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

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

Single cell transcriptomics for revealing the compendium of different cell fates and cellular differentiation

Genomics is commonly thought to be the method for understanding the functional repertoire of cells, which, by extension, would reveal the different cell types, fates, lineages and cellular differentiation available to a consortium of cells within a locale such as the human body.   However, many of the genes encoded within the genome of a … More Single cell transcriptomics for revealing the compendium of different cell fates and cellular differentiation

Bacterial immune system utilized for genome editing

Feature article in Nature, Vol. 541, Issue 7637, pp. 280-282, “CRISPR’s Mysteries”   Summary of article: Used by bacterial and archaeal species for immune surveillance and defence of the cell against viruses, the single cell organism’s immune system, clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats (CRISPR) system has increasingly find use in alternate scenarios, the most … More Bacterial immune system utilized for genome editing

Understanding Earth’s collection of viruses

Article in Nature, Vol. 536, Issue 7617, pp. 425-430, “Uncovering Earth’s virome”   Summary of article: A vector based metagenomics approach combined with bioinformatics analysis was used to uncover the subset of viruses present on human body surfaces and freshwater habitats. The study’s experiment design does not fit the grandiose nature of the paper’s title. … More Understanding Earth’s collection of viruses