Partnering with microbiologists to diagnose and prevent diseaseTM
Microbytes logo tm
Micro Musings
March 2013 cartoon
courtesy of

Hardy Logo White

a culture of service…

March, 2013

© 2013, Hardy Diagnostics,

all rights reserved



Is there a “universal” fecal transport vial for O&P that is environmentally friendly?

Hardy’s TOTAL-FIX contains no mercury, PVA, or formalin and still gives you outstanding results for wet mounts, concentrations, permanent stains, DFA, and immunoassays.This makes clean up and disposal safe and economical.

total fix

View TOTAL-FIX brochure.



Request samples for evaluation.

Send me a complete Parasitology catalog.

Giardia with Total Fix

A trichrome stain of aGiardia lambliatrophozoite  using TOTAL-FIX.

*  *  *  *  *

Do you have a MicroTip or a case history to share with your fellow MicroBytes readers?

Click here.



Check outour
cranial puzzlers
for this month!

Hardy Goes Green!

To commemorate its efforts at preserving our planet, Hardy Diagnostics recently became certified as a “Green Business.”

green business cert

See the green projectsthat Hardy has recently completed.

Hardy green

*  *  *

Sheep Blood
Have you ever wondered where the blood in your Blood Agar plates comes from?

The blood found in the5% Sheep Blood Agar platesfrom Hardy Diagnostics is sourced from a controlled herd of sheep that are kept specifically for Hardy’s use. This herd consists of about 1,000 donor sheep that are grass fed and kept on a ranch where they are monitored by a veterinary supervised program. These sheep are kept healthy and are usedsolelyfor the purpose of blood donation.

Some other media manufactures rely on blood that is obtained from slaughter houses. Here are three reasons why Hardy never sources its blood from a slaughterhouse:

1. Sheep are kept in a feed lot before slaughter, where they typically have antibiotics added to their feed. Any antibiotics in the blood is not desirable when making media.

2. Sheep often travel long distances to the slaughterhouse and can arrive there dehydrated and sick. The sheep are not cared for, since they will soon be slaughtered.

3. Sheep can be sick (symptomatic or asymptomatic) at the time of blood collection and slaughter. There is always the possibility of bacterial contaminants in the blood.

As an example of contaminated blood, there have been recent reports of blood containing media being contaminated withListeria. This prompted the Michigan public health department to issue anadvisorycautioning microbiologists to be on the lookout forListeriacontamination in Blood Agar plates, and immediately report any occurrences.

Be assured that Hardy Diagnostics takes every precaution to assure the integrity of all its blood containing media by carefully selecting its supply source.

~ ~ ~

Tom Swifties…


“Rowing hurts my hands,” said Tom callously.

“I need a pencil sharpener,” said Tom bluntly.

“Oops! There goes my hat!” said Tom off the top of his head.

“I can no longer hear anything,” said Tom deftly.

“I have a split personality,” said Tom, being frank.

“This must be an aerobics class,” Tom worked out.

“I only have diamonds, clubs and spades,” said Tom heartlessly.

“Don’t add too much water,” said Tom with great concentration.

“I’m in the business of making table tops,” said Tom counter-productively.

“I haven’t had any tooth decay yet,” said Tom precariously.

“I’m wearing a ribbon round my arm,” said Tom with abandon.

“Use your own toothbrush!” Tom bristled.

“This must be a power outage,” said Tom delightedly.

~ ~ ~

Mini Catalogs

One-Stop Shopping
Sue catalog cover

Hardy stocks over 13,000 lab supply products that are available to all microbiologists at the click of a mouse!

No matter what kind of microbiology you do, we have a mini catalog suited to your needs.

Request a Mini Catalog that fits the needs of your laboratory . . .

# # # # #

Think about it…

The Thinker

* Why do you park in a driveway and drive in a parkway?

* Why do you have a hot-water heater when you don’t need to heat hot water?

* Why is an orange an orange and an apple not a red?

* Why is a pear called a pear when there is only one?

* What do they pack styrofoam in?

* Why did God give men nipples?

* If buttered toast always lands butter-side down, and a cat always lands on its feet, what would happen if you tied a piece of buttered toast on the back of a cat?

* * *

Wisdom to ponder…

Frank Lloyd Wright

Frank Lloyd Wright

1867 ~ 1959

Considered to be the greatest American architect of all time. He deigned over 1,000 structures. Wright believed in designing structures which were in harmony with humanity and its environment, a philosophy he called“organic architecture.

“Study nature, love nature, stay close to nature. It will never fail you.”

“Early in life I had to choose between honest arrogance and hypocritical humility. I chose the former and have seen no reason to change.”

“Form follows function – that has been misunderstood. Form and function should be one, joined in a spiritual union.”

“I believe totally in a Capitalist System, I only wish that someone would try it.”

“A doctor can bury his mistakes but an architect can only advise his clients to plant vines.”

“If it keeps up, man will atrophy all his limbs but the push-button finger.”

“Bureaucrats: they are dead at 30 and buried at 60. They are like custard pies; you can’t nail them to a wall.”

“Youth is a quality, not a matter of circumstances.

“The longer I live, the more beautiful life becomes.”

Fallingwater 2

One of Wright’s most famous works is the “Fallingwater” residence in Pennsylvania designed in 1935.

* * * * *


Hardy Logo White

Want to receive the MicroBytesNewsletterat home?

Want to review past issues
of MicroBytes?

Did you know?

Mike cat cover

Hardy Diagnostics…
  • Is celebrating its 32nd year of serving microbiologists.
  • IsISO 13485certified for the manufacture of medical devices to give you confidence in our products.
  • Offers you its technical manual,HUGO, which contains over 4,500 pages of information regarding microbiology.
  • Maintains a worldwide network of over 40distributors.

Send amessage to the president.

Blue Logo


Can Microbes be a Contributing Cause
of Obesity?

Fat mouse

Here’s the skinnyon the latest research…

*  *  *


A new method for
detection and susceptibility…



The incidence of drug resistant TB is escalating around the world at an alarming rate. Hardy Diagnostics now offers an economical and simplified way of detecting TB while simultaneously performing drug susceptibility testing.* Results within 5 to 10 days.

* Not available in the United States.

* * *

Antibiotic treatment of outpatients for respiratory infections

More Cost
More Resistance
Little Benefit?

respiratory infection
A recent study performed in the United Kingdom showed that  patients who were prescribed antibiotics for acute nonspecific respiratory infections (ARIs) had no increased risk for severe adverse effects and appeared to be at slightly lower risk of developing pneumonia that required hospitalization, according to a large population-based study. Researchers demonstrated that the number needed to treat to prevent a single hospitalization was greater than 12,000.

Each year, more than 2 million adult outpatient visits in the United Kingdom and 46 million adult outpatient visits in the United States are due to ARIs, according to the research team. Studies have failed to show that taking antibiotics helps patients with ARIs, such as acute naso-pharyngitis or acute bronchitis. Thus, many practice guidelines caution against using antibiotics to treat ARIs. Despite this, about half of US and UK patients diagnosed with ARIs receive antibiotic prescriptions, the authors report.

The researchers found that the overall risk of hospitalization for community-acquired pneumonia after an ARI visit, comparing antibiotic-treated vs. untreated patients, was 8.16 fewer per 100,000 visits; thus the number needed to treat was 12,255 patients to prevent 1 hospitalization.

The concern remains that the overuse of antibiotics for simple respiratory tract infections will lead to increased resistance of the remaining bacterial populations, thus reducing the effectiveness of the drugs at a time when they may be genuinely needed.

Annals of Family Medicine

* * *

Optical oddities…

March 2013 Opt Ill 3March 2013 Otp Ill

The King and Queen

but wait…look again,
y are exactly the same, only flipped.

“Believe half of what you see
and none of what you hear.”

~ Marvin Gaye

Let your opinion be known!

Does Social Media
Make Us
More or Less Social?

social media

According to Nielsen, internet users continue to spend more time with social media sites than any other type of site. 30% of their time on a PC and 20% of their mobile phone time is spent on social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

The total time spent on social media in the U.S. increased by 37% from 2011 to 2012. Americans now spend an average of seven hours at social networking per month, which trails the 21 hours that people spend in traditional “face to face” socializing.

For 18 to 34 year-olds that use networking sites, they report spending an average of 3.8 hours per day at virtual socializing!

Is this making us more or less social?

facebook user

See the survey results…

Should the post office have discontinued Saturday delivery service?

postal worker
The Postal Service posted a $16 billion loss in 2012, that’s $40 million per day. The agency claims eliminating Saturday delivery will save $2 billion annually.

Therefore, the Postal Service announced that they would cease Saturday deliveries by August, after providing this service for 150 years. Packages, Express, and Priority mail will still be delivered on Saturdays.

The Postmaster General reminded everyone that the USPS takes no taxpayer dollars, and that the Post Office used to deliver mail twice a day during the week, and we all survived the end of that.

Was this a good thing?

what your fellow MicroBytes readers had to say.

*   *   *   *   *


Rubes March 2013

Find more

of Leigh Rubin’s cartoon humor.


Lab week

April 22 to 26 is National Medical Laboratory Professionals Week

Get some ideas

on planning your celebration

from ASCP.

* * *


Good Excuses to Use When Caught Napping at Work

“They told me at the blood bank this might happen.”

“This is just a 15-minute power nap like they raved about in that time-management course you sent me to.”

“Whew! I musta left the top off the liquid paper.”

“This is one of the seven habits of highly effective people!”

“I was just testing the keyboard for drool-resistance.”

“Someone must’ve put decaf in the wrong pot.”

“Boy, that cold medicine I took last night just won’t wear off!


* * *

Mark Twain

“When I was a boy of fourteen, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around.

But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished by how much he’d learned in seven years.”

Mark Twain

* * *
abraham lincoln

The Humor of Abraham Lincoln

  • It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.
  • If I were two-faced, would I be wearing this one?
  • Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.
  • He can compress the most words into the smallest ideas better than any man I ever met.
  • You can fool some of the people all of the time, and all of the people some of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all of the time.
  • If this is coffee, please bring me some tea; if this is tea, please bring me some coffee.
  • No matter how much cats fight, there always seem to be plenty of kittens.
  • The man who murdered his parents, then pleaded for mercy on the grounds that he was an orphan.
  • Good things may come to those who wait, but only the things left by those who hustle.

* * *