Dating biology

Although some of them produce infectious diseases on humans (e.g.including cholera, syphilis, anthrax, leprosy and bubonic plague) several other bacteria have been found beneficial. They’re also vital in recycling nutrients, such as the fixation of nitrogen from the atmosphere. This period of courtship is sometimes seen as a precursor to engagement or marriage.

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Bacteria, often Lactobacillus in combination with yeasts and molds, have been used for thousands of years in the preparation of fermented foods such as cheese, pickles, soy sauce, sauerkraut, vinegar, wine and yoghurt.

Word origin: from Ancient Greek baktēria, “‘rod, stick’”. Related phrases: coliform bacteria, pathogenic bacteria, purple bacteria.

DNA is said to carry the genetic ‘blueprint’ since it contains the instructions or information (called genes) needed to construct cellular components like proteins and RNA molecules.

Word origin: abbreviation of deoxyribonucleic acid.

A small fraction of total DNA is present in mitochondria and chloroplasts.

Function: DNA is a long polymer of nucleotides to code for the sequence of amino acid during protein synthesis.

Bacteria may be classified based on their shape: spherical (cocci), rod-like (bacilli), spiral (spirochetes), or comma-shaped (vibrios).

Other ways of classifying them are based on whether or not they are: gram positive or gram negative, aerobic or anaerobic, autotrophic or heterotrophic, etc.

Some people get frustrated when they realize that the “facts” taught in biology class today might turn out to not be true tomorrow.

But it really reminds us of how much we have left to learn.

When historical data are absent (that is, the overwhelming majority), viral sequence sampling on a time scale commensurate with the rate of substitution permits the inference of the times of subtype divergence.