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Category Archives: Microbiology
I’ve asked the question How many different bacterial species are there on this blog before. It seems that we may be approaching an answer. A census of species of Archaea and Bacteria published recently showed that, despite ever-increasing sequencing efforts, … Continue reading
Emerging infectious disease events are dominated by zoonoses: infections that are naturally transmissible from animals to humans or vice versa. A worldwide survey of ~5,000 bat specimens identified 66 novel paramyxovirus species – more than double the existing total within … Continue reading
I spent more than 10 years working on HTLV, the first human retrovirus to be discovered, but it was a long time ago (propably before most of the people reading this now were born :-) It’s good to get an … Continue reading
Most adults carry multiple herpesviruses. Following the initial acute infection, these viruses establish life-long infections in their hosts and cause cold sores, keratitis, genital herpes, shingles, infectious mononucleosis, and other diseases. Some herpesviruses can cause cancer in man. During the … Continue reading
As an alternative to tutorials, virtual laboratory simulations represent a new way of preparing students for hands on exercises, such as laboratory work, and various computer based technologies are now being recognized as enabling reform of laboratory teaching practice. The … Continue reading
Plant root tips are covered by a protective sleeve of loosely attached border cells that can release a matrix containing proteins, polysaccharides, and DNA. In animal immune systems, extracellular DNA forms the backbone of neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) deployed by … Continue reading
Influenza A viruses harbor a segmented RNA genome that is organized into eight distinct viral ribonucleoprotein (vRNP) complexes. Although a segmented genome may be a major advantage to adapt to new host environments, it comes at the cost of a … Continue reading
As Europe “welcomes” Zika virus*, this short introduction by Maria Zambon is highly readable, and essential for anyone who’s been hiding under a rock for the past six months. Zika virus, the new kid on the block. Euro Surveill. … Continue reading
Prion diseases are fatal neurodegenerative disorders that cause memory loss, impaired coordination, and abnormal movements. The molecular culprit in prion diseases is PrPSc, an infectious isoform of a host-encoded glycoprotein (PrPC) that can propagate itself by a self-templating mechanism. Whether … Continue reading