Deadly genomes: Mapping the size, content, and impact of some of the world’s deadliest infectious agents
See high resolution image here.
Let’s talk about the cosmos.
Back in 2006, a little bone was discovered southeast of Melbourne, Australia by palaeontologists. This has been identified as a tarsus (ankle bone) belonging to a ceratosaur that will now shed light on how dinosaurs spread themselves on this vast planet; which of course was very different from what we see in NASA satellite photos of today.
“The first evidence in Australia of ceratosaurs, a major group of
meat-eating dinosaurs that lived 125 million years ago, lends weight to the idea that this continent was once a melting-pot of dinosaur diversity.” (source)
The paper, which has been published on Naturwissenschaften, talks about the evolution and migration of dinosaurs over the millions of years, especially with the fact that Australia was once part of the super-continent, Gondwana. Members of Ceratosauria came into play during the Jurassic period, and then began to continually evolve as the (millions of) years passed.
“The ceratosaur fossil, an ankle bone (tarsus) only six centimetres wide, was discovered in 2006 near the seaside town of San Remo, 87 kilometres southeast of Melbourne.” (source)
I have not yet been able to read the paper “First Ceratosaurian Dinosaur from Australia”, but knowing only the tarsus (pictured above) has been discovered makes me wonder what else is in the paper (discoveries, examinations, etc) that is not published on general news sites. It’s pretty difficult to go off of one bone, especially when it is not something as distinct as a skull, for example. But it is a tarsus, and those are distinctive on animals like theropods, and especially ceratosaurs; those bones being pretty avian-like. Australia’s known for not having the best of records for dinosaurs (though that has been changing over the years), so anything like this is exciting and big news.
Here’s another article from smh.com.au (where the photo above is from) you can read about this new dinosaur. And I found another from cosmosmagazine.com. I’ll be looking into this story to see if I can find out any other information. I’m pretty excited to see what exactly is going on with this, and published papers done by these professionals definitely are of a better source than general news sites. So much to look into with this!
Brewing Reliable, Reproducible Results
As a tool for the brewing industry, a handheld cell counter ensures reproducibility of fermentation from batch-to-batch. Yeast cells are critical to the fermentation process. During fermentation, carbohydrates present in the wort (a water-based solution of grain sugars) are converted by yeast into alcohol, carbon dioxide and numerous byproducts. There are several stages in the process at which analysis of the active yeast culture is advantageous. The first, and most critical point for cell enumeration, is during the pitching process. Pitching is the initiation of the fermentation process in which a live yeast culture is introduced into the wort (Figure 1). Introduction of a consistent cell concentration is required for successful fermentation, as well as to maintain batch-to-batch reproducibility. In addition, samples are often taken during fermentation proper, as yeast cells undergo budding. As shown in Figure 1, yeast sampling is also done at the end of the fermentation process; recovery of yeast from the final product permits re-pitching (multiple uses of a single yeast stock). These samples will be significantly more complex than the starting content because of accumulation of protein. If not eliminated, this protein may interfere with accurate counting. Consistent harvesting and re-pitching practices ensure consistent fermentation and yeast performance over many cycles.
Read complete article here: http://www.laboratoryequipment.com/article-food-millipore-brewing-reliable-reproduible-results-060112.aspx
“The Black Death” usually invokes mental images of tolling church bells, doctors with beak-shaped masks, necrotic tissue, grave diggers, and the Middle Ages - but that’s far from the whole story.
Meet Yersinia pestis: A Gram-negative, rod-shaped bacterium pictured here (in green) using scanning electron micrography on proventricular spines of a Xenopsylla cheopis flea (in purple). Yersinia pestis, which can infect most small mammals - cats, rats, dogs, and humans among them - is the cause of the bubonic, pneumonic, and septicemic plague. While we may now know that the Black Death was not caused by bad smells, as was once believed, Yersinia pestis has proven extraordinarily persistent - and resistant to eradication.
Because of the zoonotic relationship between Y. pestis, humans, fleas, and rats, the best we can do, to date, is contain outbreaks of the plague when they arise. Most recently, they’ve arisen in China, Peru, and the United States. While the spread of infection is quickly stopped and antibiotic treatment is effective, individual cases of the plague are often not isolated quickly enough, as was the case in China; early symptoms are general and include high fever, coughing, dizziness and vomiting, and resemble those of the flu. Don’t be fooled, though, infection with Y. pestis is still as deadly as ever: The index case in the Chinese outbreak died, and the septicemic plague (thankfully, the rarest form of the disease, caused when the bacterium enters the bloodstream directly), kills within 24 hours.
Image Credit: NIAID (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease).
Boombox (ft. Julian Casablancas)