Moselio Schaechter

  • 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.

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April 10, 2014

Talmudic Question #107

Suppose you are once again strolling on that deserted beach and again, on cue, the genie reappears. This time he is offering you some mice from a lineage that he has bred for hundreds or more generations under germ-free conditions.  Would you expect to find any genetic changes in these mice? If so, what might they be?

March 06, 2014

Talmudic Question #106

What may be the reason why E. coli is usually the most abundant facultative anaerobe in mammalian feces?

January 30, 2014

Talmudic Question #105

Do you know of any eukaryotic virus that has a tail, and, if not, why do you suppose there aren’t any?

December 19, 2013

Talmudic Question #104

Can you conceive of an entity that can replicate as a cell under some circumstances or as a virus under others?

November 28, 2013

Talmudic Question #103

Why do you suppose there are few, if any, mycorrhizae in aquatic environments?

October 31, 2013

Talmudic Question #102

Suppose you're a sessile marine creature looking to put down "roots" some place. Would you choose to attach to a living organism or to something dead or inanimate?

October 17, 2013

Talmudic Question #101

How many cells does it take to make a biofilm?

September 19, 2013

Talmudic Question #100

Past the origin of the first cell, what do you consider to have been the single most important event in evolution?

May 30, 2013

Talmudic Question #99

This is our first illustrated Talmudic Question and our last Talmudic Question (at least for a while).  We think it may be time to move to new pastures. We hope that our new section, Pictures Considered, will partly fill this space.


May 09, 2013

Talmudic Question #98

What do you think is the single best criterion for telling an endosymbiont of a eukaryotic cell from an organelle?

Post Script

I must come clean and confess that I formulated this question after having read a most stimulating review by John McCutcheon and Nancy Moran that touches on this subject. Some of the responses you provided are related to considerations in this article. Read and enjoy!


Teachers' Corner


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  • 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.

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