I prefer the CAKE version of ‘I Will Survive’ over the E. coli O157 version

Best award for original song remake has to go to Cake’s 1996 version of the Gloria Gaynor disco classic, I Will Survive. Searing guitar solos, an infectious bass line, and the spoken word singing of John McCrea combine to make this an iPod workout favorite. And CAKE was the first concert Amy and I went to in Kansas City and was unexpectedly good.

Dr Karin Heurlier and colleagues at the Universities of Nottingham and Birmingham in conjunction with Biolog Inc of California told the Society for General Microbiology’s meeting at Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh, today that pathogenic strains of E. coli could survive in different conditions compared to the standard laboratory, non-pathogenic strain.

Contamination by foodborne E. coli occurs in processed foods such as ready prepared salads, fermented sausages (e.g. salami), dairy products and fruit juices as well as more usually in raw and partly cooked meat products, indicating that the bacteria are able to survive modern food processing techniques. The researchers found differences between strains in how they responded to antimicrobial compounds, and in their reactions to oxygen availability, acidity and chemical stresses. They could also use different constituents in foods for their nutrition compared to standard laboratory E. coli strains.

"The laboratory E. coli strain K-12 is one of the best understood organisms on Earth," said Dr Heurlier, "But because it has become so used to being grown in laboratory conditions, it may not react to stresses in the same way as pathogenic strains – such as E. coli O157:H7 can. Our research shows that there are definite growth and nutrition differences between E. coli strains and therefore results obtained with laboratory strains may not be typical of what happens in the ‘real’ world."