Archive for the ‘Third Year’ Category

To learn about microbes, think like a microbe!!

Monday 25 February, 2008

Adopt a Microbe! a very interesting blog that artistically represents microbes, makes you think like one of them, then you will definitely know them better.

I think each microbiology student should have his own way of representing a microbe: draw a picture of them, write a song, even a play!

Are identical twins really identical?

Tuesday 18 December, 2007

To many of you who come and ask about identical twins and how genetically identical they are, this is an interesting documentary movie (less than 15 minutes) about the effect of epigenetic factors on gene expression.

The movie can be viewed here.

So, away from Shakesperian plays where two twins are separated since their birth, even in similar geographical environmental conditions, there are other factors that can make identical genes behave differently: what a pregnant woman eats can not only affect her baby’s phenotype, but also his or her genotype and even the grandchildren genotype.

Enjoy the show while it lasts (I don’t know how long it will be available online)…

Fall2007 Competition: More Winners at Stage II

Saturday 27 October, 2007

Here are the winners of stage II of the competition:

Group A:

The winners are those (top FIVE) who found the largest number of bacteria where quorum sensing and biofilm formation have been discovered. Any spelling mistake negatively affected the score. Those who listed the references got extra points.

  1. Radwa Raed Sharaf رضوى رائد شرف (second fastest, more than 40 strains + 5 references)
  2. Sarah Atef Amin سارة عاطف أمين (fastest, got 20 strains, but mentioned no references)
  3. Eman Adel إيمان عادل (got 18 strains but 2 spelling mistakes, listed 8 references)
  4. Aya Ali Elhusseiny آية علي الحسيني (got 20 strains, with 7 capitalization errors, listed 9 references
  5. Ahmed Said أحمد سعيد (got 16 strains, no references)
  6. Gehad Mahmoud جهاد محمود علي الصوفاني (got 7 strains)
  7. Mariam Medhat مريم مدحت تكلا (got 8 strains but all the genus names were not capitalized – corrected them in a second email)

Group B:

Question: If the generation time of M. tuberculosis is 15 hours, approximately how long it takes 100 actively dividing cells of this bacterium to form a 3 km-long line? (length of 1 cell is 3 microns)

Answer: 346.5 h (approximately 345 h or

The winners are those the first four who solved the problem:

  1. Mohammed Hassan Ahmed محمد حسن أحمد (Wed 17 Oct, 11:10 AM)
  2. Nada Essam El Din Mohammed Radwan ندا عصام الدين محمد رضوان (Wed 17 Oct, 11:15 AM)
  3. Yasmeen Saad ياسمين سعد (Wed 17 Oct, 2:00 PM)
  4. Nehal Adel Mohamed Fahmy نهال عادل محمد فهمي (Thur 18 Oct, 5:00 PM)
  5. Noha El Shamy نهى الشامي (Fri 19 Oct, 4:00 PM)

Many winners… and many thanks to all participants!

Tuesday 16 October, 2007

I am really impressed with the number of correct answers to the group A and B competitions, not that it was hard to find the correct answers, but because you took time to search, find, and send the answers rapidly in the middle of all the study load you have in college.

This time I overlooked تغاضيت عن spelling mistakes in writing the organism names; but next time, please follow the rules in writing any binomial name. Also, any answer should be supported by the references used.

Below is a list of all who sent the correct answers from both groups. Initially, only the first three winners per group were supposed to get the awards, but because many of you reported the answers on the same day, small prizes will be given to the first seven in each group. Thanks to all participants. Wait for competitions to come!

Group A:

1. Hossam Khaled Mohammed (answered at 12:35 PM on 9 Oct 2007, only 90 minutes after the lecture!)

2. Hossam Allam (9 Oct, 5:07 PM)

3. Abdel Rahman Medhat Mahmoud (9 Oct, 6:04 PM)

4. Rania Abou Zeid (9 Oct, 8:41 PM)

5. Radwa Raed (9 Oct, 10 PM)

6. Soha Gamal (9 Oct, 10:18 PM)

7. Ahmed Said (10 Oct, 1:18 AM)

8. Reem Belal Saber (10 Oct, 12:00 PM)

9. Gehad Essam Mohammed (11 Oct, 2:05 PM)

10. AbdulRahman Ibrahim (12 Oct, 7:03 PM)

11. Bishoy Saad (15 Oct, 1:43 AM)

12. Eman Adel (15 Oct, 8:43 PM- answered both questions!)

and…

  • Ola Amr (12 Oct, 1:43 AM): provided answer but source is missing
  • Aya ElSayed Mounib (9 Oct, 10:55 PM): provided sources but no answer yet

Group B:

1. Noha El Shami (10 Oct, 2:11 PM)

2. Mariam Reyad (10 Oct, 4:14 PM- Very well written answer!)

3. Yasmin Mostafa (10 Oct, 6:18 PM)

4. Motaz Taher (10 Oct, 7:53 PM)

5. Marco Azmy (10 Oct, 10:19 PM)

6. Marwa Mohamed Hamam (10 Oct, 11:26 PM)

7. Christina George (10 Oct, 11:34 PM)

8. Mohammed Saber (11 Oct, 12:38 AM)

9. Mariam Medhat Aziz (11 Oct, 1:30 AM)

10. Linah Hatem (11 Oct, 11:40 AM)

11. Somayya Hussein Hassan #1423 (11 Oct, 2:05 PM)

12. Nehal Abaza (11 Oct, 8:27 PM)

13. Nada Taha (12 Oct, 3:22 AM)

Competition! QuestionI/GroupA: What’s the microbe that withstands high radiation dose?

Tuesday 9 October, 2007

Find the name of a bacterium that can live in high radiation and is currently studied to be used for radioactive waste cleaning.

Send the answer (name + source of information) by email or bring it in person. The fastest three will have prizes (only if the answer is correct!)

Get ready for next lecture: microbial nutrition and growth conditions

Monday 8 October, 2007

موضوع محاضَرَتَيْ هذا الأسبوع بسيط لا تعقيد فيه، يتعلق بمعلومات أساسية عن التغذية وأثر الظروف الخارجية على نمو الكائنات الدقيقة. أتمنى أن تحضروا هذه المحاضرة كي تكتشفوا الكثير عن الميكروبات وطرق معيشتها المتنوعة جداً. تابعوها كأنّكم تشاهدون برنامجاً عن البكتيريا وليس كأنّكم تتلقون محاضرة تمتحنون فيها.

This week’s lectures (Tue 9 October, Wed 10 October) are about microbial nutrition and growth conditions. This topic is straightforward but really interesting. I hope you can attend and follow the lecture as if you’re watching a documentary about microbes rather than a part of the curriculum.

If you have half an hour to get prepared, I suggest the following:

  1. Read the main points in Part I, Chapters 4 and 5 in your book. Use speed reading and don’t get scared by the tables in these chapters. Most tables are just for additional knowledge, but the amount to be memorized is really minimal.
  2. Read about bacterial nutrition and growth in Todar’s Online Textbook of Bacteriology; it is the main reference for these chapters in your book. You can always look in the USC School of Medicine site: Bacteriology, Chapter Three (and like last time, you may even download the whole lecture from this page, or see the presentation and listen to the lecture here!).
  3. If you really have time and want to enjoy some deep reading, go to the library and read Chapters 4 and 5 in Brock’s Biology of Microorganisms. Dr. Thomas Brock has discovered plenty of thermophilic bacteria and you can expect his textbook to carry his legacy.

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