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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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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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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3answers
73 views

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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5answers
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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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2answers
120 views

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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51 views

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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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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39 views

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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45 views

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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2answers
70 views

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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3answers
782 views

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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51 views

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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28 views

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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1answer
48 views

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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1answer
63 views

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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69 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
48 views

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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2answers
77 views

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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1answer
40 views

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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1answer
112 views

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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2answers
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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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1answer
25 views

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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1answer
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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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1answer
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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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2answers
185 views

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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35 views

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?
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3answers
112 views

Non-harmful bacterial invasion of cells

There are bacteria that can enter body cells as parasites. Could it be that some of these are benign, such that the guest will not kill the host cell it lives in (especially in human)?
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Are there single-celled organisms that have evolved from multi-cellular ones?

I'm reading this paper about transmissible cancer cells in clams (Metzger et al. 2015) and I was wondering if there are any single-cellular organisms that are around today that are suspected as having ...
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1answer
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Microalgae without cell walls?

Most microalgae have rigid cell walls. Dunaliella Salina is a pretty famous example of an algae with no cell wall, but just a plasma membrane. Are there any other microalgae without a cell wall?. I ...
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Regulation of V. cholerae virulence factors

So I know that several different environmental signals, such as pH, bile, and temperature, regulate virulence gene expression in V. cholerae. Specifically, they control expression of the genes ...
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178 views

HIV Rapid Tests

The hiv antigens that are used in the oral rapid tests, are they infectious? The tests do not contain any actual virus but I am curious if the antigens themselves could somehow create the virus on ...
7
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1answer
49 views

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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1answer
54 views

Horizontal Gene Transfer

I understand the different ways bacteria can undergo horizontal gene transfer (transformation, transduction (phages), conjugation (plasmids)). Is there an experimental method to tell how a specific ...
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1answer
18 views

Ways to cause membrane damage to microalgae and yeast?

I am researching a way to monitor the membrane damage of cells. To do that I fist have to have reference points, namely, cells with damaged membranes. I am working with Dunalliela, Hematococcus (both ...
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1answer
55 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 ...
4
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1answer
106 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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Why can't some organisms match miRNA perfectly to the target mRNA like in plants? [closed]

What causes other organisms to be impaired in making perfect matches like plants do and is there a way to increase matching?
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1answer
170 views

What allows Valonia ventricosa cells to get so big?

Valonia ventricosa are single celled algae that range between one and few centimeters. In rare cases they can reach sizes exceeding 5cm. Weirdly, a lot of the literature covering these organisms ...
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1answer
136 views

Why are there no known photosynthetic archaea?

I'm taking a microbial physiology course and we noted that, while some archaea are phototrophic, there are no known photosynethetic archaea. Are there any physiological characteristics that make ...
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2answers
74 views

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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Why is acid alcohol used as a decorizer in the acid fast stain procedure, as opposed to a neutral alcohol?

Is it to neutralize the negative components of the cell membrane, thus preventing the positively charged dye from adhering to the cell membrane?
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1answer
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To which negatively charged components of the cell envelopes do the crystal violet complexes bind in gram staining?

The gram positive have negative components in the peptidoglycan layer in the form of teichoic acid phosphodiester bonds, and the gram negative have negative components in their outer membrane in the ...
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1answer
66 views

Survival of streptococcus after my scarlet fever

I'm currently sick because of scarlet fever but I got treated with antibiotics. I know that after 1.5 day using antibiotics the streptococci I release at home are dangerous anymore. But my question ...
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What is this fuzzy, black fungus that grew on my plates in the 4⁰C room? [closed]

I often find the fungus below growing on my (ostensibly) sterile plates in the 4⁰C room. Presumably it takes a few days to reach this size. The colony looks puffy and dimpled in the middle, like a ...