Woods Hole Sleuthing Leads to Unusual Bacterium

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.

CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 Woods Hole Sleuthing Leads to Unusual Bacterium by Jennifer Tsang is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

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