The story behind our paper: Sun et al., "The abundant marine bacterium
Pelagibacter simultaneously catabolizes
dimethylsulfoniopropionate to the gases
dimethyl sulfide and methanethiol" DOI:10.1038/NMICROBIOL.2016.65)
Access to a wealth of environments and the ability to reconstruct genomes for previously unknown and uncultured lineages has lead to a huge expansion in our understanding of the diversity of life on earth. We wanted to explore that diversity with a Tree of Life for the genomic era.
With the science in mind and curious about how what we learn in the lab might impact the care of preterm infants, I had the opportunity to observe grand rounds in the NICU in Saint Louis Children’s Hospital. The first thing I noticed was a room full of equipment and nurses. Then I saw the babies. Fragile human lives, some no bigger than the size of a soda can, alive due to the advances in medical science. Research just met real life.
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