Category Archives: Microbiology

The Great Agar Crisis of 2015

This doesn’t bode well (boldface mine): Microbiology’s most important reagent is in short supply, with potential consequences for research, public health and clinical labs around the world. Agar — the seaweed-derived, gelatinous substance that biologists use to culture microbes — … Continue reading

Posted in Bidness, Microbiology | 1 Comment

New IRB Regulations Could Be Really Stupid

And they will make microbiological research much harder. For those who don’t know what an IRB is (a perfectly reasonable state of affairs), it stands for Institutional Review Board, and it is the entity (actually, entities plural–most universities and large … Continue reading

Posted in Fucking Morons, Microbiology | 2 Comments

OH NOES! A “SUPERBUG VIRUS”

Tuesday morning, the Washington Post (at least in the online version) had a story about FDA action against a company whose duodenoscopes were very difficult to decontaminate and which have been linked to CRE, carbapenem-resistant enterobacteriaceae, bacteria that are incredibly … Continue reading

Posted in Antibiotics, Fucking Morons, Microbiology, News Media | 1 Comment

Genetically Engineered Yogurt

And cheese too! OH NOES! (boldface mine): Scientists didn’t know enough about the function of CRISPR and Cas enzymes for Koonin to make a detailed hypothesis. But his thinking was provocative enough for a microbiologist named Rodolphe Barrangou to test … Continue reading

Posted in Food, Microbiology, Viruses | 1 Comment

Gaming and…TB?

This is arguably one of the weirder microbiology articles of 2014 (boldface mine): Local area network (LAN) gaming centers (variant of cyber cafes) have proliferated over the past 2 decades. Patrons sometimes spend considerable time playing multiplayer computer games at … Continue reading

Posted in Microbiology, Public Health | 1 Comment

One Lesson From the CDC Debacles–Always Check Your Materials Before You Start Working

And for that matter, before you send stuff to other people. By now, you might have heard about the CDC’s bad week. Most of the attention has focused on the discovery of smallpox vials, two of which contained virus that … Continue reading

Posted in Danger Ain't Cool!, Influenza, Microbiology, Viruses | 5 Comments

When Epidemiology Conflicts With Rapid Diagnosis: Whither/Wither Clinical Genomics?

What Scary Disease Lady (aka ‘Maryn McKenna’) wrote a couple of weeks ago about the clinical shift from culturing microorganisms to rapid diagnosis that removes the need to grow the disease-causing critter is very important (boldface mine): To get diagnoses … Continue reading

Posted in CDC, Genomics, Microbiology, Public Health | 1 Comment