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Image taken at Montana Tech under Electron Microscope Wins National Microbe Imaging Contest


Image of Microbes taken by Jessica Gregory that won national contest.Jessica Gregory, an instructor and teaching assistant for Montana Tech’s Biology Department and University of Montana Interdisciplinary Studies Ph.D. student, won a national microbe imaging contest. Gregory is working with Montana Tech faculty Drs. Marisa Pedulla, Jack Skinner, and Katie Hailer on a project involving the effects of synthetic iron-doped nanoparticles on viral infections of bacterial and eukaryotic host cells. Her work has implications for ecology, evolution, and therapies for antibiotic-resistant bacterial infections, such as MRSA.

Gregory captured the image on Montana Tech’s Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope. The photo shows Chlorella NC64A engulfed in iron-doped apatite nanoparticles on scanning electron microscopy. Iron-doped apatite nanoparticles increase infection of Staphylococcus aureus by bacteriophage. Current research examines this phenomena in eukaryotic systems, namely, in that of Chlorella NC64A and its virus Paramecium Bursaria Chlorella Virus 1 (PBCV-1).

Gregory submitted the photo to the American Society for Microbiology 2015 Poster Presenter Photo Contest. Her poster was titled, Iron-Doped Apatite Nanoparticle Enhancement of Viral Infection Examined in Prokaryotic and Eukaryotic Systems. For winning, Gregory receives a free registration to ASM Microbe 2016 held June 16-20, 2016 in Boston, MA and a single title online journal subscription.