From Our Own Borealis Blog

Evidence-based endorsements: let’s put celebrity culture to good use

By Catherine Lau & Joelle Thorpe, Biology & Life Science Editors Like it or not, we all fall victim to celebrity […]

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Biofilm assay results

The summer undergrad did the biofilm assay this week. The results are quite clear: Haemophilus influenzae does form what might be biofilms on glass tubes, but this is completely independent of competence gene expression or the ability to make Type 4 pili (T4P).  Thus we won't be able to use biofilm assays to clarify how the toxT toxin prevents DNA uptake.The basic assay was as described in the previous post.  She tested four strains:  the wildtype parent, which expresses T4P genes and becomes moderately competent at the onset of stationary phase, a strain unable to induce its competence genes (including the T4P genes), a strain whose type 4 pilin gene is deleted, and a hypercompetent strain that expresses all the competence genes very strongly at all stages of growth.Cultures were grown for one and two days in 2 ml of rich medium in new glass tubes, either stationary in a…

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How Do Solar Sails Work?

“I understand that a photon has no mass… so how can it be used to push a solar sail ? How can a "massless” thing transfer momentum?“This is not an easy thing to wrap one’s head around, and part of the reason it’s tricky is because light is a little special. Light manages to behave both like a particle and like a wave. In either case, you’re absolutely right that the particle of light…Read the full article at Forbes!Have your own question? Feel free to ask! Or submit your questions via the sidebar, Facebook, twitter, or Google+.Sign up for the mailing list for updates & news straight to your inbox!

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I Watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I Still Don’t Get It

I watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens. Actually, I watched it twice, because I wanted to make sure I knew it well enough to actually comment on it. It was really good! This was a pleasant surprise, because most of the time, I hate things everyone raves that hard about. Things I like about the movie: The writers managed to find that perfect line between assuming everyone watching knew the world and the characters, and explaining EVERYTHING in case people who haven’t watched all the previous instalments were confused. As I writer, I recognize how hard that is to do, so there’s some […] The post I Watched Star Wars: The Force Awakens and I Still Don’t Get It appeared first on L. E. Carmichael.

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