Browsing Archive: October, 2012

Hurricane highway

Posted by Heather Maughan on Wednesday, October 31, 2012, In : Bacterial evolution 
Monday we made sure all of the objects in our yard were secure, to prevent the winds of Sandy from giving them flight.  We didn't know what to expect and didn't want to see our patio table jump through our window.  Luckily the winds didn't do any damage and we're all okay (and dry).

This got me thinking about bacterial dispersal, and how high winds like those in a hurricane really stir things up. Ocean water columns are mixed, ocean waters come ashore, terrestrial soil becomes airborne, tree l...

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Phages as fighters

Posted by Heather Maughan on Tuesday, October 16, 2012, In : Microbiota 

 
Not all ingested bacteria will be able to colonize the intestines upon arrival.  Some bacteria may not be adapted to living in the GI tract, and are merely passersby waiting to be ejected into the environment to find their favored niche.  Other bacteria are happy to be in the GI tract where nutrients are abundant, but must contend with the other hungry microbes and the vigilant immune system.  When competition is fierce, a particular bacterial species may “win” by producing toxins that k...

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Clothianidin debacle

Posted by Heather Maughan on Thursday, October 11, 2012, In : Agriculture 

Yesterday I attended a discussion forum for beekeepers in Ontario.  We (the beekeepers) were there to ask questions about bee deaths potentially caused by exposure to the pesticide Clothianidin.  Beekeepers in the US, Europe, and Canada (and probably other places too) have noticed massive bee die-offs that correspond closely to planting of corn.  Corn seeds are coated in pesticide prior to planting, and then shot into the soil using ...


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