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Mark O. Martin - Comments

Dear Vincent, Elio, and Michael: It's good to hear you all together---truly a type of "quorum sensing" phenomenon of Overwhelming Microbial Goodness ("OMG"), which I have come to expect from TWiM. As always, a wonderful and informative show. Elio was kind enough to mention my "microbiology" inspired buttons. I make the buttons and T-shirts for my microbiology classes each year, as part of my propaganda program to promote Microbial Supremacy. Anyway, Elio likes a old one from years ago. Here is what he was discussing: http://www.cafepress.com/microbesrule/7034973 I am reminded of Thomas Miller's great maxim: "All organisms are nothing but a bag of other organisms walking around." Organelles are just the evolutionary end product of lazy microbes, perhaps! Dr. Miller, by the way, studies using bacterial symbionts of insects as a form of pest control---something called paratransgenic control. A similar approach is being used to reduce dengue fever transmission by mosquitoes. So the study of unusual symbionts of aphids could be useful in unexpected ways. Thanks again for your great show. Best wishes, and I hope to see you at ASM in Boston. -Mark Martin
The funny part is that I didn't even know about it! I only heard about it via Twitter. Still nice. And I'll be more people read that bit from me than ANYTHING I have ever written before.
Of course!
Dear Michael: You are absolutely right. I linked to "Solving the Puzzle" in my post; thanks for the iTunes link. The world is smaller and less interesting without Carl Woese. Appreciate the comment. -MM

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