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.
Editor’s Note: While it may be true that bacteria do not have neurons (at least not more than one per cell!), their modes of communication hint at a simple equivalent of a nervous system. But we need not apologize for the inclusion in this blog of a non-microbiological topic. The story here described has much poignancy and is relevant to all biologists.
The year 2012 was quite turbulent in Italian politics but it ended with a display of near unanimity. The reason was the posthumous homage to the oldest senator of the Republic and the oldest Nobel Prize winner, Rita Levi-Montalcini. In Italy, the President has the privilege of personally naming up to five senators–for–life, with all the legislative privileges and duties that entails. In 2001, President Ciampi appointed her to this post, which she held until her death at the age of 103 on December 30, 2012.
Some of you will have noticed the TRANSLATION button on our blog which quickly translates the entire document into any of several languages. Being that this is done by machine, the result can be hilarious.
"I just came across your blog and wanted to thank you for contributing such a breadth of information regarding many different aspects of microbiology. I'm going to be teaching an advanced microbiology course this spring and I'm excited to be referencing your blog.
As the school year begins, we would like to hear from you about uses that you may have for this blog in your classroom. We think that the material here lends itself particularly well to use as supplemental readings─providing intellectual enrichment to students who desire it. The blog has been mentioned in class syllabi, usually under "Further reading" or "Interesting material" or some such heading. And indeed, this accurately depicts one of its uses.
But we would like to encourage you to consider various other uses, as well. We know of several more active ways in which the blog has been utilized already.
Last May, a group of microbiologically-oriented bloggers were interviewed by Chris Condayan of the American Society for Microbiology's MicrobeWorld. This video ("Microblogology") features John Logsdon, Jonathan Badger, Yersinia, Larry Moran, Tara Smith, and myself. We talk about why we blog, what we think is the role of blogging in science, and our views of the greatest microbiological discoveries in the past decade.
We welcome readers to answer queries and comment on our musings. To leave a comment or view others, remarks, click the "Comments" link in red following each blog post. We also occasionally publish guest blog posts from microbiologists, students, and others with a relevant story to share. If you are interested in authoring an article, please email us at elios179 at gmail dot com.