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Professional research paper about microbiology

A Guide to Writing Research Papers for Introductory Microbiology

A research paper is a study of original research and is, without uncertainty, one of the most of import paperss written by scientists. Research documents communicate of import findings and thoughts to other scientists, particularly those working in the same or similar Fieldss. In bend, they are given the chance to measure, revision and widen the research you have communicated. One of the of import constituents of this class is to develop you on how to carry on research and pass on your findings in the signifier of a professionally produced research paper. You will be transporting two research undertakings during the semester. One will affect the isolation and word picture of a peculiar bug or bugs, the other focal points on assorted facets of antibiotic drug opposition. The research documents you will be required to compose follow a format common to most diaries dedicated to the biological scientific disciplines. The format given below conforms to that stipulated by many biological diaries. The format is loosely based upon that required for full research documents in The Journal of Bacteriology, published by the American Society of Microbiology ( ttp: //jb.asm.org/misc/jbitoa09.pdf ) .

Manuscripts should be written in concise and grammatically right American-English, and must be submitted harmonizing to the format specified below. The manuscript should be typed, the lines double-spaced, and one inch borders reserved on either side of the page. All rubrics should be bold and centered. Each subdivision should get down on a new page. Typically, the paper will dwell of seven subdivisions: The Title page: a descriptive rubric of the article, the name of the writer, and her/his departmental and university association, and e-mail reference for correspondence. The Abstract: a short narration that summarizes the major achievements of the work being described. An Introduction: a statement puting the work to follow in historical position and explicating its purpose and significance. Materials and Methods that describes how the research was conducted so that it can be repeated by other research workers. The Results subdivision describes and analyzes the experimental information. The Discussion explains the reading of the consequences and their significance. Mentions paperss all the beginnings consulted in transporting out the research and composing the paper, and Figures and Tables which illustrate the major informations as exposure, graphs and tabular arraies.

Writing research documents is a really hard endeavor, so do non anticipate to go an adept consecutive off. Familiarize yourself with the manner of research documents by carefully analyzing published stuff: you will be given ample chance to make this during the class. You do non hold to draw a bead on to the professional degree of these documents. However, you must pay careful attending to the content and manner of the documents. Bear in head that the documents you consult reflect many hebdomads, or months of intensive research, and your research undertakings will merely last a few hebdomads. Therefore, the audience for your documents will be your equals and teachers. You will, in fact, be given the chance to reexamine and measure documents submitted by your equals during the semester. The usher below is based upon these premises while at the same clip reflecting the demands for professional diaries. Excerpts ( edited for namelessness ) included here are from old pupil documents and sample documents prepared by pupils in old old ages will be posted on Blackboard.

The rubric identifies the work accomplished and should be descriptive instead than obscure and instantly inform the reader about the work you are about to depict. Besides include on the rubric page your full name, your association ( in most instances, this will be the Department of Biological Sciences, the George Washington University ) , a contact reference ( which nowadays is an email reference ) and the day of the month of entry on the manuscript. The rubric should be enlightening and specific and accurately bespeak the major focal point of your work. For illustration, a rubric: “The Isolation of Bacteria from Raw and Cooked Food Samples” is excessively general and unfocussed. A more descriptive rubric is: “A Quantitative Study of Fecal Coliforms Found in Cooked and Raw Samples of Minced Beef.”

The Abstract is a sum-up of the major points of the paper, including the intent of the research, the methods used, the consequences obtained, and the decisions drawn from them. The Abstract typically consists of a individual paragraph of about three hundred words. It should be borne in heads that, together with the Title, the Abstract will be read by many people who may non needfully read the remainder of the paper. Therefore, this subdivision of the paper must stand on its ain. It is besides the most hard portion of the paper to compose because you must sum up, in a short infinite, the full range of your undertaking. The extract below reflects a typical first bill of exchange, followed by an acceptable alteration.

“Cell phones may harbour all sorts of bacteriums and the intent of this survey was to insulate Staphylococcus aureus, a potentially infective bug. Several cell phones were employed in this survey. The phones were swabbed and S, aureus isolated by growing on Osmitrol salts agar home bases. A figure of techniques were used to prove the settlements. The attendant settlements were tested by gram-staining, for mannitol agitation, and oxidase and catalase activity to corroborate the isolation of S. aureus. Several isolates were so tested for antibiotic opposition utilizing methicillin, Principen and penicillin. About 40 % of the isolates tested positive for methicillin opposition and 20 % were found to be immune to ampicillin and penicillin. These consequences indicate that cell phones may be a beginning of potentially infective, and antibiotic-resistance bacteriums, and may good present a important public wellness threat.”

This illustration presents an interesting survey but the Abstract is unfocussed and obscure. Why were cell phones chosen in peculiar for this survey? How many cell phones were tested and how many were found to be contaminated with S. aureus? Why was Osmitrol salts agar used as the selective medium? The sentence, “A figure of techniques were used to prove the colonies” is otiose and should hold been removed. Although the analytical trials are indicated, the consequences are non. The writer should hold stated these exactly in order to convert the reader that S. aureus strains were, in fact, isolated. The surveies on the antibiotic oppositions of the isolates unnecessarily are presented in a obscure mode. Again, the writer should hold briefly justified why these peculiar antibiotics were chosen and given the existent Numberss of isolates that were tested and found to be immune to different antibiotics every bit good as the per centums. Finally, the last sentence is excessively dramatic and non warranted based upon this present survey. A more conservative decision is called for. All these points are reflected in the alteration:

“Over the past decennary, progresss in cellular engineering have contributed to additions in cell phone use. Cellular devices have become an built-in signifier of communicating and are used by over 23 million people worldwide. Phone conversations, text messaging, and emailing, are all behaviours associated with cell phone usage, and necessitate the tegument to be in contact with these devices. We hypothesized that cell phones may harbour Staphylococcus aureus. S. aureus is a bacteria that inhabits human tegument. Certain strains of S. aureus are capable of doing disease and some are antibiotic-resistant. In an attempt to find if S. aureus was associated with cell phones, unfertile swab samples were collected from 12 different phones ( somersault and non-flip manners ) and plated onto Osmitrol salts agar medium which is recommended for the isolation and designation of S. aureus. Putative S. aureus settlements were obtained from all the phones tested. 192 out of 200 settlements tested positive for mannitol agitation and were characterized farther. All bacteriums were gram positive, aggregative coccus and tested positive for oxidase and negative for catalase, corroborating the isolation of S.aureus by Bergey’s standards. Previous surveies have shown that many S. aureus strains have developed opposition to the β-lactam category of antibiotics. Therefore, 40 indiscriminately selected isolates were tested for opposition to three β-lactam antibiotics, methicillin, Principen and penicillin, widely used in medical specialty. Consequences from the Kirby Bauer process suggested that 16 ( 40 % ) of the isolates were methicillin-resistant and 8 ( 20 % ) were to boot immune to both Principen and penicillin. The consequences of this probe suggest that cell phones may present public wellness concerns.

The Introduction provides a model for the paper including a background ( which is frequently in the signifier of a literature reappraisal ) of the subject, and the intent of the work. This subdivision should be neither excessively wide nor excessively narrow. There is no specific length demand but by and large this subdivision can be written in two chief paragraphs. The first paragraph should sum up anterior research in the country that you have studied. Do non supply a elaborate and extended literature reappraisal but alternatively restrict the background information to what is purely relevant to the work you’ve undertaken. Be certain to bespeak mentions in the text ( this will be discussed subsequently ) . This paragraph must be written in the past tense. In the following paragraph, depict the alone facets of your work ( written in the present or, as appropriate, the hereafter tense ) ; that is to state, supply a justification ( and a hypothesis ) for the work you’ve carried out. For illustration, how does your research contribute to the surveies undertaken by old writers? What new information is your research trying to detect and clear up? You may besides briefly preview some of the consequences in order to impart acceptance to the importance of your survey. Since your paper will be evaluated by your equals and the teachers, the range of the debut should be aimed at this audience.

You must follow the conventions of the International Union of Microbiological Societies ( hypertext transfer protocol: //www.iums.org ) in calling bacterial species. The convention specifies that binomial names of species must be used and underlined or italicized in the text. When a bug is foremost named, its full genus and species name must be written ; thenceforth, the genus name can be abbreviated. Therefore, the species Pseudomonas fluorescens must be stated in full when foremost introduced, but afterwards shortened to P. flourescens. Do non confound proper nouns with common nouns. P. fluorescens is a peculiar species, but the term pseudomonads ( which is non italicized ) refers to many of these species. Similarly, staphylococcuss are a broad scope of bacteriums that exhibit a similar form and collection, whereas Staphylococcus is a peculiar genus that exhibits these belongingss

This subdivision provides the information which will enable other research workers to reproduce the experiments you have carried out. It describes the processs you used to carry on your research, the controls you incorporated and the agencies by which you evaluated your informations. It is of import to be precise. The stuffs and processs you carried out lend credibleness to your scientific statements presented subsequently. Similar experiments carried out by others may non ever yield the same decisions, reflecting, possibly, different readings of the information. In add-on, this subdivision will supply critical information to others who may be working on similar research and may necessitate to utilize experimental attacks and techniques similar to the 1 you employed. Throughout, use the past tense.

Make sure that you organize the description of experiments logically and methodically, in the order that they were performed. It is helpful to form this subdivision into subheadings, get downing with a description of the stuffs used in the undertaking. This makes the text easier to compose and makes it more apprehensible, and easier to follow, for the reader. You do non necessitate to supply an extended list of all the stuffs you used, such as Petri dishes, gm discoloration reagent kits, and other common purpose points. You merely province that all chemicals and setups “were provided by the Department of Biological Sciences, the George Washington University” . However, you must associate carefully the beginnings of your specimens, how they were collected and under what conditions. In add-on, if you used standard bacterial strains in your survey, these must be described and their beginnings noted. When depicting the methods you used, once more be precise, but non over-descriptive. Common microbiological techniques, such as Gram staining, oxidase testing, etc. , do non necessitate to be described but merely referenced in the text ( normally, you will mention the research lab manuals ) . It is necessary, nevertheless, to stress the intent for utilizing peculiar processs, but be careful non to depict any consequences until the following subdivision.

This subdivision presents the information you accumulated in the class of the survey. Once more, the narrative must be in the past tense. Before composing this subdivision, it is advisable that you foremost build the tabular arraies and figures you will be showing in the text ( see subsequently ) . Be certain to cite each tabular array and figure in the text ( as Table 1, Figure 2, etc. ) In the text, it is best to sum up the informations and point out of import facts and tendencies ; the inside informations can be included in the tabular arraies and figures. In order to show the information efficaciously, this subdivision must be well-organized, sooner in the sequence in which you described your methods. Since many undertakings will affect the isolation of fresh micro-organisms, you should carefully denominate each isolate, sooner utilizing letters and/or Numberss, as follows: “Two isolates, chosen for farther word picture, were designated GH104 and KJ106. The features of both strains are summarized in Table 3. After depicting the features of a peculiar isolate, you can so suggest a putative designation. Therefore, “Isolate HG411 was found to be a big Gram-positive motile B, frequently happening in short ironss. It was non-fermentative and tried negative for nitrate reductase. It did non turn in anaerobiotic medium taking us to speculate that it was an obligate aerobe. This was substantiated by positive consequences for both oxidase and catalase activities. In add-on, the presence of clearly defined endospores, shown by malachite green staining, led to the probationary designation of HG411 as Bacillus cereus.” Note that the writer is careful to indicate out that this is merely a probationary designation. It would take many more hebdomads of experimentation, likely utilizing deciding trials unavailable to us, to corroborate this tax write-off. Of class, these farther trials can, and should, be described in the Discussion

When composing the Results ( and Discussion ) , do so in a direct, straightforward mode. Use the past tense. The usage of simple and effectual prose is more likely to convey your thoughts to the reader ( the extract above is an first-class illustration of this sort of authorship ) . Use short sentences. One of the most common mistakes in composing documents is a inclination to wordiness and the usage of slang. Most slang is tedious and confusing, using words that are unfamiliar to a general reader and this can alter what should be an interesting paper into 1 that is boring and even tiring to read. In fact, it frequently has the consequence of estranging instead than prosecuting the reader. In add-on, you are encouraged to avoid prolixity and the usage of excess phrases. Common qualifiers such as “very, “rather” and “quite” are unneeded and should non be used. Other common illustrations of prolixity, and how they might be corrected, are given below. Note that simple direct phrases and sentences have a clear and confident tone.

In this subdivision, you will construe the consequences in the context of the inquiries and hypothesis you explicated in the Introduction, every bit good as turn toing broader issues that were raised by your research. Before you begin, see the issues raised by your consequences. Were they the consequences you expected? Did they back up your hypothesis or non? If they did, your Discussion will be brief: if they did non, so you must see alternate accounts. How might you turn to any unexpected consequences in future research? What future waies might this research follow? Finally, what are the scientific and/or public wellness deductions of your research? It is of import that you pull your decisions from the information you obtained and associate them to antecedently published work ( which, of class, must be cited ) . Your consequences may be unfastened to many readings, but merely you can make up one's mind which 1 ( s ) are the most important.

Documenting your paper exhaustively is a trademark of good scientific authorship. Any thoughts or consequences which are non your ain must be cited at the appropriate topographic points. Cite beginnings in the text utilizing the format recommended by the Council of Science Editors ( CSE: www.councilscienceeditors.org ) , frequently referred to as the name-year system ( this is different from the format specified by the Journal of Bacteriology ) . For illustration, “Staphyococcus aureus is a Gram-positive cocci, widespread in nature, which has been implicated in a figure of human and carnal diseases ( Tolura, 2008 ) ” or “Shimkets and Dworkin ( 1998 ) point out that many Myxococcus species…” or “Water samples were evaluated for E. coli taint following the process described by Nathan ( 2002 ) .” You do non necessitate to reiterate the commendation for every sentence attributable to a peculiar beginning. However, if you are discoursing the work at some length it is advisable to mention the mention at the beginning and the terminal of the paragraph to bespeak that you are still mentioning to the same beginning. Do non cite general stuff that is widely known. For your major beginnings, you may include your text edition, research lab manuals, published research and reappraisal documents and category press releases. If one or more of your beginnings is attributable to word of oral cavity ( a treatment with the teacher, for illustration ) so bespeak this in the text as “ ( Morris, DW, personal communicating ) .” This is non repeated in the References subdivision. Use citations from other writers merely meagerly in the text when you need to stress a peculiarly important facet that has drawn broad attending.

Most scientific documents are supplemented with tabular arraies and figures that summarize and present indispensable informations that convey information more efficaciously than the text. All must be of high quality. When you begin to build your tabular arraies and figures, you must make up one's mind how you are traveling to picture your informations most efficaciously. Is a graph more effectual than a tabular array? Do you necessitate both? You must finally make up one's mind how best to expose your informations so that it is a convincing statement for your hypothesis and emphasizes the major findings of you research. When you have made your tabular arraies and figures, figure them consecutively in the order they are referred to in the text. Each should hold a rubric and a brief descriptive fable. It is of import that each tabular array and figure stand on its ain and still be apprehensible to the reader.

A common mistake novices make is to include all their informations in the signifier of tabular arraies and figures. However, this is unneeded and in some cases, informations can be more easy and more efficaciously summarized in the text. Tables and figures must include merely selective and of import informations. For illustration, the tabular array below reflects unvarying informations and is unneeded. The information may be explained more briefly in the text as, “All three strains ( NM 102 – 104 ) , originally isolated on Osmitrol salts agar, were found to be non-motile Gram-positive staphylococcus and tested positive for catalase and negative for oxidase.” Tables must expose more variable information. The illustrations in your research lab manuals contain many good illustrations.

You can anticipate to bring forth several bill of exchanges of your paper before it is ready for entry. Before you begin, study the instructions for the paper format carefully so that your paper is organized decently from the beginning. In fact, for the first bill of exchange, you should concentrate on the content and organisation of the paper, and compose down all of the information that you wish to include in the paper. Subsequently, you can concentrate on manner, grammar and punctuation. Start with the easiest authorship instead than at the beginning. I find that composing the Materials and Methods foremost is best and it can normally be commenced before the undertaking is finished. Alternatively, you may desire to get down with the Introduction since much of this can be adapted from your proposal. Be certain to fix the Tables and Figures before you start composing the Results and Discussion subdivisions. By and large, it is best to compose the Abstract last of all, one time all of the other subdivisions of the paper have been completed. Be certain the follow the guidelines outline above.

I have found that there is a pronounced inclination for many get downing authors, missing assurance in the power of their ain prose, to trust on the citations of other writers when wishing to do of import points. This does non needfully heighten the text and can, in fact, do the reader to doubt the originality of the paper. It is absolutely allowable to rephrase carefully material from other authors’ documents every bit long as the beginnings are cited. However, if you determine that a citation will stress a peculiar point you are doing, maintain it short. A representative illustration is: “Baker ( 2007 ) describes Campylobacter jejunii as the ‘major causative agent of nutrient poisoning deceases among kids under five old ages of age in the U.S.’ His experimental informations indicated that at least 67 % of reported nutrient poisoning instances were due to this organism.” The carefully selected citation, enclosed within the author’s ain text, emphasizes, and adds veracity to, the point the writer wants to do.

Once you have written the first bill of exchange, go through the paper and look into that is right formatted before you begin revising the text. Pay careful attending to grammar and punctuation. If you have a enchantment checker on your word processing plan, by all agencies use it, but do non trust on it to observe all mistakes: these can merely be spotted by carefully reading the bill of exchange. Proofreading can be boring, particularly if you have spent many hours composing the bill of exchange. However, it is a undertaking that must be performed with the uttermost attention. I have found that the best manner to descry errors is to read the paper aloud, either to yourself or person else. This pattern will besides enable to revise sentences that are unduly long or drawn out.

The research proposal has much in common with the research paper. The proposal asks a inquiry or poses a hypothesis that can be tested by experimentation. There is no standard format for proposals, but it is of import to conform to the guidelines laid down by the support bureau or organisation. Your proposal must adhere to the format given below. The text must be double-spaced and include one-inch borders either side. Mention to Blackboard for sample proposals. The proposal must dwell of five subdivisions, get downing with a descriptive Title. The Introduction presents a reappraisal of the literature pertinent to the proposed research and leads to Research Aims which explicitly states the research inquiry being asked and outlines its significance. The Methods subdivision lineations your experimental scheme and, eventually, the References subdivision records your beginnings for the proposal.

The following two subdivisions must be written in the hereafter tense. In this subdivision, clearly province the research aims of your proposal. It is indispensable that you justify the purposes of the proposal. How will it enlarge, clear up or confute bing cognition. What makes your proposal alone? Make your statements converting, mentioning mentions if appropriate. Try to foretell the result ( s ) of your research. Finally, is the proposal adequate to turn to the research job you have posed, or is it a preliminary probe? Remember, you merely have three hebdomads in which to transport out the research so you must be realistic about what you can carry through in this short clip.

Describe the experiments to be conducted and the order in which they will be carried out. If you expect jobs or ambiguities to originate, how would you explicate or work out them? A elaborate description of each experimental measure need non be given ( processs for common microbiological techniques, such as Gram staining for illustration, should non be detailed at all ) every bit long as the processs are referenced and you explain why you are utilizing this scheme. Indicate out the sorts of informations you expect to bring forth and how you would measure and construe it. Finally, be careful to explicate how the information would back up your hypothesis.


Eukaryotic micro-organisms possess membrane-bound cell cell organs and include Fungis and protists, whereas prokaryotic organisms—all of which are microorganisms—are conventionally classified as missing membrane-bound cell organs and include eubacteriums and archaebacteriums. Microbiologists traditionally relied on civilization, staining, and microscopy. However, less than 1 % of the microorganisms nowadays in common environments can be cultured in isolation utilizing current agencies. Microbiologists frequently rely on extraction or sensing of nucleic acid, either DNA or RNA sequences.

The being of micro-organism was predicted many centuries before they were foremost observed, for illustration by the Jains in India and by Marcus Terentius Varro in ancient Rome. The first recorded microscope observation was of the fruiting organic structures of molds, by Robert Hooke in 1666, but the Jesuit priest Athanasius Kircher was probably the first to see bugs, which he mentioned detecting in milk and putrid stuff in 1658. Antonie new wave Leeuwenhoek is considered a male parent of microbiology as he observed and experimented with microscopic beings in 1676, utilizing simple microscopes of his ain design. Scientific microbiology developed in the nineteenth century through the work of Louis Pasteur and in medical microbiology Robert Koch.

Ancient times

The being of micro-organism was hypothesized for many centuries before their existent find. The being of unobserved microbiological life was postulated by Jainism which is based on Mahavira’s instructions every bit early as sixth century BCE. Paul Dundas notes that Mahavira asserted being of unobserved microbiological animals populating in Earth, H2O, air and fire. Jain Bibles besides describe nigodas which are sub-microscopic animals populating in big bunchs and holding a really short life and are said to permeate each and every portion of the existence, even in tissues of workss and flesh of animate beings. The Roman Marcus Terentius Varro made mentions to microbes when he warned against turn uping a homestead in the locality of swamps `` because there are bred certain minute animals which can non be seen by the eyes, which float in the air and come in the organic structure through the oral cavity and nose and there by cause serious diseases. ''

Early Modern

Kircher was among the first to plan charming lanterns for projection intents, so he must hold been good acquainted with the belongingss of lenses. He wrote `` Refering the fantastic construction of things in nature, investigated by Microscope '' in 1646, saying `` who would believe that acetum and milk abound with an countless battalion of worms. '' He besides noted that putrid stuff is full of countless crawling animalculums. He published his Scrutinium Pestis ( Examination of the Plague ) in 1658, saying right that the disease was caused by bugs, though what he saw was most likely ruddy or white blood cells instead than the pestilence agent itself.

The birth of bacteriology

The field of bacteriology ( later a subdiscipline of microbiology ) was founded in the nineteenth century by Ferdinand Cohn, a phytologist whose surveies on algae and photosynthetic bacteriums led him to depict several bacteriums including Bacillus and Beggiatoa. Cohn was besides the first to explicate a strategy for the systematic categorization of bacteriums and discover spores. Louis Pasteur and Robert Koch were coevalss of Cohn’s and are frequently considered to be the male parent of microbiology and medical microbiology, severally. Pasteur is most celebrated for his series of experiments designed to confute the so widely held theory of self-generated coevals, thereby solidifying microbiology’s individuality as a biological scientific discipline. One of his pupils, Adrien Certes, is considered the laminitis of marine microbiology. Pasteur besides designed methods for nutrient saving ( pasteurisation ) and vaccinums against several diseases such as splenic fever, poultry cholera and hydrophobias. Koch is best known for his parts to the germ theory of disease, turn outing that specific diseases were caused by specific infective microorganism. He developed a series of standards that have become known as the Koch 's posits. Koch was one of the first scientists to concentrate on the isolation of bacteriums in pure civilization ensuing in his description of several fresh bacteriums including Mycobacterium TB, the causative agent of TB.

While Pasteur and Koch are frequently considered the laminitiss of microbiology, their work did non accurately reflect the true diverseness of the microbic universe because of their sole focal point on micro-organisms holding direct medical relevancy. It was non until the late nineteenth century and the work of Martinus Beijerinck and Sergei Winogradsky that the true comprehensiveness of microbiology was revealed. Beijerinck made two major parts to microbiology: the find of viruses and the development of enrichment civilization techniques. While his work on the Tobacco Mosaic Virus established the basic rules of virology, it was his development of enrichment culturing that had the most immediate impact on microbiology by leting for the cultivation of a broad scope of bugs with wildly different physiologies. Winogradsky was the first to develop the construct of chemolithotrophy and to thereby uncover the indispensable function played by microorganisms in geochemical procedures. He was responsible for the first isolation and description of both nitrifying and nitrogen-fixing bacteriums. French-Canadian microbiologist Felix d'Herelle co-discovered bacteriophages and was one of the earliest applied microbiologists.


While some fright bugs due to the association of some bugs with assorted human unwellnesss, many bugs are besides responsible for legion good procedures such as industrial agitation ( e.g. the production of intoxicant, acetum and dairy merchandises ) , antibiotic production and as vehicles for cloning in more complex beings such as workss. Scientists have besides exploited their cognition of bugs to bring forth biotechnologically of import enzymes such as Taq polymerase, newsman cistrons for usage in other familial systems and fresh molecular biological science techniques such as the barm two-hybrid system.

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