GERMS Infection: Tomas Vetrovsky (Czech Academy of Sciences)

Adina Howe bio photo By Adina Howe

Tomas Vetrovsky from Petr Baldrian’s group of the Laboratory of Environmental Microbiology and the Institute of Microbiology CAS, Prague visited GERMS for two weeks this April.

I asked him to write a blog post about his experience here at ISU. I’d also like to highlight Tomas’s fantastic game, Garden of Ants (see below), that he developed which is a hybrid between a soil ecosystem and Starcraft. It is in its alpha stage but very playable on both Mac and PC - we had a ton of fun with it. You basically play the role of an ant colony trying to establish colonization in a fungal forest.

Here’s his post:

Most memorable things about visit:

  • Kind and open minded people
  • Wide possibilities for (self)realization
  • Chinese food

What puzzles me about Americans:

  • Taxes
  • Tips
  • It is a huge country

Research Interests:

  • Ecology of microorganisms participating in organic matter transformation.
  • Use of molecular biology methods including the high-throughput-sequencing (HTS) methods to analyze the genomes and transcriptomes of isolated strains and environmental metagenomes and metatranscriptomes.
  • Bioinformatics, data analysis and development of software tools.
  • Social insects

Tools that I share:

  • SEED - is a free-to-use GUI-based sequence editor and pipeline for fast bioinformatic analysis of PCR amplicons on desktop computers according to the suggested workflow

SEED main page

SEED wiki (under construction)

Garden of Ants

Garden of Ants - is a platform independent real-time strategy written in java. The game simulates a living strategy of hypothetical ant species it is mainly inspired by leaf cutting ants - Atta.

Garden of Ants wiki

Garden of Ants demo (password: “jamoebix”)