Whether read or listened to, a story is essentially a colorless armature made of words, and it's up to each reader/listener to interpret it, imagine it, and people it with appearances, colors, movements, emotions. The process depends upon the individual's own experiences, since all things present...
by George O'Toole
I have studied bacterial biofilms since I joined Roberto Kolter's lab at Harvard Medical School in 1995. I "discovered" biofilms as I was finishing my graduate work at Wisconsin and continued tracking the literature backwards after I joined Roberto's lab. The oldest reference I could find was from the 1920s – a Navy report on hull biofouling cited in another paper I had read.
by George O'Toole and Roberto
Publishing the results of research in journals remains the most important lasting record of scientific work. Yet, if you ask almost any scientist about the process of publishing itself they will likely bemoan the current situation. Perhaps this has always been the case, it's true that people tend to long for "the good old days." But perhaps...
Elio started his "Ice-cold Pinnacles and Extreme Science" post of a couple of weeks ago – where he described unusual microbial structures in the bottom Lake Vanda in Antarctica – with these observations: "We may be runnin out of strange places to explore life on Earth, which is a shame because they often provide us with unexpected and exciting findings, especially microbial.
by Jamie Henzy
Scientists at one time shared the title of "natural philosophers", and largely spoke the same language. As their techniques grew in sophistication, they set as their goal nothing less than the building of a giant tower of Knowledge of all Nature. When God saw this blatant display of hubris, she struck their tongues so that their speech could no longer be understood to one another, and they scattered far and wide...
I recently found a letter I received in 1955, giving me advice about where to apply for a postdoc in Europe. In those days, doing a postdoc in Europe was nearly de rigueur for young Americans who wanted to follow an academic career. I’m not entirely clear what the reason was, as there were plenty of front-line labs active in molecular biology in the US. Surely the joyful prospect of a year or two abroad played a big role.
by Michael Malamy
For at least twenty years now I have given a few lectures with discussion sections on the early papers of Benzer on rII, followed by the exploitation of the rII system by Crick, Brenner and their colleagues to study the nature of mutations arising spontaneously or after treatment with mutagenic agents, the nature of the genetic code...
For the midterm exam of the UCSD/SDSU graduate course Integrative Microbiology that Doug Bartlett and I teach, we gave students the option of answering this Talmudic, open-ended-type question: 'How would you go about defending the statement that "all living things are connected to other living things" to an educated lay audience? What examples would you present to illustrate how pervasive this is in the living world?’
by Manuel Sanchez
Spoiler Warning: I will reveal parts of the story. The first thing that occurred to me when I heard about this film was: Will this to be about a Robinson Crusoe type Cast Away movie located on Mars? After its premiere, the social networks gradually posted positive and laudatory comments, especially regarding the scientific aspects of the story.