Field of Science

Public apology to prokaryotes

Dear Domains Eubacteria and Archaea,

I have previously stated that while biochemically sophisticated, you're just lipid bags of biochemistry devoid of any worthy internal structure. Consequently, I've ignored you due to a personal aversion to biochemistry and the idea that your innards are too primitive to be of any interest to the cell biologist in me. I have been mislead to believe that having your DNA immediately enshrouded in fat* was a prerequisite to being a structurally interesting creature.

When browsing through Nature Reviews Microbiology, I came across a discussion of multicellularity and specialisation in some hyphal creature. For a split second, I thought "Wow, there's hyphal prokaryotes?!" and quickly smacked myself in the head thinking "Just because it's microbiology doesn't mean it's prokaryotic, you dumbfuck!" So I avoided the article in utter embarassment.

Today I've come across an explicit mention of a hyphal, multicellular prokaryote - Streptomyces. I could not believe it -- bacteria being confused with fungi, of all things?! And...wait...multicellular?

I soon found a few articles confirming its existence. Including that Nature review I scuttered away from...

Here it is:


Source of image has a great overview too:

I was wrong. I would hereby like to retract my prior statements about structural primitiveness of prokaryotes. Please forgive me!

--Arrogant eukaryote

And meanwhile I gave all this hell to zoologists and botanists who would exclaim: "Oh protists -- the primitive eukaryotes!" Must...not...go off on a rant... Oh the hypocrisy...

*EDIT: Nevermind the lipid-wrapped DNA statement:
Couldn't nature leave ANYTHING for us to 'dogmatise' over?

Overcome by madness...

Once again, apologies for lack of posts -- our university is putting on an undergrad research conference this Saturday, and the slides aren't quite finished yet. Had loads of crap due today, along with a quiz in the 9.30am class I seldom attend. Also, I accidentally ventured across something interesting and tangential to my research, and had to resist the urge to dig further. Unfortunately, I lost that battle, and consequently created extra work for myself.

Anyone have any idea how to balance research with coursework life? It tends to devour your soul as you branch out akin to a plasmodial slime mould, engulfing more and more territory and stretching thin your precious cytoplasm. Eventually, you just have to retreat from side branches to generate a sense of direction... and form fruiting bodies, etc. Ok, I have no idea how that ties in with the analogy...

Running on 4h of sleep implies an excuse to lazily post a link instead of real blog content. Here's a Tree of Life page on dinos... enjoy! It has pretty pictures!

Back to madness...