Jennifer Tsang

Jennifer Tsang

Jennifer Tsang is a science editor and freelance science writer. She has completed a Ph.D. in microbiology and studied antimicrobial resistance as a postdoctoral fellow. She writes for her own microbiology blog called The Microbial Menagerie. While not thinking about science, she enjoys reading a good book, photographing nature and cities, finding her zen in yoga and running, and playing clarinet. You can follower her on Twitter.

Thursday, 27 September 2018 09:40

Does a Minimal Genome Exist?

How can we define a minimal genome containing only the genes necessary for life - and what can we learn from these efforts?

People have been cultivating yeast since far before its discovery, making it one of the earliest domesticated organisms. Find out how we have shaped yeast into a microbial powerhouse from bread and beer to synthetic biology.

How did eukaryotic life evolve? Here, one of the most controversial and puzzling questions in evolutionary history meets Star Wars and the Marvel Universe.

These days, we can use social media to find just about anything we’d want—apartments, jobs, the latest viral videos…or even a virus-based treatment for bacterial infections.

The zombie fungus, Ophicordyceps unilateralis, hides deep within tropical rainforests and parasitizes upon ants from the Camponotini tribe. They turn ants into fungus-producing machines by manipulating gene expression that alter the ant’s sensory response, musculature, and nervous system.

Ants have learned to farm 50 million years ago, way before humans did. Their crop of choice? Fungus.

As paintings age, they accumulate volatile hydrocarbons, dead or living cells, dust that breed fungal spores, and bacteria. This agglomeration of material serves as a nutrient source for a number of microbes and leads to biodeterioration.

How did life as we know it come to be and how can caves help us understand the microbial world? Here, we take a look at how cave microbes give us clues into the evolution of aerobic life, extremophiles, and antimicrobial resistance.

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