37 votes
Accepted

What was the breakthrough behind the “sudden” feasibility of mRNA vaccines in 2020?

Answering my own question after reading the 2018 Nature review article “mRNA vaccines — a new era in vaccinology” The resources and motivation engendered by the COVID-19 pandemic are a major factor in ...
hb20007's user avatar
  • 985
8 votes

Is working with (nitrile) gloves around a bunsen burner safe?

new microbiology lab What're the entry requirements for your lab? If you're working in BSL-2 or greater, the appropriate PPE ensemble is listed and required at all times while you're in there. ...
CKM's user avatar
  • 8,109
7 votes

Is working with (nitrile) gloves around a bunsen burner safe?

Wearing gloves increases the risk of injury when working next to an open flame since they can melt onto your hand. Not wearing gloves increases the risk of infection when working with pathogens. As ...
canadianer's user avatar
  • 17.7k
7 votes

Safety of Covid-19 vaccine for pregnant women

The CDC has evaluated COVID-19 vaccines for pregnant people, and has determined that they are safe. The main worry that they were addressing, however, was not either of your concerns (which do not ...
jakebeal's user avatar
  • 6,977
6 votes
Accepted

Is there any biosafety level scale for plant pathogens?

Plant pathogens are not a health hazard to the experimenters. However, they can pose health hazards to plants and cause damage to ecosystem. There are plant biosafety levels: BL1-P up to BL4-P (also ...
WYSIWYG's user avatar
  • 35.6k
4 votes
Accepted

Risk with cultures taken from stagnating water?

First off, without knowing the specifics, it is very hard to say, but in general, so long as you are careful and don't ingest (i.e. drink) or breathe in aerosols/droplets of the water, it should be OK....
bob1's user avatar
  • 12.1k
4 votes
Accepted

Irradiation instead of pasteurization?

Both pasteurisation and irradiation work by killing micro- (and macro-) organisms in food. The two processes are broadly similar and in both cases the objective is to reduce the number of bacteria or ...
arboviral's user avatar
  • 3,344
4 votes

DNA as a digital storage medium; sequences algorithmically avoided for safety reasons (or should be)?

Yes, there could be sequences that a DNA based system could not store handle/very well: repetitive DNA sequences. Not only do such sequences make a lot of problems during the sequencing ('reading of ...
Nicolai's user avatar
  • 4,391
3 votes
Accepted

Food safety during roadtrips

The biggest factor in whether bacteria can grow in food is water bio-availability. Most non-sterile methods of preserving food (note that canning IS sterile) utilize this fact. Over salting while ...
akaDrHouse's user avatar
  • 1,309
2 votes

Food safety during roadtrips

How did people back in the old days travel with food? Keeping said food alive until needed. Salting. Curing with smoke. Drying.Canned food. Buying it on the road. Bacon and sausages. Have a lot of ...
JayCkat's user avatar
  • 2,926
2 votes

293T safety, transfections with plasmid DNA

293T cells do incorporate partial virus genomes, consisting of about 4000 bases (about 11%, if I remember right) of the adenovirus type 5 genome (Cloning and Sequencing of the Cellular–Viral Junctions ...
iayork's user avatar
  • 14.2k
2 votes

DNA as a digital storage medium; sequences algorithmically avoided for safety reasons (or should be)?

Even if DNA drives (to give it a name) are being handled by IT professionals instead of trained biologists, we can still expect the environment to be clean enough so that no organism would tend to be ...
another 'Homo sapien''s user avatar
1 vote

293T safety, transfections with plasmid DNA

Washington State has a nice risk assessment out of their biosafety department that outlines the risks associated with 293 cell lines (downloads a docx). The risk in itself is predicated upon poor work ...
CKM's user avatar
  • 8,109
1 vote

Can one type of bacteria cause several diseases?

Yes, one type of bacteria can cause multiple diseases. For example: "Rheumatic fever is caused by group A Streptococcus. This bacterium causes strep throat or, in a small percentage of people, ...
S. McGrew's user avatar
  • 737
1 vote

Use lab agar for cooking

Technically agar has first been used (and still is) in the kitchen and then adopted to the lab. In the 19th century, gelatin was used in the microbial laboratory. The problem is that gelatin is much ...
Chris's user avatar
  • 51.6k
1 vote

DNA as a digital storage medium; sequences algorithmically avoided for safety reasons (or should be)?

I'm wondering if there are sequences that are likely to become algorithmically avoided as standard practice for safety reasons (or should be) when using DNA as a digital storage medium. I don't think ...
Alex Reynolds's user avatar
1 vote

DNA as a digital storage medium; sequences algorithmically avoided for safety reasons (or should be)?

I would say no for two reasons. The first is I don't know of any DNA sequences that are in themselves infectious. You'd need the proper cellular machinery to make anything out of them. If I'm not ...
Nathan's user avatar
  • 1,142
1 vote

Can a carnivorous animal consume plants with no adverse effects?

I'm pretty sure humans are herbivores, and we've been doing fine on meat. Not as fine as we could without meat. There are just extra illnesses to watch out for like what was listed above: heart ...
Priya Bansal's user avatar

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