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Posts Tagged "biofilms"

Lab Rat

Breaking down the city walls: small molecules that target bacterial biofilms

Polymicrobic biofilm grown on a stainless steel surface in a laboratory potable water biofilm reactor for 14 days, then stained with 4,6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and examined by epifluorescence microscopy. Bar, 20 µm.

Although bacteria are single celled organisms, they are capable of working together in massive bacterial colonies known as biofilms. Within the biofilm bacteria will differentiate to perform different tasks, all wrapped up within a sticky substance that holds the cells together. I’ve written about biofilms before; how they form and how they work in space! [...]

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Lab Rat

Bacteria in space!

586px-Earth_Rise_as_Seen_From_Lunar_Surface

Where humans travel, bacteria will follow. If people are in space for any amount of time, bacteria are sure to thrive there so it’s good to know that there are already researchers looking at how the environment within spaceships affects bacterial populations. Work done on planktonic colonies of bacteria has shown that they can become [...]

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Lab Rat

Communication between kingdoms: the micro-organisms that live on the human body

Image from reference 2

From the point of view of a micro-organism, the human body is a prime piece of real estate. For those bacteria and fungi that can avoid or fight off the immune systems, a human provides a whole range of moist, nutrient-filled little spaces in which to live. Some of these micro-organisms are harmless, growing and [...]

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Lab Rat

Not all biofilms are equal: The hyper-biofilm of P. aeruginosa

P. Aeruginosa from wikimedia commons.

December turned out to be a rather hectic month for several reasons, so I decided to take a break from blogging. Now the holidays are over, I will back to regular blogging for 2013! In a previous post I wrote about how two-component systems evolved in bacteria while dying out in animals, so for this [...]

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Lab Rat

Cystitis: How bacteria get into your bladder

This is your bladder on cystitis. The purple dots are the white blood cells that cause inflammation. Image credit below.

Over the last year, it’s become more and more apparent that I do, in fact, have recurrent cystitis. Having cystitis is a bit like entering the matrix – until I had my first attack I’d never even known it was a disease. It doesn’t appear in books, films or classroom lessons (particularly given that my [...]

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Lab Rat

Sticky bacteria and the benefits of staying still

Bacteria faced with a polymer brush (left) and a solid surface (right). Bacteria are in brown. Silly picture (c) me.

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. Movement is useful for finding food and for changing your environment when all nearby resources have been exhausted. For bacteria that can’t move, however, [...]

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Lab Rat

Biofilms: a house for protection or a tent for nomads

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 [...]

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