by Merry Youle | Without a doubt, Mimivirus is remarkable. For a virus, it is extraordinarily large and complex. But it is hardly one of a kind. The more that researchers look for large viruses, the more they find. Although phages generally tend to have small genomes, some managing with but a handful of genes, a glance at the current NCBI list reveals... Read more →
by Amy Cheng Vollmer | Years ago, pathways of intermediary metabolism made up a significant portion of biochemistry and microbiology courses. Therein, students learned about interconversions and connections between pathways, and they could follow the carbons as they moved from acetate into the cholesterol molecule... Read more →
by Elio | Thanks to the investigations by the Ecuadorian physician and scientist, Dr. Byron Núñez Freile, I learned of a surprisingly high level of scientific development that took place long ago in a remote region of the world. Quito, the present-day capital of Ecuador, is nestled amidst the high Andes and... Read more →
by Elio & Stanley | How often have you heard it said, or seen it stated in writing, that we carry ten times more microbial cells than cells of our own? We don't dispute this figure, at least not as a ballpark estimate. But we were curious to find out where it came from. The paper that seems to be quoted most often in this regard... Read more →
by Kim Lewis | The majority of bacteria will not grow on nutrient medium in the lab. The basic experiment is simple: take a sample from the environment, such as marine sediment or soil, mix with water, vortex, allow it to settle, dilute supernatant and take two droplets. Plate one on a... Read more →
by Elio & Merry | The now famous announcement by the Venter group is based on their paper in Science entitled Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome. We applaud this work for its impressive technical achievement and we acknowledge its future potential. However, we find the term “creation” to... Read more →
by Merry Youle | Well over two years ago, through this blog I had the opportunity to edit a research paper for Forest Rohwer. One thing led to another, and we then spent the better part of two years writing a book together — the first book for either of us. Coral Reefs in the Microbial Seas is now published! It is a... Read more →
by Merry Youle | Having an intimate relationship with photosynthetic microbes is a widespread strategy adopted by numerous unicellular and multicellular organisms. Some eschew a committed relationship, and simply nab the plastids, sequestering them inside vacuoles where they continue to photosynthesize for a while. Read more →
The purpose of this blog is to share my appreciation for the width and depth of the microbial activities on this planet. I will emphasize the unusual and the unexpected phenomena for which I have a special fascination... (more)
For the memoirs of my first 21 years of life, click here.
This Week in Virology, the podcast about viruses, celebrates its 300th episode on Tuesday, August 26, 2014 with a live recording at the Washington, DC headquarters of the American Society for Microbiology.