General microbiology and science, June 19

How to store your sputum samples, how LPS gets inserted into the outer membrane, and why pigs have an even number of toes.

Techniques in microbiome research

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.16.59 PMTime between sputum sample collection and storage significantly influences bacterial sequence composition from Cystic Fibrosis respiratory infections – Leah Cuthbertson – Journal of Clinical Microbiology

“Aliquots were stored at room temperature before freezing at -80°C for increasing intervals up to 72 hour period. Samples were treated with propidium monoazide, to distinguish live from dead cells, prior to DNA extraction, and 16S rRNA gene pyrosequencing was used to characterise the bacterial composition.”

General microbiology

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.26.58 PMStructural basis for outer membrane lipopolysaccharide insertion – Haohao Dong – Nature

“Here we report the first crystal structure of the unique integral membrane LPS translocon LptD–LptE complex….These findings not only help us to understand important aspects of bacterial outer membrane biogenesis, but also have significant potential for the development of novel drugs against multi-drug resistant pathogenic bacteria.”

Immunology

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.13.17 PMTeaching the immune system “self” respect and tolerance – Lucienne Chatenoud – Science

Tolerance is what we would like to restore to cure such disabling diseases. Kasagi et al. (2) indicate that it may be possible to teach the immune system to tolerate “self” again.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.15.42 PMIn Vivo–Generated Antigen-Specific Regulatory T Cells Treat Autoimmunity Without Compromising Antibacterial Immune Response – Shimpei Kasagi – Science

“These antigen-specific Treg cells specifically ameliorated autoimmunity without compromising immune responses to bacterial antigen. We have thus successfully generated antigen-specific Treg cells with therapeutic activity toward autoimmunity”

Phages, viruses, CRISPRs

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.18.44 PMHaloarcula hispanica CRISPR authenticates PAM of a target sequence to prime discriminative adaptation – Ming Li – Nucleic Acids Research

Science and ethics

Cheating common, say Brazil’s students – Jack Grove – Times Higher Education

“Of a sample of 47 papers published last year, 29 showed signs of word-by-word plagiarism, seven contained self-plagiarism, three had “mosaic plagiarism” (otherwise known as “synonym substitution”) and one exhibited signs of collusion.”

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.23.10 PMThe Dangers Of Data Mining – Tommaso Dorigo – Science 2.0

On my first day at the Erice School of Science Journalism this past week I attended a lecture by Alessio Cimarelli, who discussed “When Data Journalism meets Science: a “Hackathon””.”

Screen Shot 2014-06-19 at 11.32.23 PMEvolutionary biology: Why cattle, pigs are even-toed – Science Daily

During their evolution, the basic limb skeletal structure was significantly modified such that today’s hippopotami have four toes, while the second and fifth toe face backwards in pigs.”

 

U.S. Says 75 Government Scientists Possibly Exposed To Live Anthrax – Reuters – Huffington Post

The potential exposure occurred after researchers working in a high-level biosecurity laboratory at the agency’s Atlanta campus failed to follow proper procedures to inactivate the bacteria.”

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