Pandorina(?) in The Atlantic


In The Atlantic, not in the Atlantic. A new article in The Atlantic is making the rounds on social media, “Scientists Brace for a Lost Generation in American Research.” The article speculates on the likely long-term effects of President Trump’s proposed ~20% cut to the NIH budget. Which is fine, because what has the NIH ever done for us? Okay, there was the whole genetic code thing, plus

…demonstrating how chemicals act to transmit electrical signals between nerve cells, and describing the relationship between the chemical composition of proteins and how they fold into biologically active conformations…these basic research discoveries have led to greater understanding of genetically based diseases, to better antidepressants, and to drugs specially designed to target proteins involved in particular disease processes. Long-term research has dispelled preconceptions that morbidity and dementia are a normal part of the aging process. Some cancers have been cured and deaths from heart attack and stroke have been significantly lowered.

Okay, so they’ve had a few wins. I didn’t come here to talk politics. I just want to point out that the photo accompanying the article is (I think) a volvocine alga:

Algal colonies, Jon Nazca / Reuters.

Algal colonies, Jon Nazca / Reuters.

The image originates from a Reuters article, “Spanish town goes green by turning sewage into clean energy,” which also includes this one:

Algae colonies are pictured with a digital camera through a microscope after being collected from a tank at a waste-water treatment plant in Chiclana de la Frontera, near Cadiz, southern Spain June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Algae colonies are pictured with a digital camera through a microscope after being collected from a tank at a waste-water treatment plant in Chiclana de la Frontera, near Cadiz, southern Spain June 6, 2013. REUTERS/Jon Nazca

Looks to me like Pandorina or one of the other small, spheroidal colonies: Volvulina, Yamagishiella, or Eudorina. 

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