Bacteria prefer milk chocolate to dark chocolate and will swim towards it on an agar plate, so teachers have found out this week (15-19 July) at a summer school run by the Society for General Microbiology at the University of Reading. The experiment is one of a series of A-level practicals currently being produced for teachers by the Society.
“We have developed the chocolate experiment to show that bacteria can detect a food source and swim towards it – a process called chemotaxis. But we’ve seen that they are fussy eaters. They swim towards milk chocolate, but away from dark chocolate. The experiment is really visual because the bacterium we use, Janthinobacterium lividum, produces a bright purple pigment around the milk chocolate drop,” says Dr Liz Sockett from Nottingham University.
The week-long residential course has given 50 teachers from around Britain the chance to hear about new research in areas of microbiology that can tied to the A-level biology syllabus. Teachers have been brushing up on their practical microbiology techniques as well as listening to talks on bioethics, antibiotic resistance and vaccination.
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The world's highest gain high power laser amplifier - by many orders of magnitude - has been developed in research led at the University of Strathclyde.
The researchers demonstrated the feasibility of using plasma to amplify short laser pulses of picojoule-level energy up to 100 millijoules, which is a 'gain'...
Staphylococcus aureus is a feared pathogen (MRSA, multi-resistant S. aureus) due to frequent resistances against many antibiotics, especially in hospital infections. Researchers at the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified immunological processes that prevent a successful immune response directed against the pathogenic agent. The delivery of bacterial proteins with RNA adjuvant or messenger RNA (mRNA) into immune cells allows the re-direction of the immune response towards an active defense against S. aureus. This could be of significant importance for the development of an effective vaccine. PLOS Pathogens has published these research results online on 25 May 2017.
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Physicists from the University of Würzburg are capable of generating identical looking single light particles at the push of a button. Two new studies now demonstrate the potential this method holds.
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An international team of physicists has monitored the scattering behaviour of electrons in a non-conducting material in real-time. Their insights could be beneficial for radiotherapy.
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Two-dimensional magnetic structures are regarded as a promising material for new types of data storage, since the magnetic properties of individual molecular building blocks can be investigated and modified. For the first time, researchers have now produced a wafer-thin ferrimagnet, in which molecules with different magnetic centers arrange themselves on a gold surface to form a checkerboard pattern. Scientists at the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel and the Paul Scherrer Institute published their findings in the journal Nature Communications.
Ferrimagnets are composed of two centers which are magnetized at different strengths and point in opposing directions. Two-dimensional, quasi-flat ferrimagnets...
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