Welcome to the new ATCC blog!

Welcome to the new ATCC blog! We have created this forum to provide a fun and educational way for Microbiologists and Cell Biologists to learn more about the natural world and to stay connected with new and exciting topics, techniques, and best practices in science.

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Arthropod vectors are responsible for the transmission of some of the most devastating diseases throughout the world. The accurate diagnosis of these diseases can be complicated due to similar clinical presentations, cross-reactivity, or the possibility of co-infection. Thus, there is a need for rapid and accurate methods of detection that can reliably distinguish between causative agents. With the recent outbreak of Zika virus throughout the Americas, it has become imperative to accurately discriminate between this virus and other similar mosquito-borne viruses. Here, we will discuss the impact of vector-borne disease and the caveats of current Zika virus detection methods.

Long-term subculturing of a microbial strain poses both a risk for cross-contamination and places selective pressure on the strain’s traits, which may lead to detrimental effects such as genetic drift and phenotypic variation. Here, we will discuss the importance of standards in microbial research and assay development.

The ideal characteristics of an in vitro whole-cell model include equivalence to in vivo physiology, genotypic and karyotypic stability, high proliferative capability, and the ability to be used at high passage. Does such a cell type exist? In this blog entry, I will discuss human telomerase (hTERT)-immortalized cells (ICs), which possess all of these qualities.