Microbiology: Influenza is a family of RNA enveloped viruses that affect birds and mammals. There are three Influenza types: A, B and C. A is the most important in human infection. Influenza is a huge public health concern that occurs in seasonal epidemics and has caused pandemic level infections as recently as 2009 with Influenza A strain H1N1 (Monto, 2010).
Microbiology:Streptococcus pneumoniae is a Gram-positive coccus that commonly exists as chains of cells. S. pneumoniae produces haemolysin, a compound that breaks down the haemoglobin present in red blood cells. When S. pneumoniae is grown on blood agar the effect of haemolysin can be visualised. The haemolysin released by S. pneumoniae oxidises the red blood cells in the media leaving haemolysed regions a “greenish” colour; this process is known as -haemolysis (Mitchell and Mitchell, 2010)
Also known as:S. aureus, Staph, Methicillin-susceptibleStaphylococcus aureus (MSSA)
Industry of Interest: Healthcare
Microbiology:Staphylococcus aureus is a Gram-positive coccus that forms “grape-like” clusters of cells. It is also known for the “golden” appearance of its colonies, which is produced by a protective carotenoid pigment called Staphyloxanthin (Clanditz et al., 2006). S. aureus is an opportunistic pathogen with many toxins and virulence factors at its disposal.
Microbiology: Salmonella enterica is a Gram-negative, facultatively anaerobic rod and a member of the Enterobacteriaceae (Crum-Cianflone, 2008). There are currently more than 2500 serovars of S. enterica (Andrews-Polymenis et al., 2010). S. enterica is an important cause of foodborne illness in the developing world and causes sporadic outbreaks of Salmonellosis in the developed world.
Ricostruzione stereochimica della molecola di Taq polimerasi (in celeste) mentre sta replicando un tratto di DNA (linee verdi ed elementi giallo-viola). Il sito attivo dell’enzima è indicato dalle palline colorate. Questo enzima è ampiamente sfruttato nelle biotecnologie…
James D. Watson and Francis Crick were the two co-discoverers of the structure of DNA in 1953. They used x-ray diffraction data collected by Rosalind Franklin and proposed thedouble helix or spiral staircase structure of the DNA molecule. Their article, Molecular Structure of Nucleic Acids: A Structure for Deoxyribose Nucleic Acid, is celebrated for its treatment of the B form of DNA (B-DNA), and as the source of Watson-Crick base pairing of nucleotides. They were, with Maurice Wilkins, awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine in 1962.
Apparently, as they walked into the Eagle pub in Cambridge, Crick announced, “We have found the secret of life.”
Also known as: Klebsiella pneumoniae, K. pneumoniae
Industry of interest: Healthcare
Klebsiella is a genus of non-motile, Gram-negative, oxidase-negative, rod shaped bacteria. It belongs to the Enterobacteriaceae family which includes important human pathogens such as Salmonella and Escherichia coli.Klebsiellacan cause a wide range of infections, notably pneumonia, urinary tract infections, septicemia, and soft tissue infections (Podschun and Ullmann 1998). As opportunistic pathogens,Klebsiella spp. primarily infect immunocompromised individuals who are hospitalized and suffer from severe underlying diseases. Nosocomial Klebsiella infections are caused mainly by K. pneumoniae, the medically most important species of the genus. To a much lesser degree, K. oxytoca has been isolated from human clinical specimens (Podschun and Ullmann 1998).