Moselio Schaechter

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February 13, 2014

A Few Internet Sites of Note

by Elio

Like other bloggers, I have a personal interest in visiting other blogs from time to time. I am glad to say that I am often surprised and pleased by the quality of offerings in the microbiological blogosphere. Here are a few of my favorite examples.



Scientific American sponsors a lot of blogs, several of which are of direct nterest to microbiologists. I greatly enjoy The Artful Amoeba, written by the gifted Jennifer Frazer, IMO, one of the very best science writers around. When she touches on microbial topics, beware! Both your senses and your mind will be set atingling. Her last post in this area answers the question that I, and I trust others, have had for ages, namely how can flagella of spirochetes and spirilla move their cell when they are encased in the periplasm. Get ready to think about how certain corksMacintosh HD:Users:moselioschaechter:Desktop:Screen Shot 2014-01-22 at 10.47.24 AM.pngcrews (“cavatappi) work.



More about movement, this time of round bacteria. How does a round ball know which way to move?  Lab Rat explains how the spherical forms of Serratia marcescens move about and how this differs in their rod-shaped configuration.



Yet another of Scientific American blogs that I heartily approve of is The Ocelloid, written by Psi Waveform, who has collaborated with me in this blog and elsewhere. She writes about the protists with depth of knowledge and in spritzy a style that does them justice.



Mark Martin, the author of this blog, is dedicated to teaching undergraduates about the microbial world and is a true microbial supremacist. He is indefatigable in voicing his belief that if microbes account for about half this planet’s biome and about half the biochemical transactions, they deserve a commensurate chunk of the biological curriculum. To make the point, he makes his teaching seductive by introducing particularly clever activities. In my next incarnation, I will stand in line to sign up for one of his courses.



This site only has an occasional microbiological bend, which is a shame for us because of the quality of the writing. This time, the author, Christopher Taylor, explain the reason why methanogens play such an important role in rumen fermentation wand why this matters to the environment. An occasional visit to this blog will inevitably expand your biological horizons.



The ASM website, Microbe World is replete with social media material. I subscribe via email to one in particular, the “Daily News Digest.” The trouble with it is that it provides me with so much interesting stuff that I am distracted from my normal chores. I can’t think of a better source of current information in microbiology.



And in a similar vein Cesar Sanchez’ site provides another source of current information about topics of microbiological importance, including health. His choices are particularly astute and enormously useful.



Yet another news-oriented site, MicrobiologyBytes has been going steadily for quite a few years, providing valuable and exciting information with a slight emphasis on the viruses. This is not surprising, given that it is run by virologist Alan Cann.



And finally, a blog site that emphasizes tattoos on evolution and its trees.




Dear Elio,
I am really glad that you find "The Microbiology Weekly" useful! But I must clarify that this is just a Twitter newspaper, automatically generated from my Microbiology Twitter list (@TwistedBacteria/microbiology). The list is a collection of over 400 Twitter users with interest in the microbial universe. So, if the Twitter newspaper is useful, it is thanks to the microbial twittersphere's choice of stories (and maybe to my choice of Twitter accounts).
Many thanks for the mention, and all the best,

[Catalogue of Organisms] only has an occasional microbiological bend

All the more reason for the microbial taxonomists out there to keep describing new things, and giving me a reason to write about it! ;-)

Also good is Microbiology Maven by Kelly Cowan (@cowanmicro) with help from Andrea Rediske (@andrearediske). Talks about microbiology science, science teaching, issues & current events: Enjoy! ~@ASMKelly

Elio, I am honored to be included in your list, and your kind words will help remind me to post still more frequently! But if what I write is seen as interesting and useful by others, I learned a great deal about how to accomplish that from you and Merry. Thank you as always.

Thank you! Keep up the good work.

Elio replies:

My reciprocal sentiments.

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