In preparing to write this entry, I consulted a book of aphorisms to get my mind brewing. The author recommended reading no more than four at a time. For the first two that I read, I thought deeply about how I would apply what I was reading to my life. In other words, I thought, “if I were to focus on this saying for a full day, or a few days, what would be the effect?” I continued on and read, well, I don’t know how many more. Suddenly I realized that I no longer remembered what the first few sayings were. I had read a few pages, and if I had waited another fifteen minutes, I could not have told you a single line.
“More people should know that diatoms exist and are responsible for a large amount of the photosynthesis that goes on, globally,” says Eli Spiliotopoulos, a biology senior thesising on diatoms and the microbes they host. Diatoms are a kind of phytoplankton, single-celled photosynthetic organisms known for their unique ability to create shells made of biological glass in a mesmerizing variety of crystal patterns. They are also one of the most diverse eukaryotic lineages on earth, with over two hundred thousand species, each sporting a distinct, intricate silica shell. Marine diatoms are incredibly efficient at reaping energy from sunlight. Diatom photosynthesis is responsible for as much as a fifth of the Earth’s biologically available energy, while producing oxygen for one of every five human breaths.