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Microbiology

This category contains 13 posts
Cover Photo (source: freakingnews.com)

Hunter-Chiller: Multiple feeding strategies for some of the world’s smallest organisms

Because of their ability to conduct photosynthesis, most of our planet’s oxygen comes from microscopic organisms in the ocean called algae. In addition to photosynthesis, some of these algae can also hunt and consume prey to supplement their energy needs. In this study a group of scientists has set out to determine just how their hunting strategy works, and why each strategy has its own set benefits and drawbacks.

Figure 2: Kavachi Eruption: Image courtesy of Submarine Ring of Fire 2002: Explorer Ridge. https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/0/0a/May_14_Kavachi_eruption.jpg

Sharkcano, a melting pot for biology

No, a Sharkcano is not a volcano that erupts sharks. IT IS WAY COOLER THAN THAT! It is a submarine volcano that hosts a diverse macro community in water that is much warmer and more acidic that the surrounding seawater. Read more to find out about this alien-esc ecosystem in the South Pacific Ocean.

Where is all the methyl mercury coming from?! 
(Creative Commons photo by Patrick Kelley)

A mercurial tug o’ war in Antarctic sea ice

DNA from bacteria living in Antarctic sea ice provides a clue to the mysterious origins of methyl mercury in seawater in the Southern Ocean.

Figure 1 – The beautiful lionfish. Each spine has venom in it that could seriously harm a human (or anything else that tried to attack it). Source: Wikimedia Commons

Lionfish slime helps ward off diseases

We know of many things that protect animals against disease – immune systems and gut bacteria are just the two most common examples. It turns out fish have antimicrobial properties that come from bacteria that live in the slime that covers their bodies, and it just might make lionfish specifically more resistant to disease.

#globalwarming #itsbettertogether

Speed dating: how finding that special symbiosis saved some coral from climate change

Choosing the right symbiont might be a coral’s ticket to cheating global warming.

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Wasting Away in Virus-ville

Sea star wasting disease still plagues the U.S. West Coast, but clues to its nature are being uncovered. Find out how temperature may be a key player in the progression of the disease in today’s article!

Credit: Gérald Tapp.

Iceberg Buffet: How giant icebergs bring food to plankton

While icebergs are calving from Antarctic glaciers at alarming rates, they may provide a negative feedback for the carbon cycle. Giant icebergs bring large amounts of iron to iron-poor areas of the Southern Ocean, stimulating primary productivity and boosting carbon sequestration.

The Illuminated Ruminant.

Of whales and cows: the baleen whale microbiome revealed

Scientists sequenced the microbiomes of several baleen whales that are strict carnivores and found some startling similarities to the microbiomes of terrestrial herbivores.

Complete nitrification by a single bacterium - kind of a big deal, guys!

One to tango: a bacterium that does the work of two in the nitrogen cycle

Scientists report bacterial species capable of performing the two-step process of nitrification, traditionally thought to exist only as a division of labor between two functionally distinct bacteria.

Figure 1. Cryoconite holes form on the surface of glaciers when winds deposit dark colored dust, dirt, aerosols, or other material on glaciers. The dark color of cryoconite dust absorbs more incoming solar radiation and melts faster, creating small pools of water on the surface of the glacier. Photo courtesy of climatica.org.uk

It’s a virus’ world: Glaciers host unique viral communities

Scientists have only recently started studying the wealth of biological diversity that is found on top of glaciers. Cryoconite holes hold microscopic communities of algae, bacteria, and viruses. These studies are revealing an increasingly complex web of interactions between community members, driving the evolution of many unique adaptations to survive in such stiff competition.

taracatalog-01

Prokaryotes are prokaryotes: a sneak peak at the microbial oceans courtesy DNA  

Scientists have sequenced the microbial diversity of the world’s oceans unlocking the secrets of the microbes that run our planet.

How evolutionary biologists get around.

From 591 leagues under the sea to eukaryote and me: introducing the closest known relative to our cells

Scientists think they’ve found an ancient link to the eukaryotic cell from the deep down in the ocean, and it’s an archaeon.

diatomss

Time to rethink the role of ocean’s microbes?

Have you ever wondered what may live inside the tiniest drops of seawater? Global oceans are dominated by organisms we cannot even see. Marine microbes are resilient, incredibly diverse, and ecologically important. These microbes deserve a closer look.

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