Latest Posts

Cosmetics Quiz: What’s Lurking in Your Makeup Bag?

Your favorite eye shadow has been discontinued by the manufacturer. You’ve managed to extend the life of your palette for three years, but at what cost? Have you thought about the wide array of microbial growth that could be hiding in…
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Environmental Isolate Case File: Cladosporium cladosporioides

Cladosporium cladosporioides, although generally nonpathogenic, can cause illness. This species, along with Exserohilum rostratum and Aspergillus fumigatus, was one of the pathogens isolated during a multistate outbreak of fungal meningitis due to contaminated sterile medication manufactured by the New England Compounding…
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Top 10 Microorganisms for Educating Students

Microbiology 101 provided my first exposure to live bacterial cultures in college (aside from those my roommates created in our minifridge). The distinct smell of an Escherichia coli culture, the unique green coloration of a fuzzy penicillium colony and the…
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6 Ways Microorganisms Are Improving Our World

Researchers are continuously discovering the incredible abilities of microorganisms. Below are just six examples of how microorganisms can improve our lives and even cleanup man-made messes. 1. Oil-spill cleanup crew BP’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico was…
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Food Safety First on the Fourth of July

The Fourth of July is time for fun, family, sunshine, bug spray, parades, fireworks and foodborne illnesses. The warm weather, in combination with picnics and barbeques, offers bacteria the perfect environment to do its thing and multiply. There is no…
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7 Reasons Why Your Lab Should Perform Growth Promotion Testing

Growth Promotion Test (GPT) – this combination of words might make you wince, but the test is essential for labs following pharmacopeia guidelines. GPT is more challenging than a qualitative or ecometric test. It is deemed successful if a small…
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Microorganisms You’ll Meet on Your Next Camping Trip

Given the opportunity, I would venture to say most people enjoy spending time outside. This is certainly the case for many microbiologists. Our home state of Minnesota is nicknamed “The Land of 10,000 Lakes.” We’re lucky to have many beautiful…
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The Great Debate Over B. cepacia Testing: Your Opinions and FDA Recommendations

Last month we outlined the debate for and against requiring B. cepacia testing for all nonsterile pharmaceutical, personal care products and water systems (The Great Debate Over B. cepacia Testing). At the end of the post, we asked our readers…
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Microbes That Help and Harm Your Garden

Plants and microbes have a love-hate relationship (I have a similar feeling when a long Minnesota winter causes me to delay planting my garden). There are many types of microorganisms that emerge in the spring and summer when we begin…
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Tiny Pests – Big Problems

Mosquitoes, ticks, Cryptosporidium and Giardia. What do these blood-feeding and internal parasites have in common? All four are found in our home state, Minnesota, and cause diseases that increase with the arrival of warm weather. The Minnesota Department of Health…
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