These prokaryotes are infiltrating our children’s literature…

Apparently, you’re never too young to have your mind blown by prokaryotes I just found a children’s book about microbes called Tiny Creatures: The World of Microbes! It doesn’t help that its accompanied with lovely illustrations of their microbial greatness:   And there’s more. Apparently, those great Vibrios (remember those pesky Marxist poster bacterium for… More These prokaryotes are infiltrating our children’s literature…

Classify, you Yellow-y Slimy Mouldy maze solver!

Physarum polycephalum, I know you’re not one of those anti-membrane-bound-organelle things, in fact you eat bacteria. So heartfelt props on being a contributing member of the anti-prokaryotic league. But lets not get too friendly. I have my issues with you. Lets start with yellow… it’s not your colour. Actually there is no colour that will… More Classify, you Yellow-y Slimy Mouldy maze solver!

Bacteria of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your energy!

You evolved this cute little system to measure local cell density involving a small extracellular molecule that all individuals in a population produce and sense. While we higher eukaryotes go around being all greedy and selfish, you figured out a way to communicate and cooperate with your fellow prokaryotes. Don’t look so delighted with yourself.… More Bacteria of the world unite, you have nothing to lose but your energy!

Too insecure to stay with the name Micrococ(k)us?

Even though you look more like the Micrococcus who you were named for in 1956, your 16S ribosomal sequences beg to differ and place you closer to Thermus. So we even gave you your own genus in the 80s: Deinococcus[2] and made you the first card-carrying member of i-can-survive-high-amounts-of-radiation club[7]. But that wasn’t enough for… More Too insecure to stay with the name Micrococ(k)us?

Stop showing off and just use the more stable backbone!

So you can apparently substitute arsenic for phosphorous[11]. Yes, we can’t even tell the difference between the two. In our defence, they are both elements of Group 15 and are only very slightly different in electronegativity and size (~0.02 nm). Our enzymes work hard to harvest the little phosphorous we can find and in their… More Stop showing off and just use the more stable backbone!