Sunday, September 20, 2009

Microbiology 101

Lesson #1: Respect all bacterial cultures.

Doesn't matter if it's the lowly E. coli K-12, or Yersinia pestis. If you treat them all the same, respect them, and handle them with utmost care, you'll be alright. Get lax and lazy, and bad things can happen. Labs have safety procedures and precautions for a reason.

Attenuated doesn't necessarily mean it won't cause disease. It appears this researcher may have found that out the hard way.

3 comments:

Jennaviere said...

A good reminder! Yikes.

Epicanis ( http://www.bigroom.org/wordpress ) said...

Even if you think the bacteria are dead, too. Episode 4 of the scientific paper podcast project I've been working on will concern a couple of papers on the survival of Mycobacterium tuberculosis cells during heat-fixing onto microscope slides...

Evidently one should resist the urge to lick one's microscopy samples, no matter how tasty the immersion oil is...

Dr. O said...

Work with frank pathogens long enough, and you will get sick. From a former Shigella researcher...