Archives for May, 2011

Maryn McKenna has a typically great post about the rise and spread of a strain of multi-antibiotic resistant Staph aureus. It arose in Holland, where it spread to pigs, picked up resistance to the antibiotic tetracycline, and then jumped back into humans. Then it spread across the EU and into the US. As is often…

Over at the Cambridge Science Festival blog, there’s a great write-up of the science journalism event that Heather and I attended last week. Author Jordan Calmes* has good summary and a lot of praise for the panel discussion, but also notes some potential shortcomings: The panel convinced me that social media is helping both journalists…

Way back in high school bio, I learned about the 2 main ways that eukaryotic organisms (everything other than bacteria and archaea) make their metabolic living: photosynthesis and oxidative phosphorylation (also known as respiration). These two processes are fundamentally related – photosynthesis combines CO2 and water to produce sugar and oxygen, while respiration breaks down…

As many of you are no doubt aware, both mitochondria and chloroplasts are thought to have come to us via microbial endosymbiosis (that is one cell living within another) with prokaryokes. Some photosynthetic bacteria eons ago found itself nestled inside another cell, realized it was a pretty sweet place to call home, and viola –…

Last night, Heather and I got to attend a dinner and panel on science journalism and new media. In addition to getting to meet two of my science blogging heros, Carl Zimmer* and Ed Yong, it was a great opportunity to interact and hear from lots of folks far more tuned into the writing and…

What a lovely compliment

[A while back, I received a question from a reader via e-mail. Dear Beasties: If you had a mutation in either C4 or C5 which one would be worse… I guess the question is is it more important to have the ability to opsonize or the ability to lyse cells with the MAC complex? I…

SITN Spring Lecture Series

If you don’t live in/around Boston, feel free to move along. Otherwise: Dear SITN followers, For a number of years, Science in the News (SITN) has organized a free public lecture series in the Brigham Circle/Longwood Medical area. This spring, due to high demand, we are delighted to announce that we will be extending our…

Activities report

Last year, I was awarded an NSF graduate research fellowship. This fellowship pays my tuition and stipend for 3 years, so that my boss doesn’t have to. This is a great help to our lab, though I don’t really get much in the way of direct benefit* (other than a great line on my CV).…