Heather Olins

Check out the sea floor… live

Ever wondered what the bottom of the ocean looks like? Well, now’s your chance to check out streaming live HD footage from the ROV ROPOS which is currently working out at Axial Volcano on the Juan de Fuca Ridge. Currently they are checking out a brand new lava flow, but later this evening and tomorrow…

subunits of DNA found in meteors

Dear Readers, I have been more absent than usual from this blog, which is something I regret. However, the time constraints of preparing for my upcoming qualifying exam necessitate this. I decided to break my strict “no distractions” policy to bring you this bit of info that was emailed to me by a lab mate.…

Not bored of Arsenic yet?

The arsenic story continues. After much discussion in the blogosphere and elsewhere about the controversial paper claiming to have discovered life that uses arsenic rather than phosphorus in its DNA, Science has published 8 critiques of the paper and a response by the author. You can find them here. I enjoyed reading them, and was…

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 –…

These days it is very hip to do things eXtreme. Don’t believe me? Try googling “extreme”. I suppose I have jumped on the bandwagon by studying life in one of the most “extreme” environments on Earth (deep sea hydrothermal vents). The environment I study is home to the most thermally tolerant organisms on the planet,…

Why I Love Science by the Pint

… because I love science and I love beer, obviously. I had a great time moderating Science by The Pint last night! It is always awesome to be reminded how enthusiastic non-scientists often are about science. I find events like this incredibly refreshing when I have been stuck in a science rut or simply less…

Science by the Pint – Tonight

Those of you living in Bosto-Camber-ville* might be interested in attending tonight’s Science by the Pint. Our featured speaker is Alex Bradley – the author of the guest post critiquing the Arsenic paper a while back. Come to Tavern in the Square – Porter Square tonight, March 8 at 7pm to chat with Alex and…

Check out this explanation in the New York Times science section of the 5 second rule. For the record, this will not stop me from eating fallen food off the floor. But that’s just now I roll.

A week of brain biggering

I got to spend last week in sunny California. I forgot how wonderful it is to sit and eat lunch outside! I was participating in a workshop held at the Department of Energy’s Joint Genome Institute (JGI). The workshop was entitled Microbial Genomics and Metagenomics. Basically I spent the week learning about different tools that…

I mentioned this study a while ago, and promised a more detailed explanation. I apologize for how long it has taken, but here it is. How excited was I to learn that the most recent issue of Nature Geoscience had a special focus on deep sea carbon cycling? I admit it, pretty excited. I was…