Friday, January 29, 2010

Space Cannon!

The space cannon would shoot astronauts to the moon from the ocean.
The basic concept behind a space cannon is simple: A hydrogen explosion shoots the payload -- Hunter is concentrating on delivering rocket fuel at first -- up the lengthy tube. The tube's mouth sits just above the surface of the water, and when the payload emerges, it's aimed directly into outer space.

Re-positioning an underwater cannon would be easier than moving one on land, and the sonic boom would be nearly eliminated due to a concept called impedance mismatch, which predicts that over 90 percent of the explosion's ear-deafening sound would be reflected into the atmosphere.
A couple of problems though ...
"I'm not sure where in the world's oceans you'd put it so that the cannon remains aligned," he mused. "Remember, at the exit speeds described, extreme precision of alignment is required, in a variety of wind and water conditions. This would be a very large target, and if placed in international waters -- where you need at least 700-800 meter depth, given the angle of the cannon -- ownership and guardianship is questionable."

Laugh or Cry?

Bin Laden blames US for global warming, calls for boycott of American goods.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

$60 Billion Theft

Officials said Medicare pilferage is so widespread, with so much of it never detected, that no one can accurately say how much it costs American taxpayers. But a figure widely used by law enforcement officials suggests a staggering $60 billion a year is stolen from the national entitlement program, which funds medical treatment, equipment and prescriptions for 45 million seniors and the disabled.
I'd rather we create jobs hiring people to better police Medicare, which would cut down on this theft in the long run ... than continue to let this happen without doing anything significant to prevent it. Say we spend $100 million (1/600th of the $60 billion in fraud) hiring people to combat this fraud. Say we set the average salary + benefits at $100,000 per person hired. That gives us a thousand people to track down these cases. Seems like that would get the job done, no?

Probably not.

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Change I can believe in ...

... when the President of the United States says that the USA needs to be the leader in clean energy initiatives, jobs, and technologies because whichever country does so will be the one with the largest influence on global policy, I believe it and agree with it.

Now, can our government make it happen?

Monday, January 25, 2010

Currently ...

Listening To

So you tried to put the fire out
But you used gasoline
When the congregation gathered around
You're screamin' "It wasn't me,"
So there is a sickness that's going around
But no one's got a vaccine
I think it drowned in holy water
I think it's time we all come clean

I swear it's like dying
To catch a ghost
It feels like I'm trying
To hold smoke
I swear it's like dying
To catch a ghost
It feels like I'm trying
To hold smoke

When the army had to hold the line
Well you were nowhere near the front
Before the kids could tell their dog goodbye
Well you were loadin' up your gun
I want to know why there's a great divide
I wanna know what I've become
You think that no one else is lonesome?
You think that you're the only one?

It feels like I'm jumping towards a train
It feels like I'm jumping towards a train
We all try to make our way

It feels like I'm jumping towards a train
It feels like I'm jumping towards a train
We all try to fake a way


It's true, lasers CAN make you slimmer.
Overall, participants in the treatment group demonstrated a total girth reduction across all four sites of 89 millimetres (3.51 inches) compared with control subjects who showed a 17-millimetre reduction. Maloney says the reduction in the placebo group is a reflection of the typical placebo response. The results were published last month in Lasers in Surgery and Medicine (vol 41, p 799).
Sheesh, that sure would be easier than what I'm currently about to do ... P90X.

Yep, I'm an idiot. I've finally decided that I just can't tolerate my *ahem* girth any longer. It (my body) is a far cry from what it looked like during my track and field days, and I just can't stand it any longer. So I got P90X, an iron gym (that doorway pull up bar) and resistance bands and I'm going to start torturing myself soon. First I need to get everything together to keep my nutrition in line with what the program recommends because I figure if I'm slurping down Mickey D's every day, no amount of pull-ups is going to help my waistline.

So why am I telling you about this? Well, for one simple reason. I hope that by putting this out in public, if I don't follow through, I will be publicly shamed. A perverse sort of peer pressure I suppose.

So while I'm out grocery shopping, I suppose I need to look and see if I can get myself into one of these laser trials.

So close, but yet ...

... so far. For the first 28 minutes of the game last night I thought it looked like the Jets could be going to the Super Bowl for the first time in my life. Then Peyton Manning found Austin Collie* not once but twice, the last time in the back of the end zone for six, and things started to fall apart at the seams. Manning, Garcon, and Collie abused everyone in the Jets secondary not named Darelle Revis ... in particular Lowery and Sheppard. It's obvious where the Jets need to focus this offseason.

With that said, I don't think anyone (except maybe Rex Ryan) thought the Jets would make it this far this year. There are high hopes for next year though.

Congratulations on the win Indy. A friend asked me how many scores I thought you guys could muster and the Jets stll get the win, and I said two. Well, I would have been correct if that had happened, but it didn't. You definitely outplayed us and you deserve that berth. Now I hope you get stomped by New Orleans.

*What is with my teams losing to BYU players this year?

Friday, January 22, 2010

Errr ...

... I'll pass.

I don't know how FOXNews finds these stories.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Here she is ...

... one of several organisms my lab has putatively identified as novel. I have a name picked out for her, just need to finish the ubiquinone and DNA:DNA hybridization analysis to the next closely related type organism/strain and then we can get her published and named.

TEM image

Tuesday, January 19, 2010


Water covers approximately 70% of the Earth's surface, the rest is covered by Darrelle Revis.

Go Jets!

Owning a home bites sometimes (part deux) ...

... so in the comments section of the last blog entry detailing my woeful attempt to spruce up my laundry nook, I said things got even better with the whole fiasco. And boy howdy did it ever.

I woke up bright and early on Sunday (and by bright and early I mean 10AM-ish), got dressed, and just decided to get it over with. Grabbed a broom, the new dryer vent hose, and my big Maglite, and opened up my crawl space. Got on my hands and knees, looked inside and saw about a million spider webs. Fun ... I hate spiders.

Started whacking the webs with the broom, allowing me access without getting a face full of sticky gunk. Located the outside part of the vent, made my way over and took off the old hose. It was lined with at least a half inch of lint, so it was a good idea to replace it. Tried getting the new hose on but it just wasn't fitting. The fact that my crawlspace is about two and a half feet high meant that I didn't have much space to get good leverage to slip the hose on. I lose my grip on the clamp which is to hold the hose in place, it hits my thumb and splits it wide open. So now I've got blood pouring down my hand and the hose is all sticky with blood too. Fun fun! Finally manage to get the hose on (which involved a trip back into the house to get duct tape to really make sure the darn thing isn't going to come off). Meanwhile my dogs have decided to see what all the fuss is about, so now I have three animals wandering through my crawlspace ... not what I wanted because they don't really know the concept of "if you knock that out of joint, I'm going to have to fix it". Fortunately, they didn't do any damage (I think).

I stretched the hose out and made my way towards the opening in my floor ... and came up about eight feet short. Ack! So had to run out, buy a second hose, jury-rig the two hoses together (relying heavily on duct tape) and then spend a half hour getting the end of the second hose through the floor. Spent another thirty minutes behind my washer and dryer trying to get the hose onto the back end of the dryer in a position such that it would stay on.

All of this because I wanted a a peg board in my washroom.

I hope when I start hanging my pictures things aren't this hectic!

Forget a lifetime ban ...

... Jose Offerman needs to go to jail! What a no-class punk.
Jose Offerman was banned for life by the Dominican winter league for throwing a punch at an umpire during an argument on the baseball field.
Minor compared to what else he's done ...
On Aug. 14, 2007, he was batting for the Long Island Ducks against the Bridgeport Bluefish in an independent minor league game when pitcher Matt Beech hit him with a fastball. Offerman charged the mound with his bat and swung at least twice, striking Beech and Bluefish catcher John Nathans.
Sounds like assault with a deadly weapon to me.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Owning a home bites sometimes ...

... especially when you're doing "home improvements". Lately, I've been trying to tweak little things in the house, before I start my major projects. Things like changing all my knobs so they're not these drab beige things which are found all throughout my house. So now I have some rooster knobs in my kitchen (going with a rooster theme), and some pewter knobs in my bathroom, along with different patterned knobs throughout the rest of the house (Hobby Lobby rocks). I also have been hanging more pictures and things in my rooms (which had been pretty sparse until this point), as well as fixing the tiny little things which have worn down but I didn't give much thought to. For instance, replacing a couple missing screws in the screen door frame, gutting my toilets and installing new flush kits, taking down some ugly ceiling fans and putting new lighting in.

All these things were not much of a problem, nary a hitch. I should have known the gremlins could come pay me a visit sooner or later though. Little did I know they'd all show up today. So I decided I wanted a peg board above my washer and dryer. Not a big deal right? WRONG. So very, very wrong.

Went to Home Depot, bought the plastic peg board (two 16" by 16" panels) along with all the relevant hardware. Bought anchors to put the boards up too. So I drilled the first set of holes and planted the anchors. Put the peg board up against the holes and started to drill, only to see the anchors and part of the sheet rock pull away. Argh! Tried another --different -- set of anchors only to see a similar thing happen. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!

Call up the dad to ask him what the hell to do. He informs me that the studs should be 16 inches apart (duh) and if I find those, that I can just screw them into the wall. Go back to Home Depot, grab deeper (2 inch) screws and putty, return home, place putty into the holes I had drilled, and then screw those peg boards into the wall. Peg boards attached, I step back to look at my handiwork. Something doesn't look quite right though. Take out the tape measure and measure both ends. Guess what? Damn thing droops a quarter of an inch at one end. Argh!

To hell with it. Damn thing is going to be crooked until the next time I paint that laundry nook. With that decided, I get ready to push the dryer back into the nook. Look at the dryer vent hose and see that it's pretty worn. Run back out to Home Depot and grab a new one. Return home and go to pull the old hose up out of the floor. Yes, it runs through the floor. Foot after foot this hose pulls out, with no end in sight. Finally figure out that the hose runs through my entire crawl space to the vent outside. Lovely, oh and guess what ... I've never ever been in my crawl space. *sigh*

So, no laundry is getting done tonight, and tomorrow I need to crawl under my house to attach this new laundry vent hose up. Oh, and did I mention it's raining?

Friday, January 15, 2010

What are you reading?

Today I'm reading the following:
A widely distributed bacterial pathway for siderophore biosynthesis independent of nonribosomal peptide synthetases.
by: Gregory L. Challis

There is no abstract for this article (published in ChemBioChem). As you can surmise from the title though, it deals with iron acquisition and siderophore biosynthesis. I have a side-project I am working on in which I'm taking some techniques I used in graduate school, studying pathogens, and employing them in the area of soil microbial ecology. We'll see, eventually, how successful I am. I'm doing all the DNA preps now.

Work Related Resolutions for 2010

This year I have two work-related resolutions for 2010, and both were based on hard-learned lessons over the course of 2009.

1. Better Organization: 2009 was a productive year, but there is always room for improvement. To that end, I'm trying the "daily planner" route again, I'm learning the in's and out's of MS's Outlook Calendar, and I'm attempting to resurrect efforts to get electronic notebooks into the lab.

2. Field Work: Make no bones about it, I'm a lab rat. The extent of "field work" I ever did was to go to another state to do some lab work. After debacles with collaborators retiring technicians, samples showing up in my lab without advance notification, and incomplete site histories rendering my efforts all but useless, I've decided that I will no longer rely on collaborators alone to send me samples for analysis. So my lab and I are making a concerted effort to find new locations for our research efforts. We started that this week with a couple of riparian sites which we'll begin studying soon.

Currently a bit waterlogged

I wonder if they'll let me buy a gator?

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Currently ...

Listening To


The Sky Crawlers

Woo hoo!

I was waiting for this!


Maybe I'll switch to coffee ...

... in the mornings.
Nearly half of the 90 beverages from soda fountain machines in one area in Virginia tested positive for coliform bacteria -- which could indicate possible fecal contamination, according to a study published in the January issue of International Journal of Food Microbiology.

Researchers also detected antibiotic-resistant microbes and E.coli in the soda samples.
The problem? Most people consider "clean up" to be a menial task which is boring and pointless. That means it either gets done half-assed, or maybe not at all.

Oh, and to everyone who works in the food industry, or in some way comes into contact with items which may be consumed. WASH YOUR HANDS FREQUENTLY*! WEAR GLOVES!

Sheesh, just thinking about these things makes me want to stop eating out.

*Especially when leaving the rest room.

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Reason #1

To root for the Jets over the Chargers this weekend.

This is horrible. Yeah, wave to your ma LT ... from the sidelines as the Jets "take the knee" and perform the victory formation!

Add these people to the list of ...

... people who really need to get a life.
On the fan forum site "Avatar Forums," a topic thread entitled "Ways to cope with the depression of the dream of Pandora being intangible," has received more than 1,000 posts from people experiencing depression and fans trying to help them cope.
For reals! You really can't make this nonsense up. But the part that really had me screaming at the computer screen was some idiot named Ivan Hill. Why? Well, here is what he had to say:
"When I woke up this morning after watching Avatar for the first time yesterday, the world seemed ... gray. It was like my whole life, everything I've done and worked for, lost its meaning," Hill wrote on the forum. "It just seems so ... meaningless. I still don't really see any reason to keep ... doing things at all. I live in a dying world."
Nevermind the fact that Mr. Hill is 17, so I'm not sure all of what he's "done and worked for", but the response of the article really missed a golden opportunity in my mind.
The bright side is that for Hill and others like him -- who became dissatisfied with their own lives and with our imperfect world after enjoying the fictional creation of James Cameron -- becoming a part of a community of like-minded people on an online forum has helped them emerge from the darkness.
And what is this community going to do? Seems like absolutely not a god-damned thing. No call to action to lead people to live greener lives, to demand real government action to protect and save the environment, no campaigns to hold politicians (who literally hold the earth's sustainability in their hands with their votes) accountable. Nah, just a place to pat each other on the head and tell each other that life doesn't suck that much. Oh, and to do the following:
Within the fan community, suggestions for battling feelings of depression after seeing the movie include things like playing "Avatar" video games or downloading the movie soundtrack, in addition to encouraging members to relate to other people outside the virtual realm and to seek out positive and constructive activities.
Yeah, go play a freaking video game. Forget about volunteering time to build a local garden or park ... that's for those idiots who live in reality. Reading this stupidity makes me depressed. Excuse me while I go play a video game.

I'm not linking to this article ...

... because of the article itself. Rather, I'm linking to it for one of the comments because it sums my thoughts up pretty darn well. The comment was made by "RichP the Pocono's" and he said:
The biggest losers in the country are the american people and american business, mainly from the carpet baggers and faux royalty we have in all three houses. Coming up on a year now and still no legislation enticing or making it advantageous for american business to stay here in the US, NONE. In fact quite the opposite, more and higher taxes, that is a really good incentive. Bravo DC, bravo....
Bravo, and Amen.

ETA: Don't know why this was the top link on the CNN Politics/Polls page. Must be a slow time of year, eh?

Monday, January 11, 2010

Currently ...

Listening ToOne of my favorite bands, and one of my favorite albums. Reminds me of my undergraduate days when I saw these guys play at The Icon in Buffalo. I heard they (The Icon) closed, but The Connells are still making music (supposedly).

Made in the USA

Honestly, it's time to limit the amount of things individual consumers purchase from China. Here is the latest news about child items being contaminated with cadmium.
Lab testing organized by The Associated Press shows that it also is present in children's jewelry - sometimes at eye-popping levels exceeding 90 percent of the item's total weight.
Whiskey Tango Foxtrot!
Cadmium is particularly dangerous for children because growing bodies readily absorb substances, and cadmium accumulates in the kidneys for decades.

"Just small amounts of chemicals may radically alter development," said Dr. Robert O. Wright, a professor at Harvard University's medical school and school of public health. "I can't even fathom why anyone would allow for even a small amount to be accessible."
If I were a conspiracy theorist, I'd say that this is all being done intentionally ... to weaken our next generation. I'm not, but I still say that if China can't clean up its act, at the very least we as consumers should do so. Heck, in reading those articles, it appears that cadmium containing items are sold heavily in China, which makes me wonder if China actually cares about its own populace. And if China can't be bothered worrying about their own populace, what makes us think they'd care about ours?

And in case you were wondering where some of these products might be found, this article indicates several stores in the United States could be carrying them:
Some of the most troubling test results were for bracelet charms sold at Walmart, at the jewelry chain Claire's and at a dollar store. High amounts of cadmium also were detected in "The Princess and The Frog" movie-themed pendants.


Came across this article today and it was an interesting read. The very end of the article caught my eye though:
The emergence of the working poor in the world's second largest economy has shocked a public used to the image of a rich and egalitarian nation with lifetime employment for its workers. The latest figures from the government reports a 15.7 percent poverty rate. Compared to other industrialized nations, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development says Japan ranks fourth, behind Mexico, Turkey and the United States.
Yep, that's us, the good ol' U S of A on that list.

According to the Census Bureau, in 2008 the poverty level was 13.8%, a 1.3% increase over 2007. No doubt it went up in 2009, for reasons we're all too familiar with (and which the article seems to indicate). In 2009, Health and Human Services listed the "poverty line" guidelines for the US. Those numbers ($10, 830 for a single individual in the contiguous 48) look awfully low.

Also, here are some other factoids mentioned by the Bread for the World Institute, who bring you the Hunger Report:
*A family of four generally needs to earn twice the poverty threshold to provide children with basic necessities.

*24.5 percent of black and 21.5 percent of Hispanic people live in poverty, compared to 8.2 percent of white people. 34.5 percent of black and 28.6 percent of Hispanic children live in poverty, compared to 15 percent of white children.

*16.5 percent of foreign born US residents experience poverty versus 11.9 percent of native born residents. This number is particularly high among immigrants who have not naturalized, at 21.3 percent.
None of these numbers are comforting.

Friday, January 08, 2010

The difference between love and hate ...

... can be as simple as a matter of a few degrees centigrade.



Of course, the old one is now sticking to its story that hovering at -71C is a "Good Thing".


ASM abstracts are due ... soon!

I put the date in my new planner though, so everything should be juuussstttt fine! ;)

ETA: Abstract done and sent to collaborators for approval/tweaks. Now turning attention to a peer review. Need to clear my plate because I have grant reviews next week. Yippie!

Enlighten me!

So people have gotten onto my case about my choice of news sources for some of my blog entries. So, I am asking my readers to edumacate me and point me in the direction of better sources. Here is a list of the sources I read routinely. Probably not every morning, but once a week, or in the case of some of them once or twice a month. It also doesn't include local sources (for obvious reasons).

My news sources. Click to enlarge

So, what am I missing? What do people in the blogosphere read regularly for reliable news?

For shame ...

... why would you do such a thing? Is this a corporate decision, or is it done at the individual store/manager level? I am going to assume it's a corporate thing, and as such it's a truly horrible (despicable) corporate policy.

Thursday, January 07, 2010

Heh ...

I need to change my WiFi router to be ThanksForPilingAllYourLeavesOntoMyProperty. I don't think that will fit, so appropriate abbreviations/alternatives will be appreciated.

Currently ...

Listening ToEverytime I hear Immigrant Song, I think of the Viking Kittens.


If I'm going to feel "shock" at the failure of the intelligence community to ensure that air travel is safe, then please answer this: Why is Napolitano still in place?

It's her job to ensure that the system runs smoothly, yet it seems that coordination of intelligence gathering efforts is stuck in a pre-9/11 loop. Get someone who is competent for crying out loud, and won't claim that the system "worked" (yah, thank goodness for quick-thinking-on-your-feet civilians who had to do the governments dirty work for them) when it's obvious it had a moment of EPIC FAIL.

Before I start dropping f-bombs all over the place, whatever happened to Obama's promise of accountability? Lies, lies, and more damn lies from politicians.

Wednesday, January 06, 2010

Lab angst

Since I've been in my lab, I've had a low temp (-80C) freezer which has been nothing but a pain in my tookus. For the past three to four months it has been hovering at around -62C. We finally scratched up enough end-of-year funds to purchase a new one, and after canceling one order (it was confiscated by pirates I believe, because it appears to have been "lost at sea") the new one arrived last month. We have this new puppy fired up and at temperature and I began transferring shelves (one per day) yesterday. Well, I did the bottom shelf yesterday, went home, came back this morning and the old freezer is up to -71C. I don't know whether the threat of termination was enough to get its butt back in gear, or if the thing was just filled past capacity (which doesn't seem like it should happen). Anyone around here a low temp freezer guru who might know what's going on here? I mean, I can use this older freezer for temp storage (though nothing around here is ever temporary for long) and holding a secondary backup stash of clones/strains without using 25% to 50% of the freezer for storage. But talk about inefficient.

Tuesday, January 05, 2010

What are you reading?

Today, I'm reading the following: Induction of purple sulfur bacterial growth in dairy wastewater lagoons by circulation (PDF, 7 pages).

Aims: To determine whether circulation of dairy wastewater induces the growth of phototrophic purple sulfur bacteria (PSB).

Methods and Results: Two dairy wastewater lagoons that were similar in size, geographic location, number and type of cattle loading the lagoons were chosen. The only obvious visual difference between them was that one was stagnant and the water was brown in colour (Farm 1), and the other was circulated and the water was red in colour because of the presence of PSB that contained carotenoid pigments (Farm 2). Both wastewaters were sampled monthly for 3 months and assayed for PSB and extractable carotenoid pigments (ECP). After this point, circulators were placed in the wastewater lagoon on Farm 1, and samples were taken monthly for 9 months and assayed for PSB and ECP. Before the installation of circulators, no PSB-like 16S rRNA sequences or ECP were observed in the wastewater from Farm 1; however, both were observed in the wastewater from Farm 2. After the installation of circulators, statistically greater levels of PSB and extractable carotenoid pigments were observed in the wastewater from Farm 1.

Conclusions: Circulation enhances the growth of PSB in dairy wastewater. Significance and Impact of this Study: Because PSB utilize H2S and volatile organic acids (VOA) as an electron source for photosynthesis, and VOA and alcohols as a carbon source for growth, the increase in these bacteria should reduce H2S, volatile organic compounds and alcohol emissions from the lagoons, enhancing the air quality in dairy farming areas.

Can it be done?

Can I really, truly, make a resolution work? I have had limited success with New Year resolutions. The only one I can ever remember following through on was cutting out soda for an entire year ... but that only worked for the one year I did it, and now I can down a 2L bottle in an afternoon.

At any rate, my goal for this year is to write (and get accepted) three first author manuscripts this year. I have the data for two of them already collected so this should be an accomplish-able task. Also, since I have a paper already under review, that should count towards one of the accepted papers should things go favorably.

However, in order to achieve this level of success, I need to organize. It's not one of my strong suits, and my desk is a cluttered mess. I know where everything is, but I'm still not organized, and I need to get there. I know it behooves me, for my long term productivity and upward mobility in the ranks of research, to achieve this goal. So, I took my first step in this direction today ...
Is increased productivity in my future?

I went out and purchased a daily planner. I tried this last year, with very mixed results ... but I have the fire in my belly this year. I swear! At any rate, I've already started filling out January, which is a good thing because I have a manuscript review and a grant review due in the next few days. I better get cracking!

Monday, January 04, 2010

What I would like this weekend ...

... a repeat performance of last nights 37-0 drubbing of the Bungles.


They say you can't change someone ...

... but it appears that you can sculpt them.
A new international review of seven papers on "the Michelangelo phenomenon" shows that when close partners affirm and support each other's ideal selves, they and the relationship benefit greatly.
So go sculpt your significant other.

The caveat?
"It's not just that you treat me positively," Finkel said. "You treat me in particular ways that dovetail with my ideal self."

It's all about the bugs ...

... so says this report.
"Our paper presents measurements from all the major regions of the world where we have experimentally determined the effect of this enzyme, produced by many microorganisms, on carbon dioxide released from the soil," said Dr. Behzad Mortazavi, an assistant professor of biological sciences at The University of Alabama, and a co-author of the article.
So what effect did that have?
Revising the computer model predictions to take the soil enzymes' impact on CO2 into account reduces the discrepancies between the model and atmospheric observations, according to the paper whose lead authors are Lisa Wingate and Jérôme Ogée, representing the University of Edinburg and the French National Institute for Agricultural Research, respectively.
Sounds like it's time to look into what molecular probes exist for this enzyme (carbonic anhydrase) ...

Can we really expect ...

... emerging countries to give a crud about global stewardship?

If this is any indication, the answer is a resounding: No.
"If you look at it, it's a really bad idea. It uses as much electricity as an entire city. And every time the toilet is flushed they've got to pump water half a mile into the sky," he said.

The telescopic shape is also presents problems of a more practical nature Krane says.

"The upper 30 or 40 floors are so tiny that they're useless, so they can't use them for anything else apart from storage. They've built a small, not so useful storage warehouse half a mile in the sky," he said.
Of course, having built their country on the back of oil (with the industrialized worlds help, of course) I doubt they want to see a push towards greener industry.

What's your name?

ResearchBlogging.orgI figured to start off the new year I'd do something a little different. As I've written about before, I'm intrigued by how people come up with the names of the organisms they identify. So, I'm going to start a once-monthly blog entry (we'll see how long I can keep it up) highlighting some of the more interesting ones I come across.

The best resource for this is the International Journal of Systemic and Evolutionary Microbiology, so it will be the journal a majority of my citations come from. You'll notice that I'm running a year behind in the journal because for some reason our institution doesn't carry this journal *grumble*. I guess this qualifies as a Research Blogging entry as well, no? So here goes... our main entry:

1. Halorhabdus tiamatea - ('a. N.L. fem. adj. tiamatea belonging to, or related to, Tiamat, the ancient Mesopotamian goddess of ‘the primal abyss’ and salty water). Named after a Mesopotamian goddess, this organism is extremely halophilic.

... and now for a few others ...

2. Nocardioides daphniae - (daph' N.L. gen. n. daphniae pertaining to the water flea genus Daphnia, as the type strain was isolated from Daphnia cucullata). Self-explanatory.

3. Salinicoccus iranensis - I doubt this one will come as much of a surprise, looking at the species name ... (i.ran.en'sis. N.L. masc. adj. iranensis from Iran, where the organism was isolated). Yep, no brainer there.

4. The next group got to name the genus AND species of this organism, Perlucidibaca piscinae. Perlucidibaca -'ca. L. adj. perlucidus transparent, pellucid; L. fem. n. baca a small round fruit, a berry; N.L. fem. n. Perlucidibaca a transparent berry, and piscinae -'nae. L. gen. n. piscinae "of a fish-pond".

5. Methylobacterium iners - (i'ners. L. neut. adj. iners inactive, lazy). I guess this fellow isn't very motile.

Primary Article
Antunes, A., Taborda, M., Huber, R., Moissl, C., Nobre, M., & da Costa, M. (2008). Halorhabdus tiamatea sp. nov., a non-pigmented, extremely halophilic archaeon from a deep-sea, hypersaline anoxic basin of the Red Sea, and emended description of the genus Halorhabdus. INTERNATIONAL JOURNAL OF SYSTEMATIC AND EVOLUTIONARY MICROBIOLOGY, 58 (1), 215-220 DOI: 10.1099/ijs.0.65316-0