The indestructible tardigrade

“Water bears” or tardigrades are the most resilient animals ever. Slight hyperbole, but really not that far off.

They are able to withstand extreme radiation, temperature changes and even the vacuum of space.

So it’s no surprise that people were fascinated by the tardigrade genome, and how they manage to survive no matter what.

In a new study in nature communications shows the unique arsenal of strategies to cope with stressful conditions that tardigrades may face.

Read about it over at Gizmodo!

Or enjoy this quote:

“Tardigrades are strangely adorable microscopic creatures that are capable of withstanding some of the worst that nature can throw at them.”

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A (tardigrade) face that only a mother could love. (Credit: Takekazu Kunieda)

You’re probably not mostly microbes

One of the greatest tag lines for studying microbes is “You have more microbes in your body than you have cells!”

However… it turns out that might not strictly be true. Which is a shame, because it was a great tag line…

Read about it over at the Atlantic!

Or read the review paper here.

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Being a good bioinformatician

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Or more accurately,  how to avoid being a bad bioinformatician. Over at the blog opiniomics (which is my new favorite name for a blog beside Nothing in Biology), Mick Watson published a lovely post: 5 ways that you may be failing as a bioinformatician.

While the premise behind this post sounds fairly negative (why not 5 practices of productive bioinformaticians?) it is extremely informative. Especially for budding bioinformaticians such as myself.

Essentially it breaks down into:

  • Keep up with the literature
  • Use appropriate software
  • Document your procedures
  • Stop reinvent the wheel

I am definitely guilty of the last bullet, and my better bioinformatics peers get on me about it all the time (“You don’t need to write your own code to collapse a 2d array into a vector/write a sorting algorithm/pick a variable without replacement. Someone has already done that.”). Which ones are you guilty of?

Well worth a read, check it out here!