Dec 3, 2008

My top 10 favorite bacteria.

Oooo...I just want to hug them and squeeze them and never let them go!! Thomas Joseph liked one of my comments recently and expanded it to a meme of sorts...i'll extend this invitation out to all of you too....

What are your top 10 favorite bacteria???  We're all nerds and we all have secret crushes on various bacteria spp's for various reasons...so don't be shy.

10. Clostridium botulinum - I am impressed with this bacteria because it has convinced us to shoot its horrible toxin right into our face.  It doesn't even need to be cleaver enough to evade the canning industry's strict sterilizing protocols anymore.  *bows down*...the stupidity of humans are no match... 

9. Leuconostoc oenos (now known as Oenococcus oeni) - It converts malic acid to lactic acid and thus reduces the acidity of wine!!  yum, yum, thanks dood!!

8. Bacillus anthracis - I love spore formers...ingenious.  And its crazy how these guys can cause such a none de-script disease (yay flu-like symptoms) at first and then can kill you in a variety of ways depending on their mood.

7. Staphylococcus aureus - I hate that this guy is developing so many resistances.  However, I respect them because they are putting the fire under investors asses to friggin fund the development of new antibacterials.

6. Listeria monocytogenes - It's pretty neat how these boogers move from cell to cell.  They also have a lot to teach us about bacterial signaling...yay for ppGpp and cyclic-di-GMP!!

5. Clostridium tetani - Whoa, have you seen the results from infection with this guy...that looks intense.  

4. Myxococcus xanthus - In your face creationists...these prokaryotes work together to form a multicellular fruiting body.  These guys are crazy cool and will forever make their way into my thoughts and best wishes.

3. Pseudomonas aeruginosa - These guys are so cute and innocuous (and my they smell lovely)...then...bam they have taken over your body just when you thought it couldn't get any worse.  They will also (hopefully) grant me my Ph.D by letting me genetically manipulate them and expose them to weird chemicals.  *hugs the plates on my bench*

2. Mycobacterium tuberculosis - R-e-s-p-e-c-t....sing it with me.....These guys infect most of the world, kill tons of people a year, AND has the general public thinking its an old disease (like small pox) and doesn't exist anymore.  HA.  They also know how to go dormant in our bodies which is pretty cool...but my favorite part is that they cover themselves in thick mycolic acids (lipids with 80-100 carbons...whoa, thats a thick friggin goo.)

1. Helicobacter pylori - This guy is absolutely my favorite pet.  He is uber cute with his multiple flagella's and helix shape.  It completely baffles me that he has found the highly acidic stomach comfortable and a place to hang his hat.  I can't wait to see what research will reveal about this bugger.

10 comments:

Thomas Joseph said...

Excellent list!

This meme will catch on yet! *muwahaha*

Epicanis ( http://www.bigroom.org/wordpress ) said...

B. anthracis? Jeez, give Bacillus cereus a couple of plasmids and it thinks it's a whole new species...

(Don't mind me, I think the season has me in full "Bah! Humbug!" mode. Plus, I'm still ashamed to have forgotten about malo-lactic fermentation in my list.)

quietandsmalladventures said...

exxxxx-celllllllent, exxxxx-celllllent (read in the Count from Sesame Street's voice)....

my fave's off the list: S. aureus (oooh mobile genetic elements!!) and C. botulinum (the most deadly toxin ever)... i might need to do this with viruses.... :)

Dr. J said...

Tremendous post!

I may do my own list or I may do a list of the top ten features of bacteria that are better than eukaryotes!!!

Yes, S.aureus and C. botulinum are amazingly impressive bugs too as is my own (which maybe can be grouped with Pseudomonas - Burkholderia). I also like the spirochetes like Treponema pallidum with it's screw like motion or archae, I could just go on and on, oh dear!

Ed Yong said...

Brilliant meme this. My picks

IAMB said...

Yes... brilliant meme. Far better than the usual silly types. Now I have to go and make my list (I'm going to cheat and include Archaea though, so don't hurt me... I'm biased).

Carlo said...

Nice list! Been a long time since I did the microbiology thing - I'd have to modify this meme to be my top 10 insect species or somesuch...

Hermitage said...

snatch! Best meme ever. I just might have to dust off my brain and do this one...

IAMB said...

Mine's up, though I cheated for my #1.

Heh... verification word "cooty". I shit you not.

Dr. A said...

Fabulous list! The only thing you are missing are Pseudomonas or Burkholderia complex. Personally, I'd replace B. anthracis ;)