bacteriology

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BIG UPDATE!

I’ve finally finished my biological patches set! After many months of designing, editing, and trial and error, I’m proud to post up photos of the final products!

They are woven with bright, beautiful colors that will endure many washes and adventures to come. They’re only $8 in my store:

https://www.etsy.com/shop/Monsternium



Here are the first five patches in my biological patch set. Once all ten are made, the rainbow of studies will be complete! Each one is illustrated, digitized, and embroidered by me. Stay tuned for more! Next up is herpetology ;)

Top Misconceptions People Have about Pulp-Era Science Fiction

A lot of people I run into have all kinds of misconceptions about what pulp-era scifi, from the 1920s-1950s, was actually like. 


“Pulp-Era Science Fiction was about optimistic futures.”

Optimistic futures were always, always vastly outnumbered by end of the world stories with mutants, Frankenstein creations that turn against us, murderous robot rebellions, terrifying alien invasions, and atomic horror. People don’t change. Then as now, we were more interested in hearing about how it could all go wrong. 

To quote H.L. Gold, editor of Galaxy Science Fiction, in 1952: 

“Over 90% of stories submitted to Galaxy Science Fiction still nag away at atomic, hydrogen and bacteriological war, the post atomic world, reversion to barbarism, mutant children killed because they have only ten toes and fingers instead of twelve….the temptation is strong to write, ‘look, fellers, the end isn’t here yet.’”

The movie Tomorrowland is a particulary egregious example of this tremendous misconception (and I can’t believe Brad Bird passed on making Force Awakens to make a movie that was 90 minutes of driving through the Florida swamps). In reality, pre-1960s scifi novels trafficked in dread, dystopian futures, and fear. There was simply never a time when optimistic scifi was overrepresented, even the boyish Jules Verne became skeptical of the possibilities of technology all the way at the turn of the century. One of the most famous pulp scifi yarns was Jack Williamson’s The Humanoids, about a race of Borg-like robots who so totally micromanage humans “for our own protection” that they leave us with nothing to do but wait “with folded hands.”


“Pulp scifi often featured muscular, large-chinned, womanizing main characters.”

Here’s the image often used in parodies of pulp scifi: the main character is a big-chinned, ultra-muscular dope in tights who is a compulsive womanizer and talks like Adam West in Batman. Whenever I see this, I think to myself…what exactly is it they’re making fun of?

It’s more normal than you think to find parodies of things that never actually existed. Mystery buffs and historians, for example, can’t find a single straight example of “the Butler did it.” It’s a thing people think is a thing that was never a thing, and another example would be the idea of the “silent film villain” in a mustache and top hat (which there are no straight examples of, either). There are no non-parody examples of Superman changing in a phone booth; he just never did this.

In reality, my favorite description of pulp mag era science fiction heroes is that they are “wisecracking Anglo-Saxon engineers addicted to alcohol and tobacco who like nothing better than to explain things to others that they already know.” The average pulp scifi hero had speech patterns best described as “Mid-Century American Wiseass” than like Adam West or the Lone Ranger. 

The nearest the Spaceman Spiff stereotype came to hitting the mark was with the magazine heroes of the Lensmen and Captain Future, and they’re both nowhere near close. Captain Future was a muscular hero with a chin, but he also had a Captain Picard level desire to use diplomacy first, and believed that most encounters with aliens were only hostile due to misunderstandings and lack of communication (and the story makes him right). He also didn’t seem interested in women, mostly because he had better things to do for the solar system and didn’t have the time for love. The Lensmen, on the other hand, had a ruthless, bloodthirsty streak, and were very much like the “murder machine” Brock Sampson (an attitude somewhat justified by the stakes in their struggle). 


“Pulp Era Scifi were mainly action/adventure stories with good vs. evil.” 

This is a half-truth, since, like so much other genre fiction, scifi has always been sugared up with fight scenes and chases. And there was a period, early in the century, when most scifi followed the Edgar Rice Burroughs model and were basically just Westerns or swashbucklers with different props, ray guns instead of six-shooters. But the key thing to remember is how weird so much of this scifi was, and that science fiction, starting in the mid-1930s, eventually became something other than just adventure stories with different trappings. 

One of my favorite examples of this is A. Bertram Chandler’s story, “Giant-Killer.” The story is about rats on a starship who acquire intelligence due to proximity to the star drive’s radiation, and who set about killing the human crew one by one. Another great example is Eando Binder’s Adam Link stories, told from the point of view of a robot who is held responsible for the death of his creator.

What’s more, one of the best writers to come out of this era is best known for never having truly evil bad guys: Isaac Asimov. His “Caves of Steel,” published in 1953, had no true villains. The Spacers, who we assumed were snobs, only isolated themselves because they had no immunities to the germs of earth.


“Racism was endemic to the pulps.”

It is absolutely true that the pulps reflected the unconscious views of society as a whole at the time, but as typical of history, the reality was usually much more complex than our mental image of the era. For instance, overt racism was usually shown as villainous: in most exploration magazines like Adventure, you can typically play “spot the evil asshole we’re not supposed to like” by seeing who calls the people of India “dirty monkeys” (as in Harold Lamb). 

Street & Smith, the largest of all of the pulp publishers, had a standing rule in the 1920s-1930s to never to use villains who were ethnic minorities because of the fear of spreading race hate by negative portrayals. In fact, in one known case, the villain of Resurrection Day was going to be a Japanese General, but the publisher demanded a revision and he was changed to an American criminal. Try to imagine if a modern-day TV network made a rule that minority groups were not to be depicted as gang bangers or drug dealers, for fear that this would create prejudice when people interact with minority groups in everyday life, and you can see how revolutionary this policy was. It’s a mistake to call this era very enlightened, but it’s also a mistake to say everyone born before 1970 was evil.


“Pulp scifi writers in the early days were indifferent to scientific reality and played fast and loose with science.”

 FALSE.

 This is, by an order of magnitude, the most false item on this list.

In fact, you might say that early science fiction fandom were obsessed with scientific accuracy to the point it was borderline anal retentive. Nearly every single one of the lettercols in Astounding Science Fiction were nitpickers fussing about scientific details. In fact, modern scifi fandom’s grudging tolerance for storytelling necessities like sound in space at the movies, or novels that use “hyperspace” are actually something of a step down from what the culture around scifi was in the 1920s-1950s. Part of it was due to the fact that organized scifi fandom came out of science clubs; Hugo Gernsback created the first scifi pulp magazine as a way to sell electronics and radio equipment to hobbyists, and the “First Fandom” of the 1930s were science enthusiasts who talked science first and the fiction that speculated about it second.

In retrospect, a lot of it was just plain obvious insecurity: in a new medium considered “kid’s stuff,” they wanted to show scifi was plausible, relevant, and something different from “fairy tales.” It’s the same insecure mentality that leads video gamers to repeatedly ask if games are art. You’ve got nothing to prove there, guys, calm down (and take it from a pulp scifi aficionado, the most interesting things are always done in the period when a medium is considered disposable trash). 

One of the best examples was the famous Howard P. Lovecraft, who published “The Shadow out of Time” in the 1936 issue of Astounding. Even though it might be the only thing from that issue that is even remotely reprinted today, the letters page from this issue practically rose up in revolt against this story as not being based on accurate science. Lovecraft was never published in Astounding ever again.

If you ever wanted to find out what Star Wars would be like if they were bigger hardasses about scientific plausibility, check out E.E. Smith’s Lensman series. People expect a big, bold, brassy space opera series with heroes and villains to play fast and loose, but it was shockingly scientifically grounded.

To be fair, science fiction was not a monolith on this. One of the earliest division in science fiction was between the Astounding Science Fiction writers based in New York, who often had engineering and scientific backgrounds and had left-wing (in some cases, literally Communist) politics, and the Amazing Stories writers based in the Midwest, who were usually self taught, and had right-wing, heartland politics. Because the Midwestern writers in Amazing Stories were often self-taught, they had a huge authority problem with science and played as fast and loose as you could get. While this is true, it’s worth noting science fiction fandom absolutely turned on Amazing Stories for this, especially when the writers started dabbling with spiritualism and other weirdness like the Shaver Mystery. And to this day, it’s impossible to find many Amazing Stories tales published elsewhere.

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Streptococcus pyogenes

Streptococcus pyogenes (also known as the flesh eating bacteria) is a gram-positive bacterium that usually grows in pairs or chains. It has been classified as a beta-hemolytic streptococcus because when cultured on a blood agar plate all the red blood cells are ruptured by the bacteria. Furthermore, it has been classified using Lancefield serotyping as group A, because it displays antigen A on its cell wall. Therefore, this bacterium is commonly called the beta-hemolytic group A streptococcus, or GAS.

This bacterium is responsible for a wide array of infections. It can cause streptococcal sore throat which is characterized by fever, enlarged tonsils, tonsillar exudate, sensitive cervical lymph nodes and malaise. If untreated, strep throat can last 7-10 days. Scarlet fever (pink-red rash and fever) as well as impetigo (infection of the superficial layers of skin) and pneumonia are also caused by this bacterium. Septicaemia, otitis media, mastitis, sepsis, cellulitis, erysipelas, myositis, osteomyelitis, septic arthritis, meningitis, endocarditis, pericarditis, and neonatal infections are all less common infections due to S. pyogenes

There are at least 517,000 deaths globally each year due to severe S. pyogenes infections and rheumatic fever disease alone causes 233,000 deaths. 

Key characteristics: Gram(+), beta-hemolytic, bacitracin(+), PYR(+), facultatively anaerobic.

Types of Pathogenic Microorganisms


The average human body contains about 10 trillion cells. Imagine how much that is! If our population was 1400 times greater in the entire world, then we still would not be more than the number of cells in the entire body. Amazing isn’t it? 

But what if I tell you the gut alone, contains 100 trillion microorganisms living within it this very minute? And hence the picture above, our world is really a microorganism’s world, we are simply the ones large enough to be seen. 

And thus we see the importance of microbiology, how exactly are these microorganisms affecting our lives? 

Most of these microorganisms are actually beneficial to our body, for example, by aiding in the process of digestion, however, there are microorganisms that are damaging to their host, either by the production of toxic products, or direct infection, and these microorganisms are termed pathogenic. 

To have an idea of this, let us talk about the types of microorganisms, and the pathogenic ones in each type, that is, the one that can give us a disease. 

Microbes that Cause Diseases

Microbes that cause diseases can be divided into 5 groups of organisms:

  1. Bacteria
  2. Fungi
  3. Protozoa
  4. Helminths and Rotifiers
  5. Viruses

There is also a recently discovered type of microbe that can cause a disease, known as a prion. 

Of these microbes, we can classify them in several different ways. 

Classification of Microbes:

Firstly, it is important to consider the status of prions and viruses. Technically, these “microbes” are not living. Prions are simply misfolded proteins, and viruses are only “alive” when they infect an organism. Thus, both prions and viruses have their own classifications. 

As for the other organisms, we can classify them in several ways:

  • Eukaryote vs Prokaryote
    • In this classification scheme, all bacteria are prokaryotes, and fungi, protozoa, helminths and rotifers are eukaryotes. 
      • The prokaryotes are further subdivided into eubacteria and archaebacteria. Eubacteria are the medically important bacteria, while archaebacteria are a group of evolutionarily distinct bacteria. 

Differences between Eukaryotes and Prokaryotes:

  • General Size
    • Eukaryotes are much larger than Prokaryotes, being about 10-100mm in diameter. 
    • Prokaryotes are much smaller, being about only 0.2-2mm in diameter. 
  • Nucleus vs Nucleoid: 
    • Eukaryotic cells contain a true nucleus, with multiple chromosomes, linear DNA, and a nuclear membrane, using mitotic apparatus to ensure chromosomes are equally distributed to the daughter cells. 
    • Prokaryotic cells contain a nucleoid, which is an area of loosely organized, circular supercondensed DNA, lacking nuclear membrane and mitotic apparatus.

Keep reading

Lab Analyst for Microbiology.

👌🏼
Bumdays are so so over.
Bali 5 months contractual palang ako. Then may 3-6 mos na probationary period, bago ma regular. Depende sa supervisor yung tagal.

6:30 uwian ko, kaya mukang wala na akong time ulit mag tumblr. coz ayaw ko nag ttumblr talaga dito sa ipod. Pag scan scan lang ng dash at pag may gusto ishare sgro. 8:00 am pa pasok ko bukas and gusto ko magkaron ng maayos na tulog. So yun,,

🤜🏼🤛🏼

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Listeria monocytogenes

This gram-positive bacterium causes listeriosis. It is a facultative anaerobic bacterium, capable of growing and reproducing inside the host’s cells, and is one of the most virulent food-borne pathogens, with 20 to 30 percent of clinical infections resulting in death. Responsible for approximately 2,500 illnesses and 500 deaths in the United States annually, listeriosis is the leading cause of death among foodborne bacterial pathogens, with fatality rates exceeding even Salmonella and Clostridium botulinum.

Key characteristics: gram(+) bacilli, can reproduce at temperatures between 1 and 45°C, catalase(+), motility(+), beta-hemolytic, esculin hydrolysis(+), glucose(+).

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Enterobacter cloacae

Enterobacter cloacae is a rod-shaped, gram-negative bacteria from the Enterobacteriaceae family. Enterobacter cloacae lives in the mesophilic environment with its optimal temperature at 37 °C and uses its peritrichous flagella for movement. This organism is oxidase negative but catalase positive and is facultative anaerobic. In other words, this organism can make ATP by aerobic respiration when oxygen is present but can switch to fermentation in the absence of oxygen.

Enterobacter infections can include bacteremia, lower respiratory tract infections, skin and soft-tissue infections, urinary tract infections (UTIs), endocarditis, intra-abdominal infections, septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, CNS infections, and ophthalmic infections. Enterobacter infections can necessitate prolonged hospitalization, multiple and varied imaging studies and laboratory tests, various surgical and nonsurgical procedures, and powerful and expensive antimicrobial agents.

The emergence of drug-resistant Enterobacter organisms has complicated treatment regimens, particularly within nosocomial settings, where such organisms have become increasingly common. Traditional approaches to treating Enterobacter infections involve single-agent antimicrobial therapy, typically with an aminoglycoside, a fluoroquinolone, a cephalosporin, or imipenem.

Key characteristics: Gram(-), catalase(+), oxidase(-), motility(+), indole(-), citrate(+).