103 votes

What is the effect of non-vaccinated people on vaccinated people?

Biology is rarely black or white, all or nothing. Protective immunity is generally not an on/off switch, where from the moment you're vaccinated you're infinitely resistant for the rest of your life. ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
79 votes
Accepted

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Do they exist? Yes What are they called? Marilyn Roossinck calls them viral mutualistic symbiotes. She has an excellent review here. What are some examples? My personal favorite is GB-Virus C, or ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
78 votes

What is the effect of non-vaccinated people on vaccinated people?

Since 2000, in the United States alone, there were 16 reports of outbreaks or groups of outbreaks where the outbreak started with an initial case in an unvaccinated individual and resulted in disease ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
54 votes

How do mutations of viruses lead to drug resistance?

It doesn't. Viruses don't "know" anything. Mutations occur at random. Most of them don't do anything, or have a slight negative effect on the ability of the virus to infect and reproduce. However, ...
Charles E. Grant's user avatar
37 votes
Accepted

Can a bacterium infect another bacterium?

Bdellovibrio bacteriovorus (BV) “infects” other bacteria: Similar to a virus, BV attacks bacteria such as Escherichia coli (E. coli) by attaching to and entering its prey, growing and replicating ...
Laurel's user avatar
  • 793
36 votes
Accepted

Can Biologists identify all viruses?

Do physicians/biologists not know all the different types of viruses out there? No, Biologists don't know all the viruses that exist out there. There's a lot! We do know many of the ones infecting ...
YviDe's user avatar
  • 2,258
36 votes

Are red blood cells prokaryotic?

When differences between prokaryotes and eukaryotes are taught in an introductory biology course, a generic prokaryotic cell and a generic eukaryotic cell are typically compared. Cells in a complex ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
33 votes

Can bacteria be killed by purely physical trauma?

My (limited) understanding is that it is quite hard to avoid killing some bacteria even with very gentle physical manipulation. On the other hand, it is quite hard to use physical force to achieve ...
Martin Modrák's user avatar
32 votes

Why don't we have vaccination against all diseases caused by microbes?

Mainly cost/benefit analysis. Using vaccines has a cost, both in dollars and in risk. That cost may be very low (cheap safe vaccines, like measles vaccine), or may be relatively high (smallpox vaccine ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
29 votes

Why does an autoclave need to pressurize steam?

An autoclave can sterilize both solids and liquids, whereas an oven with no pressure control is typically not suitable to sterilize liquids. Not only do you need to heat the chamber to 121°C, but you ...
Mowgli's user avatar
  • 1,933
27 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Another good virus would be a Bacteriophage, a virus that infects and kills illness-causing bacteria. From Wiki: A bacteriophage also known informally as a phage, is a virus that infects and ...
Astor Florida's user avatar
25 votes
Accepted

For how long would a flu-contaminated parcel be an effective disease vector?

How long should I wait before handling the parcel to avoid contracting the virus? If you use gloves, or don't touch your face and just wash your hands after opening, you don't have to wait at all. ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
24 votes

Can Biologists identify all viruses?

It's a cost/benefit situation. Yes they could have taken samples, processed them, teased out the virus, and eventually identified exactly what virus (sort of*) that your girlfriend had by its gene ...
Nathan's user avatar
  • 1,152
22 votes
Accepted

Can the SARS‑CoV‑2 virus mutate in people who have been fully vaccinated?

Since vaccination is not 100% protective against infection (i.e. the virus can sometimes succeed in establishing and replicating in a vaccinated host's body), the answer is yes. Furthermore, since ...
Ben Bolker's user avatar
  • 5,344
21 votes

Can bacteria be killed by purely physical trauma?

There are plenty of physical or mechanical methods of killing bacteria, but most are used in conjunction with other agents and probably don't qualify as "blunt force trauma". For example, ...
MikeyC's user avatar
  • 4,679
19 votes

For how long would a flu-contaminated parcel be an effective disease vector?

From the UK National Health Service: Flu viruses capable of being transferred to hands and causing an infection can survive on hard surfaces for 24 hours. Infectious flu viruses can survive on ...
L.Diago's user avatar
  • 1,863
19 votes
Accepted

Can anyone ID this microorganism?

Appears to be a ciliate protist called Vorticella. Image source: Wikimedia (Author: Frank fox, 2010) Vorticella always stood out to me because of their long, narrow stalk they use for anchoring with ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
18 votes
Accepted

Do all bacterial cells have a double membrane?

Do all bacterial cells have a double membrane? No. There are a number of bacterial membrane and cell wall structures. Some of them have a double membrane, some of them don't. In microbiology, we ...
De Novo's user avatar
  • 8,801
18 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

I would say that if any "good" viruses exist, they are already within us. Retrotransposons are genetic elements in our DNA that were likely ancient viruses and they move around from time to time ...
user40950's user avatar
  • 790
18 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

We have engineered a few good viruses to treat certain diseases Per my comment and response: The most current example (at this time and based on my recollection) is the virus we have engineered to ...
Reginald Blue's user avatar
17 votes

Antibacterial soap impacts on septic system?

The quick answer is: Yes, it can cause harm. Think about it...The septic system (both the tank and your drain field) rely on bacteria, and antibacterial soap is not designed to kill only specific ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
16 votes
Accepted

Why don't antiseptic agents kill 100% germs?

This is actually an interesting question! Let me answer both the parts separately, taking the example of Listerine® mouthwash. Is an antiseptic's inability to eliminate 100% of all germs due to its ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
15 votes

Do beneficial viruses exist? If so, what examples are there?

Cowpox and smallpox viruses are structurally similar, and catching one confers immunity to both by immune system response, but one was a deadly disease and the other almost harmless. Once this was ...
Joshua's user avatar
  • 368
13 votes
Accepted

circular pattern of mold on quince

Looks like you may have Monilinia fructigena, brown rot, or at something similar (possibly also called brown rot, but from a different species). This pattern isn't special to quince, but to this ...
Bryan Krause's user avatar
  • 45.3k
12 votes
Accepted

Why are there 2 copies of RNA in the HIV virion?

You are not totally correct because these two strands don't have to be the same, they can be genotypically different, which occurs when a cell is infected by two distinct HIV strains. Also HIV uses ...
KingBoomie's user avatar
  • 2,380
12 votes
Accepted

Does rainwater contain many fewer micro-organisms than river water?

According to a number of citations listed on Kenyon College's MicrobeWiki, rain can contain microorganisms via a process called "bioprecipitation." Essentially, microorganisms, dust and other small ...
theforestecologist's user avatar
12 votes
Accepted

What is the meaning of multicellularity?

Bacteria are, as a general rule, unicellular. However, there are some, like the cyanobacteria which you referenced, which are kind of border line. Wikipedia's definition of multicellularity is a ...
rotaredom's user avatar
  • 2,711
12 votes
Accepted

How do mutations of viruses lead to drug resistance?

This is molecular evolution and is completely undirected. Mutations happen all the time, most of them disappear without anyone noticing, since they have no evolutionary advantage to permeate. This ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k

Only top scored, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible