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Some animals that can’t manufacture their own chemical weapons feed on toxic organisms and steal their chemical defenses, having evolved resistance to them. One animal that does this is a sea slug that lives on the reefs surrounding Hawaii and dines on toxic Bryopsis algae. Marine scientists suspected the toxin is made by a bacterium that lives within the alga but have only just discovered the species responsible and teased apart the complex relationship between slug, seaweed, and microbe.
An international group of microbiologists, including Georgia Tech's Frank Stewart, is warning that as science tries to search for climate-change solutions, it’s ignoring the potential consequences for climate change’s tiniest, unseen victims – the world’s microbial communities.
It is a fact that climate is changing, but how much and how fast are the subject of debate. Georgia Tech researchers are attempting to answer these questions for peatlands, a freshwater wetland ecosystem. Their recent work indicates that warming of peatlands increases microbial production of greenhouse gases, releases more methane than carbon dioxide, reduces microbial diversity, and alters the composition of microbial communities in peat soils.
Those same antibiotics driving antibiotic resistance could also help defeat it if used with the right strategy. Making it work would require companion health strategies like staying home from work when carrying resistant bacteria.
Georgia Tech has named William Ratcliff and Peter Yunker as recipients of the 2019 Sigma Xi Faculty Best Paper Award. They are co-principal authors of the paper “Cellular packing, mechanical stress and the evolution of multicellularity,” published in Nature Physics in 2018.
International society for chemical ecology
A two-day conference on a multidisciplinary problem
Learn the basics of Matlab and/or Python programming languages (NO previous coding experience required!).
A Biological Sciences Seminar by David Lee, Ph.D.
Microbial Dynamics Seminar Series - Spring 2019