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Lab Rat

Lab Rat

Exploring the life and times of bacteria

Gastric ulcer bacteria hide from the immune system

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.

February 26, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Holding elements together: Ionic bonds

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.

February 19, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Plants that shut out bacterial invaders

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.

February 15, 2012 — S.E. Gould

How the TB bacteria bursts your cells

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.

February 12, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Sticky bacteria and the benefits of staying still

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.

February 7, 2012 — S.E. Gould

On selfish genes and human behaviour

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.

January 28, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Guest post - Microbes and Madness

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.

January 25, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Half-plant, half-predator, all-weird

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!

January 22, 2012 — S.E. Gould

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 I get back.

January 17, 2012 — S.E. Gould

Discrete steps to antibiotic resistance

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.

January 10, 2012 — S.E. Gould

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