One way to learn about how antibiotics work is to visualize their accumulation within bacterial cells. But this is no easy feat. So, a team of researchers from Penn State University and the pharmaceutical and biotechnology giant Novartis set about inventing a new technique.
It's widely believed that a "bed of nails" surface destroys bacteria through puncturing the cell wall. But new research, based on extensive use of various microscopy techniques, a team of Australian and Nigerian have shown that an entirely different killing mechanism may be at play.
Microbiologists don't use microscopes very often. The reason is because a substantial proportion of modern microbiology research uses the tools of molecular biology, for which microscopes are not needed.