biofilms

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Meet a Microbiologist: Jesus Romo

Growing up, Jesus Romo never thought he would become a microbiologist. “I actually wanted to be a paleontologist as a kid and [my parents] always bought me books about dinosaurs and dinosaur toys,” he says. Now Jesus is a doctoral candidate at the University of Texas at San Antonio studying fungus in the lab. When not in the lab, Jesus enjoys investigating fungi of another kind: the mushroom.

Originally from Coahuila, Mexico, Jesus immigrated to the U.S. with his parents when he was 10 years old. After a year of frustration and not wanting to go to school because he did not know the language, Jesus quickly became fluent in English. He attended the University of Texas at San Antonio (UTSA) as an undergraduate while working six nights a week. Though he did well in his courses, he had no idea undergraduate research opportunities existed. He took a microbiology laboratory course in his last semester and the instructor thought he would make a good teacher and recommended he look into graduate school (more…)

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Meet a Microbiologist: Juliana Ansari

Juliana Ansari is a laboratory supervisor with a predilection for probiotics. At Fairfield University, Juliana coordinates instructional biology labs and runs a research program with undergraduates. As a laboratory supervisor, Juliana designs lab activities, makes media, and maintains bacterial cultures and live animal collections.

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Timeshares are for bacteria too

Bacteria were once thought of as solitary individual organisms. We are finding out more and more that they behave quite contrary to this long-time perception. Bacteria form complex three-dimensional communities called biofilms. In biofilms, cells stick to each other and are encased in a sticky, slimy matrix proteins and sugars. It has been known for some time that cells within a biofilm communicate with one another. Now, researchers from the University of California San Diego and Universitat Pompeu Fabra determined for the first time, that neighboring biofilm communities communicate with one another to share resources. (more…)