Browsing Archive: August, 2012

Pretty pollinators

Posted by Heather Maughan on Wednesday, August 29, 2012, In : Garden 
When the lettuce bolts, the dill springs fluffy flowers, and the cilantro decides to become coriander, I sit by the plants staring and waiting.  I am sure the passersby think I've lost my mind.  But look at these lovely rewards!

A Braconid wasp (on coriander):

A European paper wasp, Polistes dominulus (on coriander):

Some type of sand wasp (?), on dill:

And our friend Apis mellifera, her collecting baskets loaded with pink pollen (on coriander):

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Hopeful monsters

Posted by Heather Maughan on Tuesday, August 21, 2012, In : Bacterial evolution 

For centuries scientists have been trying to figure out why some bacteria cause disease, while others are relatively harmless or even beneficial. The search has usually focused on identifying the genetic basis for the ability to cause disease, whether it be the mutation of an existing gene or the gain of a gene via horizontal transfer.  The latter process is (mostly) limited to bacteria, where gene sharing can enable niche exploration and adaptation.

Of special interest is ...

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