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Stories by S.E. Gould

A farewell to Lab Rat

When I first started a science blog, back in the summer of 2008, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from it. It was started mostly for me, to encourage me to read more papers and write about science.

December 15, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Shooting the messenger: small RNA as a target for antibiotics

Shooting the messenger: small RNA as a target for antibiotics

All living cells contain DNA; the code for producing every protein needed by the cell. As DNA is important it needs to be kept safe. Plants and animals keep their DNA tightly twisted and organised inside a double-membrane bound nucleus while bacteria keep their DNA coiled up in a big circle, with the occasional loop [...]

October 12, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Lab Rat Lecture

Last month I had the privilege of being invited as a speaker for the Blogging Microbes event at the University of Nottingham. Hosted by Ivan Lafayette it was a great discussion of the role of blogs, twitter, and podcasts in communicating science, particularly microbiology, to a wider audience.

October 5, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Glowing fungi for studying infectious diseases

Glowing fungi for studying infectious diseases

When studying how infections grow and spread it is always helpful to be able to see the organism causing the disease. There are currently a range of microbial and labelling techniques available to view micro-organisms within the cells they infect, and one of the most useful is bioluminescence imaging.

August 3, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Sauerkraut: bacteria making food

Last week my husband needed some jars for cooking purposes. Tesco sell jars for somewhere around £3 each. However they also sell large jars full of sauerkraut for £1 each.

July 26, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Fussy eaters: the favoured food of Salmonella

As antibiotic resistance increases the search for new anti-bacterial treatments becomes more and more important. One way to design anti-bacterials is to find specific biochemical pathways that the bacteria require to survive, and develop drugs that block off these pathways.

July 13, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Arctic creepy-crawlies part II: woolly bear caterpillars

This is the second part of my two-part mini series on Arctic creepy-crawlies. Part I: ice worms can be found here. Part II: Woolly bear caterpillar The Arctic woolly bear moth (Gynaephora groenlandica) is found in Greenland and Canada around the Arctic Circle.

June 29, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Arctic creepy-crawlies part I: the ice worms

Following my previous post on wildlife diseases, I’ve been in a fairly multicellular mood. Rather than try and turn my mind back to bacteria I decided to get it out of my system by finishing the month with a two part mini-series on creepy-crawlies that survive in some of the harshest conditions on earth; the [...]

June 28, 2014 — S.E. Gould

From the archives: Chameleon bacteria!

This post was originally published in “Life of a Lab Rat” on Wednesday 3rd February 2010. Chameleon bacteria This is a picture of a small cyanobacteria under red light: And this is a picture of exactly the same organism under blue-green light: Some cyanobacteria have the ability to change their colour depending on external conditions.

June 24, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Diseases in the wild: the frog apocalypse

Diseases in the wild: the frog apocalypse

The best way to prevent a disease from turning into an epidemic is to closely monitor its development and put systems in place before it starts spreading rapidly through populations.

June 14, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Sleeping sickness and tsetse flies

Sleeping sickness and tsetse flies

Although this blog focus mostly on bacteria, I do occasionally dip out of my comfort zone into other infectious elements such as viruses, prions and fungi.

June 1, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Caterpillars Use Ants as Butterfly Babysitters

It’s such wonderful warm weather in the UK at the moment, I thought it was time to celebrate with another butterfly post! I particularly wanted to take a closer look at the butterfly Phengaris arion which is rather unimaginatively known more commonly as the Large Blue.

May 18, 2014 — S.E. Gould
A universe of nothing but shrimp

A universe of nothing but shrimp

When studying bacteria, human pathogens always get a lot of interest and free press. Pathogens of smaller and less important seeming animals, such as shrimp, tend to generate less press interest.

May 11, 2014 — S.E. Gould
The bacteriophages of tuberculosis

The bacteriophages of tuberculosis

I’ve written previously about bacteriophages, the viruses that infect bacteria, and I studied them for my first lab project. So I was pretty excited by a lovely little pearl in PLoS Pathogens last month discussing mycobacteriophages; the viruses that specifically attack mycobacteria.

April 29, 2014 — S.E. Gould
Fighting bacteria with weapons from fungi

Fighting bacteria with weapons from fungi

In order to survive, organisms produce small molecules known as ‘primary metabolites’ which help it to grow, develop and reproduce.

April 19, 2014 — S.E. Gould

Genetic Chimeras: Are You Your Own Twin?

This weeks post is a guest post from the wonderful E.E. Giorgi of Chimera blog I AM MY MOTHER'S CHIMERA. CHANCES ARE, SO ARE YOU For years now the concept of a "genetic chimera" has sparked the imagination of writers: the idea that an individual could harbor his/her own twin is creepy and intriguing at the [...]

April 13, 2014 — S.E. Gould
The pathogen detectives: sourcing the post-earthquake cholera outbreak in Haiti

The pathogen detectives: sourcing the post-earthquake cholera outbreak in Haiti

Natural disasters such as earthquakes can have far-reaching effects beyond the damage caused on the day they occur. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti damaged the already limited sanitation systems leading to areas without adequate toilet and washing facilities; perfect for the spread of infection diseases.

April 6, 2014 — S.E. Gould

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