Friday, September 07, 2007

Todays new acronym: SLOTU

...or, as they say in the science lab, "Species-Level Taxonomic Units."

So why are they so important?

Glad you asked. Seems they are the last word in tracking bacteria at the microscopic and sub-microscopic level. That would be the molecular level, I suppose. It is a technique used to track bacteria by examining their DNA tracks. Much better than the old petri dishes. Lots of bacteria can't make it in those.

So where is this going?
I'm not sure you really want to know. How about this:

It appears that the skin, the largest organ in our body, is a kind of zoo and some of the inhabitants are quite novel, according to a new study. Researchers found evidence for 182 species of bacteria in skin samples. Eight percent were unknown species that had never before been described.

Told you, didn't I?
You really didn't care to know that.

Here is the link for more information.

I found it reading about another scientific challenge, the search to discover what is behind the terrible loss of honey bee colonies.

About a quarter of the honeybees in North America are dropping dead of some unknown cause. If you think that's not a big deal, think again. Bees polinate a lot of important crops.


Are you connecting the dots yet?

Thanks, Azra

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