Von Neumann's Machine

Magical & thermodynamical, non-classical & stochastical!

Nitrogen Fixing Bacteria

Two interesting items about nitrogen fixing bacteria, and how new technology and methods are changing changing science.  First about the role of nitrogen fixing bacteria in the history of the evolution of life on Earth.

http://www.montana.edu/cpa/news/nwview.php?article=9943

Second, a soil dwelling nitrogen fixing bacteria as a potentially abundant source of natural products.

http://www.microbeworld.org/index.php?option=com_jlibrary&view=article&id=6858

Soil bacteria have long been a major source of antibiotic compounds, but this particular bacterium has never been considered that interesting until genome mining revealed loads of potentially interesting biosynthetic pathways.  And in the first the investigators used statistics and modeling to draw conclusions about ancient microbes.  Great stuff both.

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