Category Archives: microbiology

Syphillis making a comeback in Japan

There have been over 2000 cases of Syphillis documented in Japan by the end of Oct., 2015. This was up from around 1600 cases in all of 2014. The main cohort of infected individuals? Females in the 20 to 24 years age group. One of … Continue reading

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UNC faculty gets Nobel Prize for DNA repair mechanisms!!

Dr. Aziz Sancar, just won the Nobel Prize for chemistry today, along with two other scientists,Dr.Tomas Lindahl from the Francis Crick Institute and Clare Hall Laboratory, and Dr. Paul Modrich, from Duke University.  All study different mechanisms of DNA repair. The … Continue reading

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New evidence that the microbiome is important in protecting against allergies and asthma!!

A new study published in the journal Science Translational Medicine  and discussed in the journal Science this week illustrates the importance of a normal microbiome and what changes in your microbiota may mean for long term health. To look find associations … Continue reading

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Consumer Reports details information on ground beef contamination with bacterial pathogens

In my previous blog post, I was discussing how Consumer Reports had conducted an investigation into contamination of retail chicken with known bacterial pathogens. We then discussed in class ground beef, and the likelihood that it will always be contaminated with … Continue reading

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Is there still viable (living) bacteria on a frozen chicken?

Can bacteria survive the freezer? Bacteria will freeze along with the food they are on when they are stuck into a freezer. The pathogenic bacteria on foods that cause human disease  are primarily mesophiles or organisms that grow best at around 37 degrees Celsius.  In a … Continue reading

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Canadian outbreak of O157:H7 due to contaminated leafy greens

A new outbreak of the strain of E. coli O157:H7 has just occurred in Canada. There have been just 12 cases, but all of the bacteria in those cases have exhibited the same genetic fingerprint, indicating an a common source … Continue reading

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Outbreak of Scarlet Fever in the UK

There is an outbreak of scarlet fever occurring in the UK. What makes this different from a regular Strep sore throat (caused by Streptococcus pyogenes) is that the strains of Strep causing these outbreaks encode a gene that allows them … Continue reading

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2015 is the Year of the PHAGE!!!

Yes, they have given an entire YEAR to celebrate phage and the discovery of phage 100 years ago! There are a number of articles that discuss the illustrated history of phage and how we may use phage to try to stop bacterial infections, as … Continue reading

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The facts about sun damage and suncreen

Ok, some of you are off for spring break to a place that is sunny and warm (hopefully). But new research from Yale University published in the journal Science (Feb.20, 2015)  indicates that UV irradiation causes both direct damage (DNA dimer formation that causes mis-reading … Continue reading

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Great TED Talk about the human Microbiome by Rob Knight

Rob Knight is a pioneer in studying the human microbiome, and his TED Talk “How Our Microbes Make Us Who We Are” was all about just how important the microbiome is, how antibiotics may be altering important aspects of how … Continue reading

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