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Researchers Lead Google+ Hangout About Recent Microbial Study

Research posts

Last Friday, June 21, Assistant Curator Eunsoo Kim and Curator Rob DeSalle answered questions about recent microbial research in a Google Science Fair 2013+ Hangout on Air. Watch the Google+ Hangout here.

In recent work, Dr. Kim and her colleague Dr. Shinichiro Mauyama of Japan's National Institute for Basic Biology have shown microscopic evidence for bacteria-eating behavior, as well as the structural basis for this behavior, in green alga. This work provides insight into how early eukaryotic organisms may have acquired specialized cellular structures, called chloroplasts, responsible for converting light into food and became photosynthetic.  

Dr. Kim's research focuses on the evolution and ecology of protists. Very abundant and diverse (though usually single-celled), protists—including most algae—are eukaryotic organisms that aren't classified as plants, animals, or fungi. Dr. Kim studies some of these mostly aquatic microbes here at the Museum−and in the field, where she has identified new species and new genera.

Learn more about her work in this video.

Read more about Dr. Kim's recent research on bacteria-eating algae and the origin of photosynthesis.

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