Hello Racaniello et al.,
I am a plant pathologist for a vegetable seed company in Washington state. I listen to TWIM, TWIP and TWIV podcast while I read extensive disease resistance screens. I started out studying microbiology as an undergrad and discovered plant pathology that allows me to study microbes and plants together. Listening to these podcasts keeps my mind engaged while looking at thousands of potentially disease baby plants. I really appreciate what you all do to put together such intellectually stimulating topics.
If I may suggest a topic as well. Iron sequestration and uptake in bacteria is very fascinating and affects many aspects of bacterial life. I may be biased as I worked on iron uptake during my Ph.D. I have listened to many of the TWIM podcasts and iron pops up in discussion now and then. It would be nice to listen to a discussion of this topic from your perspective.
Keep up the good work,
Episode 2 had a career inquiry from a listener. The listener was considering additional graduate work, but was not sure which way to go or whether to invest the required time and energy in an MBA or Ph.D.
May I suggest intellectual property as a career path? Most patent attorneys are former "lab rats." Patent attorneys enjoy a good salary and interaction with some very intelligent and interesting people. Though considerable work is required, intellectual property can be a very rewarding career.
Quick follow-up from Twim 47.
It seems that many bacteria have means to take up foreign DNA and integrate it Into their own chromosomes. This definitely can provide a selective advantage depending on the nucleic acids being taken up. On the other hand, transferring your own DNA to another cell seems to be quite unselfish. For example, if I had some form of an antibiotic resistance gene, why would I give it away to others that would, in the end, compete with me for nutrients? In essence, what is the selective advantage for giving away nucleic acids?
Thanks a lot and have a happy holiday!