New species named after Rush! Pseudotrichonympha leei, Pseudotrichonympha lifesoni, and Pseudotrichonympha pearti are
parabasalian protists from the hindgut of termites. These giant cells caught our eye because they are covered in a luxurious
coat of particularly long hairs, or flagella, reminiscent of the long-haired publicity shot of the power trio on the back
cover of 2112. Added to that, the cells move and dance and bob their heads under the microscope with frequent time signature
changes. They had to be named after band members Geddy Lee, Alex Lifeson, and Neil Peart. You can download the paper
(link below), which also contains hidden Rush lyrics throughout the text.
For more information see the the paper describing these species (open access) at: www.nature.com/articles/... or here: http://rdcu.be/zBwE
Keeling lab members and our collaborator Ben Larsen from Berkeley used a waterproof drone (a Mariner 2, or SplashDrone 2) to survey a bay for algal collection. With the drone and FPV goggles, we could identify algal beds from the air, then land on the water and submerge the camera to see and identify which genera of algae were there. This allowed us to survey a large bay with poor underwater visibility very quickly and find the two genera we were looking for, Avrainvillea and Udotea.Watch now
Antonie van Leeuwenhoek first discovered microbial life in the 1600s using a simple, single lens
microscope that he made himself. This video gives instructions to build your own working Leeuwenhoek microscope,
including the actual lens itself, using simple materials you likely have around the house.
This exercise is great for teaching and teachers. Additional instructions and downstream activities
are available on the
Keeling Lab webpage.
Also See: http://schaechter.asmblog.org/...
This is one of a series of short videos we did in collaboration with CIFAR and film maker Wendy Rowland based on our collaborative fieldwork in Curacao. When we think about marine life, we usually think about whales and fish, or other things we like to look at or eat. But most of the life in the ocean (by weight, or numbers, or whatever other criteria you like) is microbial, and these tiny creatures keep everything else alive.Watch now
This is one of a series of short videos we did in collaboration with CIFAR and film maker Wendy Rowland based on our collaborative fieldwork in Curacao. We commonly associate microbes and disease, but this video focusses on the positive roles of microbial life, mainly using the marine ecosystem as a model. Microbes carry out the most important roles in sustaining the oceans, which in turn have a huge impact on the rest of the planet, but we know shockingly little about exactly who they are or how they work together.Watch now
This is one of a series of short videos we did in collaboration with CIFAR and film maker Wendy Rowland based on our collaborative fieldwork in Curacao. The main model for scientific meetings consists of a lot of people sitting in a dark room listening to one person give a polished talk about a finished project. This is arguably the worst reason to travel and gather in one place and promote science, so we experimented with other kinds of “glue” to hold a scientific interaction together, like fieldwork. Over a couple of years, groups of microbial ecologists and evolutionary biologists gathered at CARMABI research station in Curacao, each with independent goals, but agreeing to work together to help with and learn about one another work in the process. For creating connections and collaborations, this was way more effective and a much more efficient use of time and resources than a standard scientific meeting.Watch now
This is one of a series of short videos we did in collaboration with CIFAR and film maker Wendy Rowland based on our collaborative fieldwork in Curacao. For ten years the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research supported a program in microbial diversity, that brought together people working on viruses, bacteria, archaea, and microbial eukaryotes, focusing on topics uniting ecology and evolution, from perspectives across ultrastructure, molecular biology, and genomics. This was a very rewarding experience and the group become very tightly knit over time, for many of us changing the way we think about our research.Watch now
Microbial life are part of the diversity of nature, but can they inspire art? Aren’t microbes just little round balls? They may be good at biochemistry, but are not animals and plants special because they have evolved unique and amazing diversities of physical form that capture our imagination? The answer, it seems, depends on how good is your microscope. When viewed up close, microbes are far from a boring collection of squiggling dots - microscopy can transport us into a parallel world of stunning complexity where microbes play all the leading roles. This world is abstract and far from our everyday experience, but it can be very engaging once you get inside.Learn more
Dr. Patrick Keeling, FRSC: Our recent discovery that the malaria parasite, Plasmodium, contains a chloroplast raises an intriguing question. Why would a parasite that develops in the dark within animal cells, need an organelle used for photosynthesis by plants and algae? The search for an answer has played out on coral reefs, and I will discuss our research that has traced back to an ancient evolutionary event where one cell ate another and stole its plastid.Watch now