What’s this concoction? The promise and power of metagenomics

At NCIMB, we routinely identify bacteria that have been found in pharmaceutical, food and other industrial production environments. Accurate identification may help the companies involved trace the source of microbial contamination, and confirm whether repeat incidences arise from the same issue. Often these jobs arrive as pure cultures on plates, and we can pick off colonies to isolate the single species present. However, sometimes we’re faced with a more challenging question. For example, we were recently asked to identify the components of …

Next generation sequencing: revolutionising microbiology

The development of next generation sequencing (NGS) has revolutionised genomic research, but what exactly are the benefits of NGS, and what value can it offer our customers? NCIMB’s NGS Services Manager, Dr Daniel Swan, takes a brief look back at the development of sequencing technologies and highlights some of the applications. Microbiologists have always exploited new technologies in order to understand the impact and processes of bacterial systems. In 1977, Carl Woese revolutionised microbial taxonomy, using rRNA genes as a marker to classify archaea as a separate domain from bacteria. …