Wednesday, April 29, 2015

Margaret McFall-Ngai waxing on the Beauty of Small Things


Published on Apr 3, 2015
Recent technological advances have presented a new view of the world to biologists, one in which obligate alliances between animals and microbes are the rule rather than the exception. The microbial partners, while sometimes occurring at such densities as to be visible to the naked eye, are often best studied with the use of powerful microscopes. The combination of the subject matter and the microscopic methods render the images startlingly beautiful.

In a November 2014 lecture at Mann Library, Margaret McFall Ngai reflects on new research that has dramatically changed our understanding of the ways in which microbes are crucial to the well-being of plants and animals, and explores the new ways that both scientists and artists are finding to express the beauty of this symbiotic relationship.

Dr. McFall Ngai is Professor of Medical Microbiology and Immunology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and affiliate professor at the University of Hawaii. One of the foremost life scientists in the fields of immunology, symbiosis, and marine biology, she is also serving as Andrew Dickson White Professor-at-Large at Cornell University through 2017.

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