Measles, Whooping Cough, and the Musk Ox

July 3rd, 2014 in New Science with 2 Comments


Featured image courtesy Harun Yaha

Mavenites, there have been reports in the news recently of unprecedented numbers of cases of measles in California, New York, and Ohio and a whooping cough epidemic has been declared in California.  What is the reason for these outbreaks, the likes of which have not been seen in many decades?

Well, one thing is to blame:MORE

Spotlight: Microbiology, A Systems Approach, 4th Edition

June 26th, 2014 in New Science with No Comments


Here's a spotlight on an Insight Box from chapter 4 on bacteria and archaea with some newly published research that relates to our "bacterial fingerprint."  [Featured image courtesy]

CSI:  Bacteria?

What if instead of fingerprints, crime scene investigators looked for patterns of specific bacteria left behind by suspects?  Noah Fierer at the University of Colorado, Boulder studied the MORE

Fine Focus: Esther Lederberg

June 19th, 2014 in Fine Focus with No Comments

Esther Lederberg

[Featured Image courtesy the Esther Lederberg Memorial Website copyright 2006 - 2013]

In chapter 6 of the 4th edition of Microbiology:  A Systems Approach, there is a discussion of bacteriophage and both the lytic and lysogenic cycles of viruses.  Later on in chapter 9, there is a discussion of the F factor and high-frequency recombination in bacterial conjugation.  MORE

The Well-Dressed Microbiologist: Microbial Artists and Artisans

June 12th, 2014 in MisCELLany with No Comments

microbial rainbow

[Featured Image courtesy Michelle Banks at Artologica]

Lovely Assistant here.  Do you ever feel the need to display your microbiology passions for all the world to see?  Me too.  Here are a few of my favorite artists and artisans.  [Note:  Neither the Lovely Assistant nor the Maven receives any kickbacks, remuneration, or free swag for these endorsements.  We just MORE

Textbook Spotlight: Don’t Drink and Phagocytose

June 5th, 2014 in New Science with 8 Comments

Phagocytosis 1

[Featured Image courtesy Animated Healthcare]

Mavenites, this is my first installment of my “Textbook Spotlight” series (replacing the “Sneak Peak series), highlighting sections from the latest edition of “Microbiology, A Systems Approach.”  This entry from Chapter 14:  Host Defenses I is augmented with some new information from our friend Jason Tetro writing for Popular Science.

We all know that MORE

Make Friends With Your Gut Microbiota VI: Diet Edition

May 29th, 2014 in New Science with 1 Comment


[Featured Image courtesy]

The Grapefruit Diet, Atkins, South Beach, The Zone Diet, The Paleo Diet… Mavenites, May 29th is “World Digestive Health Day,” and in our 6th installment of “Make Friends With Your Gut Microbiota,” we’re going to discuss why your gut microbiota makes you fat…or thin.  We briefly discussed in a previous installment of MORE

One-Year Blog Anniversary Giveaway Winner!

May 22nd, 2014 in MisCELLany with 1 Comment


[Featured Image Courtesy Style En Mi Opinion]

Mavenites, the random number generator has spoken:  Susan Roberts is the lucky winner of our one-year blog anniversary giveaway!  Congratulations Susan!  Please contact me at microbiologymaven (at) gmail (dot) com with your mailing address, and the iPad mini will be on its way!


[Image courtesy TechRadar]

Thank you to everyone who MORE

The Maven Takes On Exponential Growth


[Featured Image Courtesy Germzoo]

Mavenites:  a few weeks ago, I gave you a screen shot from my latest video adventure, and now here it is for your enlightenment and entertainment!  It’s an amusing illustration of the exponential growth of bacteria…in coffee form:

I’m interested to hear your feedback.  What did you think of the video?  Is it something you’d MORE

ASMCUE: You Should Go

May 15th, 2014 in MisCELLany with 1 Comment

Andrea and Phil

[Featured image courtesy Kelly Gull and ASMCUE]

In 2008, I attended my first American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators (ASMCUE) at Endicott College in Beverly, Massachusetts.  I met my good friend and fellow microbiology professor Julie Oliver there, and we had an amazing time together.  We attended an opening plenary lecture given by Dr. Stuart Levy, MORE

Making Friends with Your Gut Microbiota V: Chocolate Edition

May 8th, 2014 in New Science with 1 Comment

Chocolate 1

[Featured Image courtesy Sorey Fitness]

Chocolate:  it’s been your go-to comfort food forever, you’ve heard that dark chocolate had antioxidants and improved cardiovascular health, and now your gut microbiota weighs in:  YES, chocolate is good for you!  In research presented at a meeting of the American Chemical Society, chemists at the Louisiana State College of Agriculture studied the precise MORE