Category Archives: microbiology

Retrieving a million sequences and avoiding primer bias, a new method that might have it all

We have come a long way since the early days when sequencing was a breakthrough method initially used to identify uncultured microbes from the environment. It is now been almost three decades, in fact, since the first microbial 16S rRNA … Continue reading

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Diving deep: Exploring microbial communities under the seafloor

As we all sat staring at three large monitors in the front of the room, the remotely operated vehicle (ROV) Jason hung on to a borehole observatory with one hydraulic arm as the other arm plugged our sampling equipment into … Continue reading

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0.80994 leagues under the sea

After a month on the water (and a few weeks getting my land legs again), I’m happily settling back in at home. I just returned from an expedition to a site known as North Pond along the western flank of … Continue reading

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Missing symbionts: do some animals lack resident gut microbiomes?

It seems like the field of “gut microbiomics” is having major breakthroughs almost every month these days. It’s very exciting to follow what is being discovered and gut microbes have now been linked with an array of important host traits, … Continue reading

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Genomes are coming: Sequence libraries from the honey bee reflect associated microbial diversity

One of the coolest of reasons that cheap sequencing is nifty, in my opinion, is that it has allowed researchers to study individual eukaryotic organisms, and their associated microbes (their microbiome). Let’s be real, we are in the midst of … Continue reading

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When less might be more: The evolution of reduced genomes

The advent of affordable genome sequencing has provided us with a wealth of data. Researchers have sequenced everything from Escherichia coli (4.6 Mbp genome size), to sea urchins (810 Mbp), chimpanzees (3.3 Gbp), and humans (3.2 Gbp). Then there are the … Continue reading

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Nancy Moran awarded the 2017 Molecular Ecology Prize

The 2017 Molecular Ecology Prize will go to Professor Nancy Moran of the University of Texas at Austin. The Prize is awarded by the Editorial Board of Molecular Ecology to recognize “an outstanding scientist who has made significant contributions to … Continue reading

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A sponge and its symbionts, using genomics to unravel complex relationships

The ocean is full of interesting organisms and even more fascinating (as well as difficult to tease apart) are the interactions among them. From deep sea giant tube worms, to the adorable bobtail squid, symbioses have a central role, and … Continue reading

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Dishing out Art: “Soiling” our microbiology curriculum

Sarah Adkins wrote this post as a final project for Stacy Krueger-Hadfield’s Science Communication course at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She is a MS student working with Dr. Jeffrey Morris at UAB. They are looking at how microbes (i.e., phytoplankton and E. … Continue reading

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How much wood would a termite chuck…if it was missing its microbial symbionts

Termites get a pretty bad rap, probably because we think of our houses disintegrating when they move in. Ironically, we have a lot to learn from these critters, and their mounds have served as an inspiration for modern architecture. Either … Continue reading

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