General structure of the ribosome may be conserved, but small alterations in structural features likely exist between ribosomes of different species

Ribosome are highly conserved in structure and function given their importance to protein synthesis. Comprising a small and large subunit, ribosomes are built up of ribosomal proteins and RNA that provide both structure and function to the macromolecular complex.   Ribosomal proteins, in particular, differ in mass between different species and thus constitute a unique … More General structure of the ribosome may be conserved, but small alterations in structural features likely exist between ribosomes of different species

Metagenomics for identification of microbes

The culture-independent technique of metagenomics offers a way to understand microbial diversity in the absence of the ability to culture most of the microorganisms in the environment. Specifically, the method uses polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and 16S rRNA gene sequencing for identifying microbes in various environmental samples without the need for first culturing the microbes … More Metagenomics for identification of microbes

Utility of rescue experiments in biology

Loss of function assays are common in biology for understanding the function associated with a protein or gene. Typically, targeted mutagenesis is used for creating a specific gene or protein mutant, that due to loss of critical sequence information, result in a loss of function. Thus, the function lost can be associated with the gene … More Utility of rescue experiments in biology

Conserved mass peaks in mass spectra of bacterial species

Conserved mass peaks were found in mass spectra of individual bacterial species that highlighted a deep biological basis in the use of mass spectrometry for identifying bacteria. Specifically, matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) could profile biomolecules (mostly proteins) from bacterial cells that result in a mass spectrum useful for identification purposes. While … More Conserved mass peaks in mass spectra of bacterial species

Need for proteome molecular mass library to aid peak identification in MALDI-TOF MS microbial identification

Matrix-assisted laser desorption/ionization time-of-flight mass spectrometry (MALDI-TOF MS) generates microorganism-specific mass spectrum which has been shown to be useful in microbial identification via the mass spectrum fingerprinting approach. Specifically, the mass spectrum of an unknown microorganism is compared against those catalogued in a reference database of known microbes to aid in positive identification of microbe. … More Need for proteome molecular mass library to aid peak identification in MALDI-TOF MS microbial identification

Inability to constrain metabolic models with growth data in the absence of compositional changes in medium

The goal of metabolic modelling is to determine the metabolic flux through specific pathways in the cell. Doing so requires data on cell growth (whether microbes or human cells) as well as compositional data of the growth medium given that cellular metabolic activities would consume nutrients as well as generate byproducts that accumulate in the … More Inability to constrain metabolic models with growth data in the absence of compositional changes in medium

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