This is a guest post from a member of the iGEM competition team from Imperial College London. They recently won the iGEM regional championships and will be going to Boston in November to compete for the Worldwide Championships.
A while back, I did a post for Chemistry week about hydrogen bonds. In it, I mentioned why I find intramolecular forces so fascinating; they are interactions on such a tiny scale that hold together everything from small molecules like water to massive molecules like the enzymes and multi-enzyme complexes that I study.The hydrogen-bond post seems to pick up a fair amount of visitors each month, and I like to think it has been a useful post for those studying Chemistry for school, or trying to remember their schoolwork at university level.
One of the first things you learn once you start taking biology as a subject is that life is split into two separate domains - prokeryotes and eukaryotes.
Just a short post for anyone who hasn't caught the news: the latest edition of the carnival of molecular biology is out over at Disease Prone. Go take a look, there's some great writing there covering all your intracellular needs.If you'd like to submit a post to the carnival yourself just go here and fill in the handy submission form.
Bacteria are everywhere. In the air, in the soil, in our bodies and, thanks to human-built rockets, even in space. While the number of different bacterial strains and species discovered is continually increasing some bacteria, particularly environmental ones, are often very difficult to work with.
I'm having a break before starting my PhD next week, so I thought I'd have a brief non-microbial post with a few adventures from my fish-tank. The other day, my husband decided to try sticking a whole prawn (dead and cooked) into the fish tank to see the reaction of our underwater lodgers.Most of the fish weren't too interested, but as well as the fish we also have five assassin snails in the tank and they loved it.
Antibiotic resistance is often seen as a modern phenomenon – an ability generated by bacteria in order to defend against the challenges of modern medicine.
iGEM season is here and so to get into the spirit of things I thought I'd see if any interesting synthetic biology news had happened recently. It turns out that while I've been getting all excited about bacteria, people doing research on yeast have managed something pretty spectacular - they've replaced a whole section of a yeast chromosome with artificial DNA (ref.
Ever since the discovery and marketing of penicillin in 1928 by Alexander Fleming, bacteria have been developing resistance to antibiotics at an alarming rate.
This is the second part of a two-part collaboration post with James of Disease Prone. The first part can be found here and covers an introduction to the bacteria Acinetobacter baumannii and its strange behaviour under blue light.
Welcome to the fourteenth edition of the Carnival of Molecular Biology! Blog carnivals are collections of writing all about specific subjects, in the case of this carnival the fascinating world of the small and cellular.
From their size, bacteria don't look the the sort of organisms to travel far. Many of them are certainly capable of movement but it's usually in the micrometer scale.
The human immune system is a large and complex beast, but in general it has two roles. Firstly, to prevent an infection from causing any harm and secondly to protect the body against a repeat attack.
In terms of human evolution, cities are a relatively modern invention. Nobody is quite sure when or where the first cities started to develop, but they are generally thought to be a product of increasing reliance on agriculture that started around 5000BC Nowadays, cities have spread across the planet becoming larger and larger and, as the population continues to increase exponentially, more and more crowded.In large cities you get lots of people all packed close together.
Antibiotics are strange little molecules. In low-to-medium concentrations they are used by bacteria to protect their territory and (possibly) to signal to neighbouring bacteria.
I was hunting around for some topics to write about this week and I discovered that cracked.com have started doing my job! They have a great article out about all kinds of interesting bacteria - from Pseudomonas syringae that can be used to seed rain to the amazing Deinococcus radiodurans , which apparently also goes under the name of "Conan the Bacterium" Somehow, I imaging it speaking in a dodgy Austrian accent.
Aphids are small insects that are a major pest in crop production. Dealing with these aphid pests often involves the use of pesticides, however growing resistance to these pesticides means that many farmers are now looking to use natural predators such as ladybirds or hoverflies to stop aphids destroying crops.
The latest edition of the Molecular Biology carnival is up at The MolBio hut. It’s got some great blog posts, all related to molecular biology, so well worth a look.
Water is everywhere on our planet. In the air, in our bodies, in our food and in our breath. Without it life as we know it would not be possible. Water is vital for the survival of all living things, yet as a molecule it has some pretty odd behaviour.
For a microbiologist, viewing bacteria is rarely a problem. When I look at bacteria in the lab they are samples that I have grown specially, in aseptic conditions to stop any other bacteria getting in.