I’m a visual person. I’ll never forget the day Daddy took my sister and me in the backyard to teach us how to use a SLR camera. Those were the days of FILM! He had my sister and me take turns jumping into the air while the other one used different f-stops, shutter speeds, and ISO settings on the camera to try to “freeze” the other person in the air. Then we went in the darkroom and developed the negatives. I didn’t really understand how the different parts of the camera worked together until seeing the difference in the images. Slow shutter speed = blurry sister; fast shutter speed = sister suspended in mid-air like a cartoon character!

Ask any of my former students and they’ll tell you I pack photos into a lecture to make my points. “A picture is worth 1, 000 words” right? Well, stay tuned every Friday for some sort of graphic, video, interactive site, or webinar on the amazing microbial world. If you can’t wait till then – click on over to the MostlyMicrobes YouTube channel or Pinterest site.

This first Friday Feature is one of my favorite science education sites – Learn.Genetics – developed by scientists and educators at the University of Utah, and funded by your tax dollars from the National Institutes of Health. It’s a fabulous site for learning about the molecular and microbial aspect of our world. I used it a lot when I taught introductory cell and genetics!!

Learn.Genetics has recently developed a fantastic microbiome module. My favorite is their “Microbiome Simulator”. Since my last post was on natural disturbances of the human microbiome, you can play with that in the simulator. Here you get to examine the influence of human physiology (fever, puberty) and diet changes on the starting microbiome. Then you can play with influence of invading pathogens and antibiotics. Antibiotic disruption is next week’s post, so stay tuned. Hope ya’ll enjoy playing with this great tool as much as I did.LearnGenetics_Microbiome_512_385_72dpi

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