WEB TEXT: Living Small

See allHide authors and affiliations

Science  29 Apr 2005:
Vol. 308, Issue 5722, pp. 609
DOI: 10.1126/science.308.5722.609b

A restless throng of hydrogen ions lurks above a bacterial membrane. Pumped out by the cell, the ions push back across the membrane and turn molecular turbines that fashion ATP to power the microbe. Students can discover more about how a bacterium works at this online microbiology textbook from Tim Paustian of the University of Wisconsin, Madison. Still under construction, the site includes 17 partial or complete chapters covering everything from bacterial structure and nutrition to viral pathogens like the pesky rhinoviruses that cause colds. The text weaves in plenty of animations and fun tidbits, such as a section on the hardy Pseudomonas bacteria that can eat nitroglycerin and TNT. Paustian also comments on bugs in the news, including the bird flu outbreak in Southeast Asia.


Navigate This Article