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Next Month

September 2014

September 18: Operation Wallacea summer field research info meeting:

Interested in International Summer Field Research Experiences?

Operation Wallacea informational meeting:

Thursday, September 18

12:30-1:45 pm

Bioscience 2007

Pizza lunch will be served!

Operation Wallacea is a biodiversity research and conservation management organization hosting scientific expeditions in Indonesia, Transylvania, South Africa, Madagascar, Peru, Guyana, Honduras, and Mexico. These research sites are run in remote locations with the help of university volunteers and academics from around the world. Students can join as Research Assistants (internship and credit options available) and receive training in different survey techniques such as mist-netting, SCUBA diving, GIS, camera-trapping, stereo-video transects of coral reefs, and much more. Students can also join as Thesis Students and collect data for a specific research project.  Some of the research topics offered on site include marine ecology, agriculture, spatial ecology, genetics, herpetofauna, and environmental science. There is even a unique expedition for Pre-Med students looking to experience field medicine.  Most importantly, all the research goes towards protecting valuable ecosystems by levering funding and monitoring the success of various conservation management strategies.

To learn more about these research opportunities and conservation management programs, please come to the informational presentation that is happening at your university on Thursday, September 18th at 12:30PM in Bioscience 2007 (pizza will be provided). If you are unable to make this meeting, please feel free to e-mail us at USA@opwall.com for more details. Hope to see you there!

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September 19: Seminar-Vesiculogenesis and Disruption of Extracellular Vesicles in Gram-positive Bacteria:

Vesiculogenesis and Disruption of Extracellular Vesicles in Gram-positive Bacteria


Lisa Brown

PhD. Candidate
Laboratory of Dr. Arturo Casadevall, M.D., Ph.D.
Albert Einstein College of Medicine
Bronx, NY

Alumna of James Madison University

Bioscience 1007
Author Summary

Previously, extracellular vesicle production in Gram-positive bacteria was dismissed due to the absence of an outer membrane, which Gram-negative vesicles originate, and the difficulty in envisioning how such a process could occur through the cell wall.  However, recent work has shown that these bacteria produce extracellular vesicles and that the vesicles are biologically active.  Bacillus anthracis, the causative agent of anthrax disease and potential bioweapon, produces extracellular vesicles that contain anthrax toxin components, LF, EF, and PA.  Extracellular vesicles isolated from Mycobacterium tuberculosis elicit a robust immune response via TLR2 in mouse infections. Bacillus subtilis is considered the model genetic system for Gram-positive bacteria and therefore provides as an excellent organism to study the genetic and cellular machinery involved in Gram-positive vesicle production. In this study we show that B. subtilis produces extracellular vesicles similar in size and morphology to other bacteria.  We characterized extracellular vesicles using a variety of techniques, provide evidence that these vesicles are actively produced by cells, and identified a mechanism of vesicle disruption.  We found that surfactin directly disrupts vesicles as a mechanism to release vesicular cargo. To our knowledge, this is the first time a gene has been identified that affects vesicle production in Gram-positive bacteria

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