Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Animalcules Volume 1, Issue 7

It's the 4th of May, almost summer time and time to think about microbes.

Some of them are giant, some are just, well, ... unusual.

I guess we'll let the procaryotes go first, since apparently they're working by the clock. And you probably thought it was simple being a single-celled organism without a nucleus. You can read about them in Clocks in Bacteria IV: Clocks in other bacteria, brought to you by none other than Circadiana.

Next, in keeping with the image of pathogens as giant fluffy toys, we have a collection of Hands-on, Fun Microbiology Activities from the ASM. Let's Get Small, Yeast on the Rise, and Fun with Fomites are some of the entertaining activities that you could either try at home, or use to liven up a class with the small fry, or even larger fry. Fun with Fomites exams the wonders of things that grow on your kitchen cutting board, or even the pennies in your pockets. And there are plenty of helpful suggestions for the cognitively impaired, but since this isn't a political sort of blog, I won't go there.

Do your bacteria keep swimming away? Isn't chemotaxis a pain? I remember when researchers studied flagella and bacterial motion by using anti-flagella antibodies to pin the little suckers to a slide and then, they would watch the bacteria twirl around and around with a microscope. Ah, torturing bacteria! The BioCurious have found a better way. "Studying Bacteria with Atomic Force Microscopy" looks far more fun than old antibody and slide method.

Further representing the uncultured world, we have the GMO pundit asking, 'Is Studying Soil DNA Any Value to The Australian Farmer Part 1. About 99% of soil bacteria have never been grown." Even if they're not, my collaborators have got college biology students doing PCR and sequencing dirt, so the farmers may not care, but knowing your soil bacteria, will still be important for getting a good grade in general biology.

In the Deep-Sea News, we learn about some lovely cyanobacteria, the Deep phytoplankter Prochlorococcus, a "plain little mite at first site" but very productive in terms of biomass.

Ewen Callaway from Complex Medium contemplates the true meaning of diversity, in Does microbial diversity count? Is is important to preserve the bacteria in a desert oasis?

A carnival with bacteria, of course, would never be complete without our faithful laboratory, friend, the mouse of the microbes, the king of our colon, the one and many, E. coli. In E. coli, Shigella, and Creationism, Mike the Mad Biologist even manages to link our fuzzy friend to creationism and Shigella, with an amazing amount of intestinal fortitude.

Now, Mike the Mad also has me worried about cleaning my aquarium. He writes More on That NY Times Article about the dangers of getting Salmonella from your fish tank. And, if that wasn't enough, well, he explains why tummy aches in Australia (Australia, Agriculture, and Antibiotics) might last longer than you'd think.

Who knows what evil bacteria lurk in the hearts of men? The protozoa know. Inspired by the TV, Paul Orwin identifies a microbial influence on pop culture (Microbiology and Pop Culture).

bird fluSo far, we've let procaryotes have all the fun. This bird has had enough. Maybe it smelled the Campybacter. Or could it be that this chicken has read Emerging Disease and Zoonoses #13--new swine influenza virus detected and just wants to play it safe? Maybe this rooster watched this short hysterically funny video clip and just isn't willing to play chicken?

Before we go too mad, perhaps we should foam at the mouth to read this story, and accompanying links on Rabies, the Novel, from Bora Zivkovic of Science and Politics.

And for one last, truly viral article, lets contemplate our friend the mosquito, one last whiny time, and read about West Nile Virus, a last friendly parting thought, from our friends at MicrobeWorld.

Check out the schedule for the next episode of Animalcules!


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Blogger coturnix said...

Great job! The carnival is growing! I particularly like some wrod-play and double-entendres you snuck in here and there...

For those interested, the Rabies novel is now up to the 11th installment...

9:52 PM  
Blogger GMO Pundit said...

Keep up the good work. Ill return later to read more but its late here in Melbourne Australia

GMO Pundit

7:55 AM  

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