It's now "winter" on the Central Coast, which means it is time to start reading group at my house on Sunday nights because weekend field work has come to an end. Here is a group of Cal Poly's finest eating Fatte's pizza and getting ready to discuss a paper:
And spoiling Kuma:
I chose a paper out of Mark Merchant's lab on the antimicrobial properties of alligator blood. This is really fascinating stuff. Alligators have proteins in their blood that can kill virtually any microbe, including the bacteria E. coli and even MRSA (the antibiotic-resistant bacteria)! Better yet, the blood can kill HIV!
Alligators engage in territorial disputes that often end in wounds. Also, they get chopped by boat propellers now and then. Either way, it can be hard to heal when you live in the water. So, with their amazing immune systems, alligators appear to have solved that one. The really cool thing about this study was that they ran the samples alongside human samples, which were puny and pathetic in terms of killing microbes.