Author’s note: I don’t just write on Medium. In fact there are some place where I write that people are forced to read me. It’s great, a little place I call work. With a captive audience of literally tens I have guaranteed readership and not one critical word yet. I started this little thing called Microbe of the Month in September 2016. I plan to publish them all here starting with the very first edition. Thank God for the sent mail folder, so many times it has saved my life. Of course I will have to remove a few things and edit others to protect the identity of my place of employment. Local management tolerates these but higher ups might be less enthusiastic. Enjoy.
Welcome to the first edition of the all new special feature, microbe of the month! Each month you will receive an email describing another fascinating and unbelievably crazy new microorganism. Mostly the microbe of the month will be related to the work we do in food safety. However, from time to time, and this is one of those times, we will venture outside the realm of food safety to look at other microorganisms that I think are super cool. Sorry but I am a nerd. This month I present to you…drumroll please…the tardigrade. Also known as the water bear. You have to see this little guy to believe it. Boiling water, absolute zero, radiation, no water at all, the tardigrade laughs at such things. Plus he really does look like a little bear. Very cute! Check him or her out at http://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2016/1/12/10755204/tardigrades-waterbears-explained
Tardigrades are eukaryotes and thus more closely related to animals than bacteria but they are still microorganisms. You know what else are eukaryotes that we test for almost every day? Send me an email with your answer. The first correct response will be entitled to a prize. If you can explain to me the difference between prokaryotes and eukaryotes the prize will be doubled!
Daniel DeMarco, Ph.D.