Peer Review

The peer review process is a huge and important part of the scientific community. It allows outside perspectives to contribute to someones writing and question the authors findings to make the paper more credible. I have had a few opportunities to act as a peer reviewer so far in my scientific career and each time I have found ways to not only improve others writing but also my own. And when reading others research you are going to learn new things and new ways to view things. This is what truly makes peer review amazing, it allows you to see into someone else’s thought process and contribute to their work while also bettering your own.

Microbial Populations and The Communities They Make Up

When you find a microbe and study their internal workings you are not just studying one, you are studying a population. Microbes do not grow alone as they grow and reproduce at an exponential rate as long as they’re in a supportive environment. When it is the same strain reproducing colonies form, and therefore a population, and these populations have specific characteristics.

There will be certain textures, shapes, sizes, they have specific metabolites and byproducts. Some populations occur in your home while others occur in extreme environments, and when there are multiple populations in the same area they make up a community.

When there is a community you are examining the differences in the population characteristics, and also observing how each population interacts. Are the different microbes going to be beneficial for each other? Parasitic? Maybe one population creates a byproduct that the others need to survive. Or maybe they are competitive, fighting for resources and space. It is this interaction, between the species, that make microbes all the more interesting and enable us to see where the behaviors of complex animals in their communities stem from.