Archive For The “Micro Musings” Category

Protected: Vividly View Vibrio

Protected: Vividly View Vibrio

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The Difficulties of C. difficile

The Difficulties of C. difficile

With Clostridium difficile infections (CDI) on the rise among hospital acquired infections across America in hospitals and care facilities, infection control specialists have been scrambling to prevent the acceleration of this toxic and destructive bacterium. Where does CDI come from? Where is it going? How can we avoid it? With nearly half a million impacted…

To Heat or Methanol Fix? That is the Burning Question.

To Heat or Methanol Fix? That is the Burning Question.

Microbiologists are a very opinionated group of individuals, and it is, at times, difficult to get consensus and standardization on certain procedures. Whether to heat fix or methanol fix slides in preparation for Gram staining is one of those controversial procedures. It was never fully documented as to why one method would be superior over…

Autophagy: Nature’s Trash Recycling Service

Autophagy: Nature’s Trash Recycling Service

Did You Know You Are Autophagic?  And that’s a good thing, since it slows down aging and prevents degenerative diseases. For illuminating the weird cellular phenomenon of “self-eating,” Yoshinori Ohsumi has won the 2016 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.  Called autophagy – from the Greek words “auto” and “phagein,” meaning “self” and “to eat”…

Norovirus: The Notorious Virus by Jane Johnson of Microbiologics

Norovirus: The Notorious Virus by Jane Johnson of Microbiologics

The average soccer ball is about 1.6 million times bigger than a grain of sand. A grain of sand is about a million times bigger than a single bacterial cell, and a single bacterial cell can be 40 to 100 times bigger than a norovirus particle. It is astonishing that norovirus, something so small in comparison to…

Innovative Methods of Combating Hospital-Acquired Infections

Innovative Methods of Combating Hospital-Acquired Infections

Given the prevalence of hospital-acquired infections (HAIs) in the United States, several companies are making efforts to develop technologies to reduce the occurrence of HAIs.  In a multistate point-prevalence survey of health care-associated infections in published in 2014, it was estimated that there were about 648,000 patients with 721,800 health care-associated infections in U.S. acute…

Microbial Fingerprint Forensics

Microbial Fingerprint Forensics

We know there are all kinds of ways bacteria make us safer. They help digest our food, they create vitamins, decompose waste, and out-compete pathogens from invading our system. Could bacteria also help catch criminals invading our house? A study by the Fort Lauderdale police department suggests they may. Recently, studies have been popping up…

IQCP is here! Are you ready?

IQCP is here! Are you ready?

January 2016 is right around the corner. While a new year always brings change, or at least the promise for change (I swear to make it to the gym for a change), this new year brings a critical change to clinical labs in the United States. Starting on the first of January, the Centers for…

Oh, Barnacles…

Oh, Barnacles…

Well…oysters to be more accurate. On October 1st, the Massachusetts Department of Public Health (DPH) and the Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game’s Division of Marine Fisheries (DMF) have announced a 14-day closure of oyster beds located in Duxbury Bay, Kingston Bay, Bluefish River, Back River, and Plymouth Harbor following two new cases of Vibrio parahaemolyticus…

From Peanuts to Prison

From Peanuts to Prison

In 2008, a deadly Salmonella outbreak in peanut butter ran unbridled across 46 states. Its deadly rampage was responsible for nine deaths as well 714 confirmed cases of illness. This number is considered extremely conservative as the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) often state that for every reported case of Salmonella another 38…

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