Category Archives: microbiology

Respect the old but seek out the new: Direct 16S rRNA-seq from bacterial communities

I think it’s fair to say that it’s an ongoing struggle to figure out what the heck microbes are doing in their natural environments, and who those microbes are. Clearly, there is no silver bullet that gives us all the … Continue reading

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Of microbes and men: Testing the neutral theory with the human microbiome

There is no doubt that one of the hottest current topics in microbiology revolves around the human microbiome. There have been a suite of recent studies we’ve highlighted, on organisms ranging from bees and mice, to humans. A quick google scholar search identifies … Continue reading

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Microbes can rapidly evolve host-protective traits

One of the coolest studies I’ve come across so far this year is the fascinating story about microbe-mediated protection in worms by Kayla King et al. The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis normally causes mild disease in worms (Caenorhabditis elegans). After a week … Continue reading

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Understanding the pieces of all those meeces: characterizing mice gut microbiota

In an age where a tremendous amount of data is generated, this week has seen some moves towards providing open access to extensive data sets. These attempts have been in the realm of chemistry as well as microbiology, where in a … Continue reading

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Are you my mother? Exploring the possible microbial ecology of LUCA

One persistent question has always been: where did it all begin? What was the origin of the complex life that we have today? What happened billions of years ago that resulted in beautiful giant manta rays, magnificent Sequoias, and even … Continue reading

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Who’s really riding the subway with you? Characterization of the microbial communities on Boston transport

(Figure modified from Hsu et al., 2016, Boston transport map and wikicommons image of Boston) Understanding the microbes around us is an important challenge to take on. There have been articles covering changes in microbial communities among rural and more … Continue reading

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Microbes are going to infinity and beyond! Monitoring community changes on a simulated space station

As we’ve discussed previously here, understanding microbes in the natural and built environment around us, has implications related to human health and disease. It has turned out to be pretty tricky to clarify what is going on with our most … Continue reading

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