Monday, March 25, 2013

Neosartorya spp.

While teaching a class on fungal identification March 19 - 20th, I came across a mislabeled culture.  The organism was classified as Aspergillus fumigatus.  The colony color and growth were all wrong although the microscopic growth was very similar to Aspergillus fumigatus.  The organism is Neosartorya spp. I will attempt to let the colony grow and produce ascospores. 

The conidia would be classified as Asp/Pen like on an Air-o-cell cassette sample.

DG-18 Agar and MEA agar growth of Neosartorya spp. 25 degrees C.
DG-18 agar and MEA growth of Aspergillus fumigatus 25 degrees C.

Neosartorya spp. 85% lactic acid each small tick (2.5 microns)
Neosartorya spp. 85% lactic acid each small tick (2.5 microns)

Aspergillus clavatus

This unassuming Aspergillus spp. colony produces a very recognizable club shaped vesicle.  The spores are unremarkable and would be categorized as Asp/Pen like for an Air-O-Cell cassette samples.  The conidia are produced on a uniseriate head.  The vesicles become more club shaped as the colony grows older.

Aspergills clavatus on DG-18 agar

Aspergillus clavatus at 100x Acid Fuchsin stain N. Carlson

Aspergillus clavatus 400x (scale: 25 microns between 1 and 2) Acid Fuchsin stain N. Carlson

Aspergillus clavatus - 85% lactic acid stain 400x - N. Carlson

Aspergillus clavatus - lactophenol cotton blue stain 400x - N. Carlson

Friday, March 15, 2013

Syncephalastrum spp.

The zygomycete organism Syncephalastrum spp. can often be initially confused for an Aspergillus spp. under the microscope for people starting out in fungal identification.  Aspergillus spp. are differentiated from this organism because they have phialides and sometimes metulae supporting conidia.  The sporangiophores of Syncephalastrum spp. have vesicles producing long tubed merosporangium containing typically five to ten merospores that break apart as they mature and the merosporangium dissolves.
If the merospore clusters were intact with five or spores linked it may be possible to identify this organism with an Air-o-cell sample.  Otherwise the spore shape would be difficult to differentiate from others.   The organism grows well on MEA at 25 degrees Celsius. The light colored colony and moderate growth makes it difficult to identify by only viewing the colony.
Syncephalastrum spp. growth on MEA at approx. 7 days.
Mature Syncephalastrum spp. merospores - N. Carlson

Syncephalastrum spp.[ heads at various stages of maturity ] merosporangium on vesicles - N. Carlson 400x

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Sustainable Federal Budget

I've been interested in approaches that bring the Federal Government on a more sustainable path.  France's approach to tax millionaires at 75% appears to be a non starter.  We may need to come up with some new sources of revenue that don't cause people to spend more time avoiding the increase in taxes.

Will Smith - God Bless America
I'd be open to a tax that rate that doesn't care about the source of revenue.  For instance if the maximum tax rate is 25%.  Tax income, corporate, and investment income at the same rate.  This leaves the decision about taxes out of the equation and people are free to focus on the best rate of return for their time and money.

Senator Tom Colburn, MD has produced a very large 600 plus page detailed document Back in Black noting ways the Federal Government can trim the budget without inflicting undue pain on the populace. 

Fix the debt is another group attempting to creatively tackle the problem of an unsustainable government where revenue is not covering expenses. 

I am optimistic that people can work the problem and turn this around. 

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Industrial Hygiene job postings

Nationwide posting for industrial hygiene jobs is available at the American Industrial Hygiene website.

Additional listings are available at EHS

This is a list of LinkedIn industrial Hygiene jobs.

What is an Industrial Hygienist? 11 minutes
AIHA - Industrial Hygiene careers - 8 minutes