Awesome science paper 1st lines example regarding microbes on the Archimedes Palimpsest

Just a quick post here.  Got alerted to this paper by Google Scholar updates: A Combined Approach to Assess the Microbial Contamination of the Archimedes Palimpsest.    And I was drawn into it immediately by the first line in the introduction

The transmission of ancient texts through the ages appears to be an almost miraculous event from both the microbiological and cultural point of view.

What a great first sentence.  And the rest of the paper does not disappoint.  Microbes on ancient texts are important for a variety of reasons – not the least of which relates to degradation of the texts.  Anyway – this paper (well, I suppose I should say “article” since it is not actually on paper as I am reading it) also is a good example of what one can do by combining different types of analyses to understand the microbial ecology of a human created object.  It is definitely worth a read.


Image credit:
By Giovanni Dall’Orto (Self-photographed) [Attribution], via Wikimedia Commons

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Jonathan Eisen

I am an evolutionary biologist and a Professor at U. C. Davis. My lab is in the UC Davis Genome Center and I hold appointments in the Department of Medical Microbiology and Immunology in the School of Medicine and the Department of Evolution and Ecology in the College of Biological Sciences. My research focuses on the origin of novelty (how new processes and functions originate). To study this I focus on sequencing and analyzing genomes of organisms, especially microbes and using phylogenomic analysis (see my lab site here which has more information on lab activities).  In addition to research, I am heavily involved in the Open Access publishing and Open Science movements.