Matters Microbial #40: Using THOR’s hammer to investigate microbial communities

May 16, 2024

Today, Dr. Jo Handelsman of the University of Wisconsin Madison and Director of the Wisconsin Institute for Discovery joins the #QualityQuorum to discuss the work she and her research collaborators do on interactive microbial communities, using THOR (the hitchhikers of the rhizosphere) as a model system.  She will also remind us how vital soil is to our lives.

Host: Mark O. Martin

Guest: Jo Handlesman

Download MM#40 (46 MB .mp3, 63 min)
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  • An article on the story of “uranium glass,” that fluoresces under ultraviolet light.  Here is another interesting article on the topic.  
  • The website for Hartiful, who makes custom enamel pins (including some that glow in the dark, as all cool things should).
  • Giant Microbes makes small and large plush toys of microbes and other biology related items.
  • An overview of ice nucleation proteins.  Here is a more technical article on the topic.
  • The story of SNOWMAX.
  • Ice nucleation proteins and snowflakes.
  • One of my favorite videos from my microbiology class in 2008, demonstrating ice nucleation by Pseudomonas syringae.  
  • The website for the Tiny Earth antibiotic crowdsourcing CURE.
  • The website for Dr. Handelsman’s book, “A World Without Soil.”
  • An explainer of THOR, for new micronauts.
  • A technical publication from Dr. Handelsman’s research group on THOR.
  • An explainer of microbial “zorbs,” for new micronauts.
  • A technical publication from Dr. Handelsman’s research group on “zorbs.”
  • Dr. Handelsman’s page on Wikipedia.
  • Dr. Handelsman’s faculty page.
  • Dr. Handelsman’s research website.

Intro music is by Reber Clark

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