Beneficial Microorganisms in Humans and Corals

By Samantha Zuniga-Levy, Wesleyan ‘19 From Peixoto et al. 2017   What do you do when you’re having digestive issues? Assuming of course, that these issues are ongoing and not simply the result of some questionable fast food you ate last night, you might consider taking probiotics. Probiotics are beneficial microorganisms that, when ingested by … Read moreBeneficial Microorganisms in Humans and Corals

Global Warming: Fact or Fiction? The Ultimate Heated Debate

Langston Lynch, Wesleyan ‘20 It is a beautiful day on a generic college campus. Students have abandoned their winter attire for skimpier spring garments and are relaxing on the campus hill to commemorate the 70 degree heat. Clouds of mystery smoke fill the air as red-eyed people laugh blissfully and play music at offensive volumes. … Read moreGlobal Warming: Fact or Fiction? The Ultimate Heated Debate

Meet Pantoea alhagi, Wheat’s Microbial Helper

  Sam Zuniga-Levy Wes ’19 What is the connection between the recent conflict in Syria and a new scientific study involving bacteria that promote plant health? Two words: climate change. According to a New York Times article by Henry Fountain, Syria experienced an extreme drought from 2006-2009 that was most likely due to climate change. The … Read moreMeet Pantoea alhagi, Wheat’s Microbial Helper

Recombination Does Not Hinder Prokaryotic Speciation

The biological species concept has dominated thinking about the origin of species since the 1940s, owing to the influential work of Ernst Mayr. The central idea behind the BSC is that recurrent recombination prevents populations from diverging into new species that are irreversibly separate; therefore, genetic exchange between populations must be severely reduced before they … Read moreRecombination Does Not Hinder Prokaryotic Speciation

The (rare!!) brain-eating amoeba in warm ponds

  Here I’m trying once again to offer tales from microbial ecology to make swimmers’ and divers’ lives better. As an open-water swimming enthusiast, I was particularly intrigued by this article on an amoeba that people can get from swimming in nature, particularly in warm water. This tale made me grateful that my open-water swimming … Read moreThe (rare!!) brain-eating amoeba in warm ponds

The Microbes We Should Be Thankful For

Thomas Kim, Wesleyan class of 2016 Antibiotics have prevented deadly pathogens from killing us for many decades now. However, widespread abuse of antibiotics has led to antibiotic resistance in our pathogens, causing at least 2 million deaths per year. Moreover, the repercussions of antibiotic abuse appear to go way beyond resistance. In his book Missing … Read moreThe Microbes We Should Be Thankful For