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Karen Steward PhD

Science Writer

Writes for:

Analysis & Separations Applied Sciences Immunology & Microbiology

Latest Content From Karen Steward PhD

Bacterial Culture
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There are lots of reasons to culture bacteria, many sources from which to culture them and diverse species with equally diverse growth requirements – some pickier than others. To give yourself a fighting chance at successful bacterial culture it is therefore vital to pick the correct culture conditions for your purpose and avoid contamination by using good aseptic technique.

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Essential Amino Acids: Chart, Abbreviations and Structure
Article

Amino acids are the building blocks that form polypeptides and ultimately proteins. Consequently, they are fundamental components of our bodies and vital for physiological functions such as protein synthesis, tissue repair and nutrient absorption. Here we take a closer look at amino acid properties, how they are used in the body and where they come from.

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Food Poisoning Bacteria’s Sugar Coating Could Be Its Undoing
Blog

To learn how Campylobacter hides from the body’s immune system, why some people are more susceptible than others, and the potential role that carbohydrate-based diagnostics could play in the fight against the bacterium, we spoke to Professor Rob Field, Co-founder of Iceni Diagnostics.

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Epidemic vs Pandemic
Article

“An outbreak of this”, “epidemic of that”, “protect yourself against a potential pandemic of some horrible sounding disease”. Whether discussing disease in humans or animals, all are terms we hear on the news frequently, but do you know what the differences are between them? In this article, we take a look at the terminology used by epidemiologists and scientists to describe the occurrence and spread of disease.

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Knowledge Really Is Power When It Comes to Investigating the Mechanisms of Microbes
Article

For scientists investigating genomes and molecular mechanisms of microbes, it is vital that they can collate existing knowledge and understanding in the context of their current work to draw conclusions and fill gaps in knowledge. We spoke to Dr Peter Karp, leader of the BioCyc project, a microbial genomes and metabolic pathways web portal, about the evolution of BioCyc and its role in research.

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Gram Positive vs Gram Negative
Article

Being able to differentiate bacterial species is important for a host of reasons. Whilst molecular techniques can determine the specific species, even without getting into the molecular nitty gritty, there are phenotypic differences between groups of bacteria that can be used to differentiate them. One such useful classification – if a bacterium is Gram positive or Gram negative - is based on the structure of bacterial cell walls.

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Why Science Can’t Afford Mistakes When It Comes to Cell Line Authenticity
Article

Having strains and cell lines that have been checked and confirmed to be what it says on the tube is invaluable to scientific validity and integrity, saving untold time and money. We spoke to Mindy Goldsborough, Ph.D., Chief Science and Technology Officer, VP and General Manager, ATCC Cell Systems about the importance and challenges of maintaining authenticated cell lines for scientific research.

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Cation vs Anion: Definition, Chart and the Periodic Table
Article

If an atom, or atoms, has a balanced number of electrons (negative charge) and protons (positive charge) they are neutral overall. However, if they are not balanced, they will be charged. These charged species are called ions.

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Fentanyl Analogue Identification Toolkit Aids Forensic Toxicology
Blog

Getting an arrow in the target is hard enough but imagine trying to do it when the target is constantly moving or morphs into something that doesn’t even look like the target anymore? This is the challenge for forensic scientists trying to detect fentanyl in samples. We spoke to research scientist Alex Krotulski about his group’s arms race with the evolution of fentanyl variants.

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Comparing Chromatography Techniques
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Chromatography is an important tool in analytical chemistry, learn about how the different techniques in the field work and their applications.

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