General microbiology and science, July 21

Pyrosequencing reproducibility, Microbes in the News, plague, tatoos, and Dr. Bik’s Picks.

Techniques

Reproducibility of pyrosequencing data for biodiversity assessment in complex communities – Aibin Zhan – Methods in Ecology and Evolution

“Here we evaluated reproducibility by analyzing 454 pyrosequenced biological replicates of two complex plankton communities collected from one freshwater port and one marine port. We also tested whether reproducibility potentially influences biodiversity estimates, notably α- and β-diversity.”

Microbial Ecology / Bioinformatics

Synthetic microbial consortia: from systematic analysis to construction and applications
Hao Song – Chem Soc Rev

“Herein, we first reviewed binary interaction modes of microorganisms in microbial consortia and their underlying molecular mechanisms, which lay the foundation of programming cell–cell interactions in synthetic microbial consortia. “

Microbes in the News

Be nice to your germs, they keep you alive – Nicky Phillips – Sydney Morning Herald

“Without a well-balanced community of these microscopic critters we would not survive, says Holmes. ‘‘We shouldn’t view them as a separate thing, we should view them as a part of us,’’ he says.”

Desert Rat Relies on Microbes To Detoxify Its Deadly Meals – Ed Yong – National Geographic

“When Kevin Kohl learned about the woodrat, he wondered if bacteria in the rodent’s gut might help it to tolerate its otherwise lethal diet… The idea made sense. Kohl just needed to test it.”

Four Cases of Life-Threatening Plague Found in Colorado –  Sonali Basak and Jennifer Oldham – Bloomberg.com

“Three more plague cases were found in Colorado, a week after the first infection of the deadliest form of the disease was reported in the state in a decade.”

Tattoo Inks, Needles Recalled Due To Bacterial Contamination
Kristen McConnaughey – SiouxLandMatters.com

“”Extreme risks. I mean we’re talking death. There’s things out there that can kill you,” says Scott Alphawolf Davis, a tattoo artist.”

Science and career

Happy Thoughts May Help Postdocs Handle Stress – Rachel Bernstein – Science Careers

“It could be something as simple as watching a funny TV show or going out for a walk or jog. These little things really add up.”

Women in Science

Why is STEM Still a 4-Letter Word for Women? 7 Leaders Weigh In – Ravishly

“Women receive fewer invitations to professional meetings, and research paper acceptance, pay scales and promotion to tenure favor males over females.“

Dr. Bik’s Picks

Sixth-Grader’s Science Fair Finding Shocks Ecologists – NPR All Things Considered

“When 12-year-old Lauren Arrington heard about her sixth-grade science project, she knew she wanted to study lionfish. Growing up in Jupiter, Fla., she saw them in the ocean while snorkeling and fishing with her dad.”

Editorial: Science speaking up – Pensacola News Journal

“The letter read: “We note you have been asked several times about how, as Governor, you will handle the issue of climate change. You responded that you are ‘not a scientist.’ We are scientists and we would like the opportunity to explain what is at stake for our state.””

Book Review: Raising a Glass to Chemistry: ‘Proof’ Drinks in the Science of Alcohol – Alessandra Montalto – The New York Times

“How important is yeast? In 1996, it became the first living organism to have its DNA sequenced. As one modern alehouse puts it in a dubious ad: “Yeast — not just for infections anymore.””

New Allele Hopeful of Making The Big Time – The Allium – Science News You Won’t Read Nowhere Else

“Right now, I am at a low frequency and nobody really knows about me. Tomorrow I could be gone. It is that tough!”

[hr]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s