“Can Anything Live Out There?”

This is the most common question Death Valley rangers are asked. Looking across the vast saltpan, with craters and crystalized formations completely devoid of any obvious life, Death Valley looks extraterrestrial. Yet, just underneath the salt, the soil teems with communities of microbes. Microbes are single-celled organisms that are invisible to the unaided eye. They consist primarily of the … Read more“Can Anything Live Out There?”

Rapid Ecological Diversification in Bacillus

In our last posting, we addressed the controversy over the speed of ecological diversification in bacteria. Some say that ecological diversification is almost a daily process, that every bacterium out there is unique in its ecology; others say diversification is extremely slow, so that we can discover whole swaths of closely related organisms that are ecologically interchangeable. In … Read moreRapid Ecological Diversification in Bacillus