Small Things Considered
A blog for sharing appreciation of the width and depth of microbes and microbial activities on this planet.
Small Things Considered's Latest Posts
by Elio Figure 1. An example of syntrophy. Here, benzoate degradation is carried out by a model syntrophic consortium. Dashed blues lines indicate additional sources of cell carbon for the methanogens. Source. Syntrophy or “eating together” is a kind of symbiosis widespread in biology and of great importance for key biochemical transactions on this planet. Indeed, the cycling of carbon...
Hosts: Vincent Racaniello, Elio Schaechter, Michael Schmidt and Michele Swanson. Vincent, Elio, Michael, and Michele discuss the use of bacteria to build a genetic sensor for heavy metals, and how host sugars help enteric pathogens to expand after antibiotic treatment. Right click to download TWiM #76 (48 MB .mp3, 67 minutes). Subscribe to TWiM (free) on iTunes, Zune Marketplace, via...
by Daniel P. Haeusser How did Eukaryotes Evolve from Prokaryotes? Figure 1. The mysterious root of the eukaryotic origin. Evolution of prokaryotes into eukaryotes undoubtedly involved mitochondrial acquisition, but the full details of the story are far from certain. Source. One of the most exciting and enduring obscurities of biology lies in the early stages of the evolution of “our”...
Suppose you are once again strolling on that deserted beach and again, on cue, the genie reappears. This time he is offering you some mice from a lineage that he has bred for hundreds or more generations under germ-free conditions. Would you expect to find any genetic changes in these mice? If so, what might they be?
by Gemma Reguera Modern Earth is nothing like it was in its early days. Our planet was formed some 4.56 billion years ago when a giant stellar cloud collapsed on itself due its massive size and gravitational force. The explosion also generated the sun and many other planetary bodies, including those that would eventually become the planets of the Solar system. This early Earth was a planet of molten rock surrounded by a layer of hydrogen and helium gases. These gases were likely blown away by […]
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