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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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 ( ie, take nutrients to ...
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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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What is a good source that will help me classify protists?

I am a 15 year old that enjoys looking at the micro world. The only issue that I have is that I can't find a good online source that will help me classify the name of the micro organism that I'm ...
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Can mutation rate be increased for instance by mutagenesis targeting the DNA polymerase?

I am studying a non-cultivable bacterium living in an insect host, and I would like to generate some random mutants of this bacteria while preserving the insect. I am wondering if one way to do so ...
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What are the differences and similarities between fimbriae and adhesins in microbes adherence factor?

Adherence factors in microbes is to attach to a host cell or to an extracellular matrix. So what is the difference and similarities between fimbriae and adhesins?
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How much salt [NaCl] is too much in DNA precipitation?

In DNA extractions, how much is too much salt in a CTAB extraction buffer? Protocols hover around 2.5 molar; if you go over this (e.g. 25 molar), will you saturate your solution, and precipitate the ...
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Ways to fight black mold

Is it possible to introduce a microorganism to a colony of black mold that will kill off the black mold entirely and permanently? Is there a common microorganism that likes to eat them and is harmless ...
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Why lab technicians use indirect (antibody reaction) method for diagnosing?

In microbiology we have two types of microbial diagnosis. The direct method is where we detect the invader's DNA, Antigens or culture to see the exact pathogen while the second, indirect, method is ...
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Why do cell membranes have a lipid bilayer?

Many cells have a cell membrane composed of two layers of lipids, why is it two layers and not just one? What purpose do the membranes serve?
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Reasons for the HIV-1 epidemic

So, the HIV-1 jump to humans occurred as early as the 1920s, but the AIDS epidemic didn't start until the early 1980s. Some things I don't understand about this: Why the delay? What is needed for a ...
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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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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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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 simplest autotrophic cell?

Very simple cells, such as Nanoarchaeum equitans, require a host to provide certain essential ingredients for life. Complex life-forms (like humans) require a whole ...
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41 views

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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Identification of black growth on onion skin

I have encountered this black-colored growth on onion skins a lot. It seems to develop over the course of weeks and I have rarely, if ever, encountered the material on fresh ones. If I peel the onion ...
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How does botulinum toxin enter the blood stream from the digestive tract?

To my understanding, large polypeptides such as botulinum toxin cannot pass the intestinal lining intact. How, then, can it enter the bloodstream and cause botulism poisoning?
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Why does bacillus thuringiensis produce bt toxin?

Background : B.thuringiensis produces an inactive crystalline toxin during sporulation which when ingested by an insect, gets activated and causes pore formation in gut , subsequently leading to death ...
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What are the most important factors influencing a person’s gut microbes?

You are your bacteria! The probiotics and the antibiotics... There has been on going discussions about how our gut bacteria is important for a healthy lifestyle. Figure 1: Schematic diagram ...
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Cellulose acetate membrane filters vs. glass microfiber filters

At equivalent pore sizes and pressures, which exhibits faster flow rates, cellulose acetate membranes or glass microfiber filters? I know cellulose acetate exhibits low protein binding, but what ...
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Autotrophic and heterotrophic organisms in anaerobic condition

Can both heterotrophic and autotrophic organism survive in anaerobic conditions? If an autotrophic organism does not produce carbon dioxide but requires oxygen, it should not be present in anaerobic ...
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Is there an advantage to antibacterial soap?

There are plenty of different hand soaps out there, as well as hand sanitizers. Is there an advantage to soaps that claim that they're antibacterial vs soaps that just say soap? In particular I'm ...
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Can a fungus become resistant to a chemical such as Potassium Permanganate?

A friend used potassium permanganate solution to treat tinea on the hands/feet but after some initial success, the tinea seems to be making a comeback. Could the fungus develop resistance to potassium ...
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How can I keep pond water “alive”?

I've been preparing wet slides for my kids to look at from pond water. I have a mason jar of pond water. What can I do to keep the microbes in the jar alive going forward so that we can look at it any ...
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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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Bacterial capsule vs. slime wall

I've read that the bacterial capsule protects the bacterium from phagocytes and prevents water (and nutrients, possibly?) leakage from the bacterium. A less organized and less dense version is called ...
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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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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 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, ...
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Why is triclosan not considered an antibiotic?

Triclosan is a chemical often referred to as a "biocide" instead of an "antibiotic". However, its mode of action seems to suggest that it is an antibiotic. Triclosan binds to bacterial enoyl-acyl ...
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CRISPR-Cas Systems

In the context of the bacterial systems (not the gene editing tool), I was wondering what happens to the foreign DNA after the Cas proteins have created a new spacer. It is really not clear to me, ...
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What is effectiveness of methyl-alcohol as sporicide?

Methyl-alcohol is the weakest alcohol in terms of bactericidal properties. However, I have read that it also works as sporicide. What is the effectiveness of methyl-alcohol in killing the spores of ...
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Why increasing the vector concentration does not increase the effeciency of bacterial transformation?

I was reading some old description of the protocols used for the transformation of bacterial cells. In the description I read that the transformation works best with low amount of DNA, and if we ...
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What can cause a lump in the middle of the neck? (homework case study) [closed]

What can cause an erythematous, fluctuant, nontender mass in the middle of the neck? Full Case Study: (Its the last of 6 cases and I just can't figure this one out, because of all the possibilities, ...
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E. coli not growing in liquid medium

We are regularly doing bacterial transformation and subculture from plate to liquid media to extract DNA. This usually goes very well and is straightforward, but occasionally, the colonies that grew ...
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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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When and How do pacemaker cells develop during the cell aggregation process of Dictyostelium discoideum?

I was reading a paper by Tang & Othmer about oscillations and waves in Dictyostelium discoideum. Under certain condition like starvation period in the life cycle of a Dictyostelium discoideum ...
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What does the term “relay competent” mean?

I was reading the article of Dallon & Othmer (2010) which deals with cell aggregation in Dictyostelium discoideum. In the introduction of the paper it is said that cells becomes "relay competent". ...
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What is the difference between electrons and energy? [closed]

I'm studying microbiology right now and I have come across something confusing to me. I thought electrons provided energy to the cell by being incorporated into reducing powers and eventually driving ...
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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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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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Why do slime molds pulsate when growing into their fruiting body?

An example can be seen in this Youtube video, where the slime mold pulsates as it engulfs a rock in order to form its fruiting body. Why does this pulsing happen?
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Can the Staph streak method be used for culturing Neisseria on blood agar?

What I learned in class: Normally chocolate agar is needed to grow Haemophilus and Neisseria. The Staph streak technique can be used for culturing Haemophilus on blood agar by allowing the Staph to ...
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Why do flagella form a bundle only when they rotate counterclockwise during chemotaxis?

During Chemotaxis in bacteria with flagella, the flagellar rotation dictates how the cell moves. If the flagella rotate counterclockwise, then they form a bundle at one end of the cell (---O) and ...
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When do plasmids replicate relative to its host cell cycle?

For plasmids is so much shorter than their host cell's genome (about 1/1000 in my case), it will take only 1/1000 time for it to replicate. With respect to cell cycle, when will that replication ...
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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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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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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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The ring formation of ringworm

I know ringworm is caused by a fungus on the skin, nails or scalp but what causes the rash to form as a ring instead of like a normal spread out rash?