Friday 24 July 2015

New Journal: Microbial Genomics

This week sees the launch of Microbial Genomics, a new open access journal from the Society for General Microbiology. Here's an excerpt from the journal's mission statement:

"Microbial Genomics (MGen) publishes high quality, original research on archaea, bacteria, microbial eukaryotes and viruses. MGen welcomes papers that use genomic approaches to understand microbial evolution, population genomics and phylogeography, outbreaks and epidemiological investigations, impact of climate or changing niche, metagenomic and whole transcriptome studies, and bioinformatic analysis covering the breadth of microbiology, from clinically important pathogens to microbial life in diverse ecosystems."

The journal, whose tag line is Bases to Biology, will publish microbiological discoveries and innovations in research methods and bioinformatics. The journal is headed by renowned Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute scientists Stephen Bentley and Nicholas Thompson with an impressive editorial board that I joined earlier this year. Article processing charges have been waived during the journal's launch year - so get in there fast!

Tuesday 21 July 2015

Resistance is Futile: Science Museum Lates and Cheltenham Science Festival

Some photos from this summer's Science Museum Lates event with the Royal Society and the Cheltenham Science Festival. Thanks to everyone who helped: Liz Batty, Phelim Bradley, Jane Charlesworth, Dilly De Silva, Sarah Earle, Nicki Fawcett, Jess Hedge, Brian Mackenwells, Amy Mason, Charvy Narain, Anna Sheppard and Jessie Wu!

Science Museum Lates: The next big thing Science Museum Lates: The next big thing Science Museum Lates: The next big thing

We had two activities. Dance Dance Evolution is a computer game which uses an adapted dance-dance mat with four squares representing bases in the DNA (A, C, G and T). Participants act as the DNA replicator, and mistakes cause mutations in the DNA sequence. The next dancer copies the sequence left by the previous dancer, demonstrating evolution by mutation over time. The game shows the percentage similarity of the current sequence to the original sequence, showing the amount of 'evolution' over the time period of the game. We discussed with visitors the relevance of this to the development of antibiotic resistance.