I've written before about ancient diseases of the ice age, but this time I'm going even further back in time, to diseases that were present in the first human-like hominids.
Bacteria may be tiny little micro-organisms but like any other living creature there are certain molecules that they need for survival. No matter what niche a bacterial colony occupies, it eventually requires a source of iron.
I've had an insanely hectic yet very important and productive time at work this month, so my blogging has fallen by the wayside. Next month I'll be back to my normal blogging schedule, and just to kick things off here's a post that first appeared in my old "Life of a Lab Rat" blog Niches of SunlightIn every environment there will be competition for resources, and there are generally two ways organisms deal with this; generalise or specialise.
I am completely snowed under with real work at the moment. There are two very important deadlines coming up which means that my time for blogging, or indeed any kind of non-work related writing, is severely limited.
Having covered some weak intramolecular forces in my posts on hydrogen bonds and van der Waals forces, I ventured into the world of the strong forces last month with ionic bonds.
This is a guest post from M. A. Loera Sánchez from the iGEM team UANL 2012. I have carried out a few small grammar edits but otherwise the essay is all his work, and I would like to thank him for the opportunity to host it on my blog.
As a general rule in life there is always a bigger fish - for every predator there is a bigger one lurking that is ready to eat it. However it is also worth remembering that there is usually always a smaller fish as well; for every small irritating parasite there is something that can infect it.
I got sent a wonderful story recently about a group of ten college students, from St Olaf college in Minnesota, who went on an electron microscopy course at the Boulder Laboratory for 3-D Electron Microscopy of the Cell in Colorado.
This month was quite a busy one for me; between frantic work deadlines and being slightly ill I didn't really have time to promote, share or find a host for the MolBio carnival.
A species is one of those things that is harder to define than it looks. While it's clear that (for example) a rat is a different species than a dog, the more closely related animals get, the harder it is to properly put them into species.
A while ago, I wrote about how Helicobacter pylori , the bacteria that cause stomach ulcers and are implicated in certain stomach cancers, cause the cells of the stomach wall to die.
A while ago, I wrote a couple of posts describing some intra-molecular forces, forces that hold atoms and molecules together. I enjoyed writing them, and people come back to read them quite frequently, so I thought I'd continue and write about a couple more.The previous posts covered van der Waals forces and hydrogen bonds (and dipoles!) These forces are both fun, and incredibly important in determining the properties of water (without which there would be no life) and petrol (without which there would be no cars) but they aren't particularly strong forces.
I have a soft-spot for plant biology. In my final year at university, having exhausted all of the bacteria-related biochemistry lectures, I took a bacteria-related lecture course with the plants department.
Just to let you know - the latest MolBio carnival is out! The bacteria that cause Tuberculosis are nasty little beasts. The white blood cells that clear infection in your body work by ingesting bacteria and then breaking them up, and the TB escapes this by letting itself get ingested and then sitting inside your white blood cells.
I've written before about the many ways that bacteria can move around. Considering that they're just one cell long, micro-organisms have a whole range of ways to travel through their little world.
I'm safely back from my honeymoon, and I was catching up on the Scientific American articles when I found one that quite disturbed me. I don't usually use this blog as a forum for thoughts about things that aren't bacteria, but this is something I found important, particularly as I've spent most of the holiday reading Mary Midgely books.The article is by Michael Shermer, and you can read it here.
Last post of the honeymoon! I think it's fitting that this post should be an old guest post written by my husband. He's a psychiatrist, and this post was the only way we could think of to combine his medical knowledge with my love for little bacteria.
Still on my honeymoon, far away from any form of internet, so this is another old post from my previous blog. The post itself is not one of the best I've written, but the subject matter was so fascinating I feel it needed reposting!
I'm currently off on my seriously-delayed honeymoon, so over the next two weeks I'll be sticking up some posts I enjoyed from my old blog. They've been modified and re-edited to include new information (and images!) where appropriate, but unfortunately I won't be able to answer comments or participate in any discussion about them until I get back.
I've been getting so exited about the awesome powers of bacteria on this blog lately that I've been neglecting to cover the nasty bacteria. More specifically the fascinating world of antibiotics, the antimicrobial elements that bacteria and fungi produce and that humans exploit, manufacture and synthesise in order to protect against bacterial infections.Luckily a great paper (reference below) came out recently that explores three different types of antibiotic treatment and how bacteria have evolved to protect themselves from the antibiotic attack.