Category Archives: Microbiology

New Myxococcus Species: Myxococcus WTF?

OK, it’s not Myxococcus WTF, it’s called Myxococcus llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogochensis (boldface mine): Members of the predatory Myxococcales (myxobacteria) possess large genomes, undergo multicellular development and produce diverse secondary metabolites, which are being actively prospected for novel drug discovery. To direct such … Continue reading

Posted in Genomics, Microbiology

Our Looming Bacterial Transposon Crisis

For the non-biologists, a bacterial transposon is a region of DNA, usually five to twenty thousand bases (‘letters of DNA’) long that can move around (transposition). Many bacterial plasmids–mini-chromosomes that can move from bacterium to bacterium–carry transposons. In bacterial, transposons … Continue reading

Posted in Microbiology | 1 Comment

Clostridioides Difficile Is Expensive

The infection known as ‘C diff’ is caused by the organism Clostridioides* difficile. It’s often the result of antibiotic therapy, since antibiotic use can disrupt the normal microbial flora, making way for C. difficile. This means this infections are likely … Continue reading

Posted in Economics, Microbiology, Public Health | 1 Comment

Betsy McCaughey Engages In Classic Whattaboutism On Healthcare

So I came across this op-ed about Medicaid by Betsy McCaughey, a long-time foe of, well, any healthcare insurance improvements (and who also thinks we can combat the antibiotic resistance problem with hospital choice), and, surprisingly, it started off well … Continue reading

Posted in Conservatives, Healthcare, Microbiology, Public Health

Men Against Death

Observed at the New Orleans Convention Center, New Orleans, LA: And always push your catalog:

Posted in Microbiology, New Orleans | 1 Comment


Observed at the New Orleans Convention Center, LA:

Posted in Microbiology | 1 Comment


A fermenter from the 1980s, used to produce insulin, at the National Museum of American History, D.C.: Closeup:

Posted in Microbiology, Museums etc. | 2 Comments

Thoughts On ASM Microbe 2016

And other possibly related things as well, along with various ruminations on my part. Let’s begin: 1. E. coli ST131-fimH30, the clone (‘MLST type’) that causes many ESBL and CRE infections (the only beta-lactams that work against ESBLs are carbapenemes, … Continue reading

Posted in Meetings, Microbiology

Yes, We Can Isolate Most Human Gut Microbes

A long-standing canard that really bothers me is the notion that most (“99%”) human gut microbes are unculturable–that is, we can’t grow them in the lab. As I noted a long time ago, that’s not the case: This false statement … Continue reading

Posted in Microbiology, Microbiome

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