About Melissa Plooster

Melissa is a PhD student in Cell Biology and Physiology. She is currently studying the mechanisms underlying membrane trafficking and axon guidance in neurons. In her free time she enjoys reading, making jewelry, photography, and cooking.

by Melissa Plooster February 1, 2018

They can be eaten raw, made into countless stews and sauces, and add a tasty addition to nearly any dish. Tomatoes are practically indispensable in any modern kitchen and are one the highest monetary valued fruits. However, they were not … Continue reading

by Melissa Plooster March 2, 2017

During the 1950s, strange events began happening around Minamata Bay, located in the Kumamoto Prefecture of Japan. Fish floated belly-up and birds collapsed while flying. Cats convulsed, salivated excessively, jumped into the sea and drowned, or merely dropped dead. Eventually, … Continue reading

by Melissa Plooster November 8, 2016

Image a researcher has been tasked with studying how hibernation affects a bear’s microbiota, or the collection of microorganisms residing on and in an organism. The researcher begins his day tracking brown bears until he finally finds one in a … Continue reading

by Melissa Plooster March 21, 2016

Imagine a pathogen that makes its host more sexually active. It may not kill its host right away. It may not kill its host at all. It is easy to imagine why this might be useful. The more partners its … Continue reading