As I have mentioned in earlier posts, I will be teaching my beloved microbiology to 16 micronauts (juniors and seniors) this Fall, as well as a freshman writing class (to 17 students). This latter class revolves around the concepts of symbioses and parasitism throughout nature. Here is the course description.
I was extremely lucky, last Fall, to have some truly remarkable people "video visit" my freshman class, as my prior posts demonstrate. These visitors answered student questions and discussed their research and interests. The students seemed to like it. I know I did!
I was very happy to have the ubiquitous Dr. Seth Bordenstein of Vanderbilt University chat with my class last Fall. At that time, he discussed how the "holobiont/hologenome" idea meshed with central concepts in symbiotic associations
Here is Seth's "virtual meeting" with last Fall's class!
What is particularly exciting as I write this post is that Seth Bordenstein and his coauthor Kevin Theis have JUST come out with a fascinating and critical "position paper" on this entire topic. Here is "Host Biology in Light of the Microbiome: Ten Principles of Holobionts and Hologenomes," as well as a press release from Vanderbilt on the paper.
Wonderful things to discuss with both of my classes this semester, truly. Paradigms are shifting, readers. Change can be evolutionary or revolutionary; the former is slow and the latter bloody. Time will tell. But as microbiology races on, it continues to change the way we look at most of biology. Seth Bordenstein's work only underscores this MicrobialTruth™.
Here is the "thank you" poster that my class created from Dr. Bordenstein.
Here is the portrait that a friend of one of my freshmen last Fall drew of Dr. Bordenstein.
And this summer, Dr. Bordenstein came to visit my little undergraduate lab. We had a great time chatting about symbioses, drawing "art" with luminous bacteria, and listening to music.
Thanks again, Seth, and I look forward to preaching the Holy Holobiont as a concept in my classes. "Out of many, one," indeed!
And we are never truly alone, as the title of my class states, after all!