Cephalopods are truly the masters of disguise:
Someone asked me how octopi camouflage so well and all I could come up with was a term I had floating around my head - chromatophores. In my mind I knew that this was some kind of pigment cell but I had no idea the mechanism of their camouflage was so complex and intelligent.
A fast-sensitive “electronic-nose” for sniffing the highly infectious bacteria C. diff, that causes diarrhoea, temperature and stomach cramps, has been developed by a team at the University of Leicester.
The team have measured the Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) given out by different of strains of Clostridium difficile and have shown that many of them have a unique “smell”. In particular, different strains show different chemical fingerprints which are detected by a mass spectrometer.
Identifying the unique ‘smell’ of C. diff which would lead to rapid diagnosis of the condition.
The research is published on-line in the journal Metabolomics.
Caption: This is an image of Clostridium difficile or C-diff. Credit: University of Leicester
C. diff definitely has a “unique smell”.
Hey everyone, just found this on my dash and you will never guess who’s supervisor carried out this research! That’s right my very own. It’s a great new idea that hopefully will have many future applications.
Antidepressant (nutella) injection
This could kill you though seriously
Macro photographs of insects eyes
Pro tip: Many insect-pollinated flowers contain ultraviolet pigments that only their pollinating insects (and perhaps birds) can see. Many flowers are more strikingly coloured in the UV than in the visible spectrum. Furthermore, markings, visible only in the UV, act as taxi markers to guide the landed insects to the pollen and nectar food rewards. via
Plankton Found on the Exterior of the International Space Station!
While examining samples taken from the exterior surface of the ISS, scientists discovered something completely unexpected - Marine Plankton living on the surface, despite the harsh condition (Vacuum, temperature, and radiation.)
There was evidence that the plankton had been living there for years, and possibly even developing, too.
This gives more plausibility to the panspermia theory - that life all over the solar system/galaxy/universe is all related thanks to bacteria catching rides on asteroids and comets. We already know it is possible for rocks to be thrown away from a planet by something like an asteroid impact or large volcanic eruption - some meteorites have had their lineage traced back to mars.
So do you believe the panspermia theory to be plausible? what about alien life in general?
Your daily dose of Myoviridae TEM images:
Here’s a nice picture of some Myoviridae phage which infect Salmonella. Generally in the phage world, there are three more common families although others have been found:
- Siphoviridae with long flexible tails. (P2 above)
- Myoviridae with long contractile tails (T4 above)
- Podoviridae with short non-contractile tails. (P22 above)
Phage are first classified based on their morphologies, but bioinformatic information shows the relationships between the families. Typically families of phage are grouped on their appearance as a large amount of the phage genome goes into making the structural proteins.
Myoviridae are quite interesting in the sense that when they bind their host, there are large visible structural changes in the tail region. The tail sheath contracts and the DNA is transported from the head into the bacterium. Other less visible mechanisms are present in the other two morphology types too.