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TWiM 26 Letters

Peter writes:
Dear Twim team

An interesting paper on artificial selection of yeast giving rise to evolved  clusters. The clusters evolved to be larger, produce multicellular progeny, and even show differentiation of the cells within the cluster—all key characteristics of multicellular organisms. This took  just 2 weeks, or about 100 generations.

A nice time lapse video of clusters dividing:

While this is very interesting I would be wary of reading too much into it.  How do we know that single celled yeasts have not evolved from earlier multicellular forms? This could be an innate -  previously evolved trait that enables the yeast to develop to a multi celled form with relative ease.

Kimberley writes:

Great job with these podcasts. I really enjoyed the ones I’ve heard.

Someone asked if CEUs are available? What can you tell me about that?

Thank you,

Microbiology Section Leader
Morton Hospital

Peter writes:

Arsenic-based life
In late 2010, NASA researcher Felisa Wolfe-Simon and colleagues reportedly uncovered a species of bacteria in Mono Volume Pills Lake that not only survived in unusually high levels of arsenic and low levels of phosphorus, but also appeared to incorporate arsenic into its DNA backbone. However, critics were soon questioning the results, citing poor DNA extraction techniques and a supposedly phosphate-free growth medium which actually did contain phosphate. Science published 8 technical comments about the work in May, though the paper, which has been cited 26 times, has yet to be retracted.

It seems it was a bad year for publish and perish.

Thomas writes:


I am a graduate student at the University of Georgia, working on my MS is plant pathology.

At the moment I am working my way through TWiP, TWiV, and TWiM.

Do you all have any interest in starting a this week in mycology podcast? I realize that fungi and oomycetes are more interesting to plant pathologists than animal pathologists, but I think this is a fascinating and diverse subject.

Keep up the good work!

UGA Department of Plant Pathology

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