Eclipse brings out a cool citizen microbiology project

When I first saw the headline on this I groaned a little, thinking this was some completely bogus type of project.  But actually, upon reading about it in more detail it sounds like a really good public engagement project involving the eclipse, students, space, and microbes. The article: Most-watched eclipse in history could answer the …

WTH is ILR?

WTH is ILR? by Alex Washburne & Jamie Morton Jamie and I have penned a popularization of the isometric log-ratio transform with the intention to allow non-mathematicians to understand the intuition behind what it is, why we use it, and how different methods use the same tool in different ways. The full write-up is available …

A serendipitous demonstration of the power of social media in the classroom

“Social media is a waste of time”, “You should be writing grants”, “Spend more time at the bench and less time on Twitter” I don’t really want to wade into this discussion too strongly… there are a number of great resources out there documenting the utility of social media in science and science communication (examples …

Very useful (for scientists too): How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists

From vaccinations to climate change, getting science wrong has very real consequences. But journal articles, a primary way science is communicated in academia, are a different format to newspaper a… Source: How to read and understand a scientific paper: a guide for non-scientists This article, by Jennifer Raff, is definitely worth a read and I …

Crowdfunding generates outreach for research

Here is a quick post to show off a new figure based on some analysis of data from our kittybiome Kickstarter to sequence gut microbiome samples from cats. Modeled on similar participatory research projects for humans where participants submit fecal samples for bacterial characterization, we are characterizing the gut microbiome of domestic cats with a …

11+ things everyone needs to know about microbes

Well, I made a list.  I had written up text justifying everything on this list but I think it is better to just publish the list and then discuss.  Any additional suggestions or comments would be welcome. 1. Microbes are small, mostly 2. Microbes are not simple 3. No microbe alive today is ancient 4. …