Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Multiple theories exist to explain the occurrence of endosymbiosis, which is the leading theory outlining the sequence of events that led to the formation of modern cells. Specifically, modern cells are ancestral prokaryotic cells nestled within an eukaryotic host cell. For example, mitochondrion in cells have been identified as ancestral prokaryotic cells that evolved into … More Endosymbiosis may have occurred more than once

Duration of incubation of agar plates for viable cell count

Viable cell count is a common technique for assessing the relative number of viable cells in a culture that could be coaxed to grow on agar plates after serial dilution using a suitable diluent such as phosphate buffer. In essence, viable cell count asks the question: what are the numbers of viable cells in a … More Duration of incubation of agar plates for viable cell count

How to confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium?

Growth in a minimal salts medium signifies that a microbe has a competitive advantage over other microbial species for nutrients and, more importantly, environmental habitats. But, how should one confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium? Specifically, should the inoculum contain any trace of a rich medium? The answer to the latter … More How to confirm that a microbe could grow in minimal salts medium?

Gut microbiome changes in sync with food intake pattern

Gut microbiome is the consortium of microorganisms that inhabit the mucous membrane lining the large and small intestines, and is responsible for many body functions such as digestion of food and regulation of overall intestinal health. A recent study reported in the New York Times (Link) reveals that the gut microbiome of a population in … More Gut microbiome changes in sync with food intake pattern

Field deployable DNA sequencers

Since its inception in the 1990s, multiple revolutions have occurred in the field of DNA sequencing, where successive iterations of the technology enabled more reliable and less error prone sequencing of increasingly larger segments of DNA from a variety of sources such as human, bacteria, fungi, viruses etc. Indeed, DNA sequencing technology has revolutionized biology … More Field deployable DNA sequencers

Utility of co-expression analysis

In biology, researchers often seek to understand the factors that underpin a particular cellular process or diseased state. Thus, this line of thinking necessarily result in experiment design that seek to correlate molecular events with cellular processes, which could be readout experimentally, either through microscopy techniques or enzymatic biochemical assays. More generally, co-expression analysis is … More Utility of co-expression analysis

Lipid metabolism and its role in obesity and health

Obese but healthy, thin but suffering from a multitude of disorders including metabolic syndrome. For years, this clinical observation, also known as metabolic healthy obese, has befuddled doctors and medical researchers, and motivated significant amount of research aimed at understanding the aetiology of obesity and its implications in health and disease.   Why would obesity … More Lipid metabolism and its role in obesity and health

Role of activating mutation in potentiating cancer

Article in Nature, Vol. 539, 10 November 2016, pp. 304, “Leukaemogenic effects of Ptpn11 activating mutations in the stem cell microenvironment”   Summary of article: Effect of the postulated activating mutation, Ptpn11, on leukaemia was investigated in genetically altered mice harbouring the mutation.   Link to the original article: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/27783593   Category: cancer, biochemistry, developmental … More Role of activating mutation in potentiating cancer

Difficulty of separating and fractionating complex biological medium

Understanding the composition of a growth medium is essential to full knowledge of the signalling, metabolite exchanges, and byproducts generated during growth of cells in the medium. But, the endeavour is usually fraught with difficulties of separating or fractionating different components present in the medium by a variety of instrumented techniques such as high performance … More Difficulty of separating and fractionating complex biological medium