Bacteriophages: basic science and applications

“We urgently need an alternative method to fight bacterial infection. One promising method for killing bacteria is to use bacteriophages: viruses that infect and kill bacteria … As a type of virus, phages cannot live and reproduce alone. Viruses need to invade a host cell, consume the host’s nutrients to make more copies of themselves, and lastly get out of the host cell – often by…

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Arabidopsis: model organism in Biology

Arabidopsis thaliana is a small, annual rosette plant. It belongs to the family of the Brassicaceae in the eudicotyledonous group of angiosperm vascular plants. This family also includes related oilseed crops, vegetables and spice plants–rapeseed, brussel sprouts, various cabbages, cauliflower, garden radish, and mustard. From: eLife 2015;4:e06100, “The Natural History of Model Organisms: Planting molecular functions in an ecological context with Arabidopsis thaliana“, Ute Krämer….

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Bee populations declining in the United States, especially in the midwest

“Since at least the 1960’s it has been widely recognized that insecticide application can also negatively affect non-target species, including populations of insect pollinators [like bees] and natural enemies that serve to support crop production.” The development of neonicotinoid insecticides (insecticides chemically similar to nicotine) have made their effect more potent. Featured article: Douglas, M. R., Sponsler, D. B., Lonsdorf, E. V., & Grozinger, C….

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What’s the best way to get eggs from chickens?

At an exhibit in Iowa, USA, a comparison of the ways of getting eggs from chickens: The “conventional housing” is demonstrated: And, is touted over “cage-free” and “free-range” emphasizing safety and health: Yet, the birds are packed into cages and an actual production facility looks more like this: And, laws impacting the availability of “cage-free” and “free-range” have been influenced by corporate egg producing groups….

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