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Archives for February, 2007

Grasses at Yellowstone National Park are able to grow temperatures (65°; C) that would toast most living things. Step right up! Watch original research, as it happens, on the web! I’m going to use bioinformatics to see if I can find that answer to the puzzle of heat-tolerant plants. Previous parts: Part I. The research…

What made me sick?

How do microbiologists determine which microbe caused a disease? As Tara has eloquently described (I, II), we are covered with bacteria and other microbes. A reasonable question then, is when we get sick, how do we which little devil deserves the blame?

Yes, yes, I know Darwin Day was Februrary 12th. Nevertheless, the Alliance for Science is sponsoring an essay contest in Darwin’s honor and, if you’re a high school student you can still celebrate by writing an essay. And if you’re a high school teacher, and your student wins, you win $$ for buying lab supplies. …

It’s not too late. You can do research on cool topics, get paid, and even live in Las Vegas for the summer. If I were a student, I’d go. The University of Nevada, Las Vegas is still taking applications for students to come do research in the desert. The microbiology faculty at UNLV and the…

Sometimes I think the field of biology suffers from collective amnesia. Like the girl in the movie “50 first dates,” we discover things over and over and every time we find something, we forget that it’s ever been found before. This is especially true if a phenomenon has been discovered in a biological subfield, like…

Opening up new VISTAs

I received a mysterious file last week, via e-mail from one of my students. According the e-mail, the file contained the answers to an assignment.

Evolution! Wow! A jolt of electricity went down my spine. I feel like Harry Potter saying “Voldemort.” Apparently, in biomedical journals, drug resistance and other phenomena can “emerge,” “arise,” or “spread.” It can “appear“, “develop“, “become common“, or “be acquired.” As long as you don’t say it “evolves.” A group of researchers, at the University…

I found it in the MeSH database. Really!

“Beware the Jabberwock, my son! The jaws that bite, the claws that catch! Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun The frumious Bandersnatch!” – from Jabberwocky, by Lewis Carroll I’m certain that if we ever sequenced DNA from the frumious Bandersnatch it would match hypothetical and putative proteins.

Yesterday, both Joshua and I wrote about grasses that grow in the unusually hot soil at Yellowstone National Park. Now, I knew that hot springs bacteria can tolerate high temperatures, but I was really surprised to learn that plants could.