etc. that live and thrive in the human gut are pretty well entrenched. I know that these microbial populations are often analyzed as ...
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132 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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840 views

Are single-celled organisms capable of learning?

I've read that the amoeba is capable of learning. Since these protists have no nervous system, it's safe to assume that even highly simplified learning mechanisms of the Aplysia are miles off in the ...
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141 views

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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134 views

Are there animal models for Clostridium difficile that better replicate human infection than hamsters?

So I'm looking for some information on the infectious dose necessary to colonize a human with Clostridium difficile. There's no human challenge studies, and since it's not a foodborne pathogen, little ...
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229 views

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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242 views

Is there any convincing evidence for the existence of nanobacteria?

The existence of nanometer scale microorganisms has been proposed and used explain several phenomena including morphological structures in a martian meteorite (ALH 84001) and implication in the ...
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How to understand influenza strain designations?

What do the strain designations for flu mean? For example avian flu is classified as H5N1, what do the letters H, ...