While I was writing for the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) this summer, I had the opportunity to write about all sorts of biology — sex change in snails, dehydration tolerance in tardigrades, and slime molds, for example. I even got a chance to write about microbiology. Here’s an excerpt of a piece I wrote about the discovery of a new strain of arsenate-reducing bacteria:
Woods Hole Sleuthing Leads to Unusual Bacterium – and Propels a Career in Science
When Dianne Newman was a teaching assistant for the MBL Microbial Diversity course in 1998, little did she know the experience would launch her into several years’ worth of scientific inquiry. Fast forward to today: Newman co-directs the course and is on the faculty at California Institute of Technology.
That summer in Woods Hole, Newman led a group of students on a quest to find a bacterium that uses a form of arsenic called arsenate for energy (an arsenate-reducing bacterium). She chose the simplest way to find it. Since arsenic was used as a wood preservative, Newman looked for the bacterium at the wooden piers in Eel Pond on the MBL campus.
Read the rest of the story on The Well, MBL’s news blog.