Editor’s Selections: Phytoplankton are disappearing, blocking bacterial communication, and a giant among giants

Editor's Selections 10 Comments
By Vincent Racaniello

Vincent RacanielloVincent Racaniello selects several notable posts each week from molecular and cellular biology and virology. He blogs at virology blog.

  • Phytoplankton is responsible for about half of the total amount of oxygen produced by all plant life. A 1% yearly reduction of phytoplankton would be a particularly negative outcome of global warming.
  • Quorum sensing is the ability of bacteria to communicate with each other via small molecules which they can both excrete and sense. Blocking this system may have therapeutic applications, as it is one of the main communication methods used to switch on virulence genes, and other genes which make the bacteria more infectious.
  • Mimivirus is remarkable as the largest known virus with the biggest genome. But there are probably even larger viruses to be discovered – just how big can a virus be?

I’ll be back next Friday with more selections.

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