Sunday, September 27, 2009

This Month in the Blogs (#1?)

In case you missed them:

Merry Youle, at Small Things Considered, writes up a beautiful piece on the direct connections of microbes to the multicellular world. She walks us through some recent work highlighting the connections between parasitic wasps, the aphids they lay eggs within, the bacteria that colonize the aphids, and ultimately to the phage that lysogenize those bacteria. Truly remarkable!

Urinary tract infections are one of the most common infections in the country, costing around $2.4 billion dollars a year. Alan Cann over at MicrobiologyBytes discuss the first ventures into vaccine development for this rather uncomfortable and widespread disease.

I was lucky enough to start my research career by isolating and characterizing a novel bacteriophage of the Mycobacteria. This lead to some interesting findings, including the first description of putative transposons in these particular phages(which we published in this month's Microbiology). Phagehunting, however, is not restricted to only Graham Hatfull's lab, where I did my undergraduate work. The Howard Hughes Medical Institute has funded curriculum development to bring this research experience to colleges across the country. John Dennehy, at The EvilutionaryBiologist, talks about his new Phage Hunting course at Queen's College.

And finally Nick Oswald, at BiteSize Bio, tells us to simmer down when our experiments give us results other than what we expected. Instead, we should concentrate on making sure we are asking the right question.


And as always, questions, comments, suggestions, etc. are more than appreciated!

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