blogging the latest developments in microbiology

Archive for October 2011

Guest Post: Sequencing for the microbiological masses

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Despite being in its relative infancy, genome sequencing (and the technologies that drive it) have become central to much of the molecular biology that we take for granted. In this guest post, Nick Tucker takes a closer look at the past, present and potential future of DNA sequencing as it becomes cheaper and more readily available.

Mining databases of microbial genomes has rapidly become a routine part of experimental work for microbiologists the world over. It must be impossible for this year’s new intake of PhD students to imagine a world without them. But let’s reminisce for a moment, just to see how far we’ve come.

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Written by microbelog

18/10/2011 at 11:58 am

Posted in Technology

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Bacterial spam mail

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History dictates that Alexander Fleming will be best remembered for his discovery of penicillin, what with him winning the Nobel Prize and all. Perhaps what he should be remembered for, however, are the paintings he made on agar using different coloured bacteria. Quite why this culturally important art form never caught on is anybody’s guess.

It may have been Fleming’s strange hobby that inspired a group of scientists to go one stage further and develop an encrypted messaging system (obviously), which uses printed patterns, known as arrays, of different coloured bacteria. These bugs are coloured by the expression of genetically engineered fluorescent proteins, and the scientists in question have called the system ‘steganography by printed arrays of microbes’, or (ahem) SPAM for short… Read the rest of this entry »

Written by microbelog

11/10/2011 at 6:13 pm