palau’s jellyfish lake was once connected to the pacific ocean, but when the sea level dropped its population of jellyfish were left to thrive in the isolation of its algae rich waters. no longer needing to defend themselves from predators, the jellyfish lost their sting, allowing snorkelers to now swim with them. the golden jellyfish will spend the day migrating from one end of the lake the other, a 400 meter swim, and then heading back.
Unless you’re an evolutionary biologist or just really into popular science, it probably won’t mean anything to you when I say that I’m one of the third generation of Lenski Long-term Experimental Evolution off-shoots. REL’s experiment changed my view of biology as a field, and inspired me to pursue research.
I’ve reminisced with my advisor about the day when, as an undergraduate doing volunteer research, I was handed my own block of freezer stocks that included ‘REL606’ and ‘REL607’. Rich is a true leader in the field; he’s blogging now and even recently joined Twitter! -b
PS Our new background image is a photo of an E. coli strain that I constructed, and its direct progenitor.
You should absolutely watch this fantastic video by Pleuni Pennings about her research on the ecology of slavemaking ants. It’s easy to understand, super fun, and less than 5 minutes long. I’d love to do something like this about my master’s work with E. coli! Someone help me plan and execute this, because I still haven’t managed to have enough coffee. -b
The Arte Sella, looks to be one of the most magical, fairytale woodlands in the world. Since 1986 this astounding destination in the Sella Valley in Italy has been dotting the landscape with the amazing works of over 200 contemporary artists from all over the world. A future holiday destination for sure!
As foreshadowed, whale bones and baleen at the Harvard Museum of Natural Science. So worth a trip (for the whale room alone). This museum is built of bricks, wood, and wrought iron; it’s dimly lit, & dense with specimens. The type of place it’s so satisfying to get lost in on a rainy day. -b
I’m in Boston visiting some friends prior to the Gordon Research Conference on Microbial Population Genetics! Today we went to the Harvard Museum of Natural Science, which has an amazing collection of preserved specimens (in jars) and also WHALE BONES (not pictured above). Check out that crazy sea monster & my wonky button’d sweater!-b