Wikipedia:Featured article candidates/Bacteria

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Self-nomination. Bacteria are a core topic in biology, medicine, biochemistry and biotechnology. The article is intended to be a wide introduction to a general audience, but still contain sufficient detail to be comprehensive. TimVickers 04:40, 27 November 2006 (UTC)

  • Strong Support:Bacteria are central to all of life. This article does a good job of getting across all the important information about bacteria, while not inundating us all with useless academic specifics. This article was also fully peer-reviewed. There are too few featured articles that cover important, core topics; this is should be one of the few. Adenosine | Talk 05:44, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Neutral Some of your footnotes end with a few spaces and then a period and/or a comma. These need to be cleaned up. This is in excellent article, but it's probably too technical for the average reader. Rlevse 11:04, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
I find the people with the technical knowledge often just read over the difficult phrases without realizing it: please point to some phrases and then we could fix them; I find this very important for FA.--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:50, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support; an excellent article, with plenty of clear, informative SVG diagrams. The only comment I have is that I'd like to see articles (even just stubs) for Thermoproteus, Sporohalobacter and Anaerobacter, the only red links in the article. Laïka 11:46, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Done. TimVickers 17:11, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support This is a great article, you've done a really good job. ← ANAS Talk? 12:40, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support, nice work again. I don't know the territory, but I know Tim will speedily fix anything that comes up. Tim, can you add ISBNs to the books in Further reading? Also, those darn cite templates are giving you double punctuation after the article names - can you remove the extra (I hate the cite templates :-) ? Sandy (Talk) 15:26, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Double punctuation fixed throughout. Hope Tim doesn't mind... Fvasconcellos 16:09, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Of course I don't mind! Thank you very much. ISBNs added. TimVickers 16:45, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong Support per Adenosine. Fvasconcellos 15:49, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. No questions. - Samsara (talk  contribs) 17:38, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - Great article. Nat91 18:27, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support --WS 18:36, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - great work.--Dwaipayan (talk) 20:53, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support — A good, solid, well-referenced article that is nicely written and an interesting read (although I found a few of the sentences are somewhat awkward.) I only had a few issues:
    • This sentence needs some work: "However, using gene sequences to reconstruct the bacterial phylogeny and this indicates that bacteria diverged first from the archaeal/eukaryotic lineage..."
    • Please use — in: "taxes - for"
    • "A spectrum of interactions with human hosts can be shown by any one bacterial species." I'm a little unclear about this sentence. Does it mean that every bacterial species can be hosted by a human, and that it will also show a variety of interactions?
Thanks. — RJH (talk) 23:45, 27 November 2006 (UTC)
Problem sentences re-worded for clarity. TimVickers 00:13, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. — RJH (talk) 16:58, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment Some of the earlier captions could use some wikilinks. Also Anton van Leeuwenhoek could be expanded and some context provided for the users who inevitably look at pictures first :) Gzkn 00:53, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Captions expanded and linked. TimVickers 02:16, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support another excellent article, Tim! If the 'average reader' can't understand this, the average reader is in trouble. The only substantive suggestions I have are to add a bit more on bacteriophage, as they're only mentioned as a means of mutation at the moment (come to think of it, I'm not actually sure how big a role they play in nature) and to add at least a mention of chemosynthesis. Also a couple of prose comments:
  • In the lead: "pathogenic bacteria cause infectious diseases. These diseases include..." - why two sentences? Most of the text is very well-written, but these two sentences have a very simplistic/'written for children' tone.
Rewritten. TimVickers 03:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • "prokaryotic life consists of two very different groups of organisms that evolved independently" - a casual/clueless reader could get the impression that they're two totally unrelated lineages with no common ancestor. Also, the 'origin' section could use a mention of the approximate time of divergence between bacteria and archaea - this estimate must exist, even if the error bars are enormous.
Added time of divergence and reference (error is 700 million years!). TimVickers 03:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Image:Flagella.png could use a more descriptive caption, especially given the tone and target audience for which the rest of the text is written. Opabinia regalis 01:26, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Expanded caption. TimVickers 03:37, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Replaced with link to Myxobacteria. TimVickers 03:38, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support - Another great article. Extensive, well referenced and illustrated --Splette :) How's my driving? 03:32, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. Well-cited, comprehensive and well written. Deserves the star. - Mgm|(talk) 12:40, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support. I'm been watching your work on this article in the last week or so, what an amazing improvement. Michaelas10 (Talk) 17:29, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Conditional support. There are nine paragraphs without sources at the end, including a couple of paragraphs without any sources. In general it looks pretty good, though. Hurricanehink (talk) 19:27, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Additional references added for last section, now we have 120 sources! TimVickers 20:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
Great, full support, then. Hurricanehink (talk) 00:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support: Tim has done an excellent job addressing all concerns with this article. I see no reason it wouldn't qualify. Josh 19:43, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support A strong article on a broad subject.--Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 21:10, 28 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Strong support, a very well-written and comprehensive article. Nice work. --Coredesat 05:10, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Support Wow!! I have been working on this article for a while and I click in and find there is suddenly a lot of action. I have noted here some points from my to do list for the article:
  • The referencing was severely lacking and that is now comprehensively resolved. There are so many now I wonder if they could go right down the bottom and then move the further reading and links up so they can be seen? Perhaps the Further reading should also contain "Brock Biology of Microorganisms" a text that most microbiologists think of as standard issue and most likely the first port of call for someone wanting to read more about bacteria. I can do this.
Excellent point a major omission! I added Brock, but we should keep the order of sections as this is standard format for Wikipedia articles and conforms to the manual of style. TimVickers 17:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Actually, I added Brock... you corrected my formatting. Thanks. --Azaroonus 19:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I think that the "groups and identification" section could be turned on its head and focus on the current methods first and the history can take a back seat (or my preference - be deleted). The discussion page and other places focus on the taxonomy issue with much debate and it would be nice to have a clear section here.
Please don't delete all the history, but condensing it a little could be useful. TimVickers 17:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
I have rewritten this section now and I think that it covers the topic more comprehensively. Thanks for your editing, Tim. I still want to add a sentence on environmental DNA sequencing for identifying the "uncultured majority". BTW: Do you think that there is overlap in the identification section with the Growth section? I have never been --Azaroonus 06:38, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
No problem, thanks for your additions. There is some overlap certainly, since the two areas do overlap. However the growth section concentrates on the process of bacterial growth, while the identification section concentrates on the use of selective growth in identification. TimVickers 15:36, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
  • In my suggestions for the article outline on the discussion page I suggested there should be three sections that deal with the topics more of less covered in the current "Interaction with other organisms" and "Bacteria in Industry" sections. I suggest: Bacteria and Human health, Bacteria and the environment and Bacteria and industry/science. I think that it is important to add a section that addresses bacteria in the environment, especially with respect to their role in global nutrient cycling. The importance of this issue is outlined in the introduction but the text does not really follow through. I do not know what the time scale is on these reviews (it seems to be going quickly) but I can put something together on the weekend.
Some more material on nutrient cycling to the "Mutualists" section would be good, it would be great if you could add that to the article. However, section headings should not repeat the title of the article and I'm afraid I don't see why re-arrangeing these sections would be an improvement. Could you explain why this would be better? TimVickers 17:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
The article already details the structure and function of bacteria but to humanity the significance of bacteria relates to their role in the global ecosystem and their occasional tendency to cause disease. I think that that warrants treatment that is not covered by the scope of the "mutualists" section. If using the word bacteria in a sub-heading is against Wiki conventions what about Ecological significance. I will write something anyway and let's see how it looks.--Azaroonus 19:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Despite these comments, I think that this is an article worthy of FA status. The new images are really nice, too!--Azaroonus 12:14, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
Thank you. TimVickers 17:17, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • The FAC notice would be better at the top of the discussion page. I've made a significant change in the lead, so that the bigger, less technical picture appears first. There's a troublesome statement in the lead: "However, most of these bacteria have not been characterised, since only about half of the phyla of bacteria have species that can be cultured in the laboratory." Are you sure that the inability to culture in the lab is the only reason? (Tension between "most" vs "only about half", plus I balked at it from common knowledge, anyway.) It's looking excellent, but I've only looked at the lead thus far. Tony 15:34, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
A great improvement to the lead, thank you Tony. If you can't culture a microorganism in the lab that is a huge impediment to characterisation. The only other information you can get is distribution in the environment from sequencing its nucleic acid from environmental samples. There is no contradiction since even if a phyla has representatives that can be cultured, this may still leave the majority of bacteria in this phyla uncharacterised. I've changed this from "since" to "and" which removes implication of one being a consequence of the other. TimVickers 17:15, 29 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Neutral, tilting towards support. Great overall (excellent referencing), but some minor problems. There is a bit of inconsistency with the serial comma, but that can be easily fixed. Also, there are occasional grammatical mistakes and a few punctuation errors (double check the usage of colons and semicolons in the article). Occasional run-ons (ex: These differences in structure can produce differences in antibiotic susceptibility, for instance vancomycin can only kill Gram positive bacteria and is ineffective against pathogens such as Haemophilus influenzae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa.[48] | These structures can … such as macrophages,[54] they can act as … in cell recognition, as well as aiding … formation.[55] | Many types of bacteriophage exist, some simply infect... | Bacteriophages can contain genes that contribute to its host's phenotype, for example...). AZ t 00:12, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Fixed the errors you listed and any others I saw. I standardised to a restrictive usage of commas - if I missed anything please point the remaining errors out. TimVickers 05:20, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
Looks good now, if there is any other problems I find they'll probably be minor and I'll address them myself. Great job! AZ t 22:47, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Comment I know some don't see it as important, but I do feel it important to put the dates each web based article was last accessed. If they're there it increases the likelihood of finding them through the Wayback Machine should they become dead - if a link becomes dead and cannot be found, it would have to be removed. LuciferMorgan 14:52, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
This is because the publication date provides this information for all of the modern articles. However, this isn't applicable for the historical papers with no PMID, so I've added the access date for these. TimVickers 16:31, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • I've added some images, added something about actin polymerization, removed some external links... and now fully support. Great job Tim!--Steven Fruitsmaak (Reply) 16:48, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • Hot support. Crucial article, very high quality for those microscopic little buggers :-) (they make my patients ill, but they also produce the recombinant drugs I expect to be prescribing when I grow up). JFW | T@lk 17:02, 30 November 2006 (UTC)
  • comment I think the History sections needs to be harmonized in a direction or the other with that at Microbiology. Circeus 16:02, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
I'm sorry, I'm not sure I understand your comment. Do you think there is too much overlap between this article and another article? TimVickers 18:27, 1 December 2006 (UTC)
If you mean that you think that the history section in Bacteria should be merged with the history section in microbiology then I agree. I like the origin and evolution section but I think that the "history of bacteriology" has a more fitting home in bacteriology or in microbiology. Comment added 15:31, 2 December 2006 by Azaroonus
  • Support A ray of light — beautiful, comprehensive treatment of an absolutely fundamental topic of biology. Willow 12:37, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Support A fine article. Onco_p53 00:32, 3 December 2006 (UTC)

Announcement and request for feedback

An editor has made some major changes in the structure of the section of the article dealing with interactions with other organisms. As stability is a criterion in FAC, I wish to proceed by consensus. Which do people think is the better version? Version 1 or Version 2 TimVickers 21:09, 2 December 2006 (UTC)

  • I prefer version 1; comparing mutual to pathogenic bacteria seems better than "significance to the environment" and "to human health"; this could be seen as almost arbitrary; bacteria behave exactly the same in wild animals to in humans; virtually everything under "to human health" could apply equally to a dog or a cow or a snake. Also, the stubby, one sentance paragraph "Bacterial diseases are important in agriculture, with bacteria causing leaf spot, fireblight and wilts in plants, as well as Johne's disease, mastitis, salmonella and anthrax in farm animals." has been added since then. I personally do not like this paragraph at all as it is short, and the phrasing ("are important") implies that farmers want their plants to succumb to fireblight and wilt! Laïka 21:22, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Back to the earlier version (1), please. This is not an improvement. Sandy (Talk) 22:08, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I prefer version 1. Making a distinction between 'good' and 'bad' bacteria seems more logical to me than the arbitrary distinction in the other version. (Perhaps there's a few facts from version 2 you can incorporate without affecting the flow too much, though.) Also, "are important" is weasly worded IMO. - Mgm|(talk) 22:14, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Revert to version 1, please. Samsara (talk  contribs) 22:36, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • Version 1 seems clearly better than the present Version 2, both in writing and logic. For example, the triple repetition of "Significance of..." in the section titles seems — uninspired, while the facts of the new sections are chosen and laid out haphazardly, with poor integration with (and development from) the rest of the article. Nevertheless, I think I might appreciate Azaroonus' intentions, e.g., targeting the text more precisely at what an average lay-reader might want to glean from the article. I also feel that a slightly longer article might be OK, provided that it were written and organized with utter clarity and inexorable flow. Unfortunately, version 2 is not that article, as Azaroonus himself would likely admit. Moreover, this doesn't seem like a good time to be making rash major re-writes. I suggest that we discuss our long-term goals and concerns for the article over at Talk:Bacteria over the next few weeks and consider what changes we might make to reach them. Eile mit Weile and all that, Willow 22:49, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
  • With respect to Azaroonus, strong preference for version 1. Version 2's edited sections are redundant (both with each other and with the rest of the text) and have a distinctly human-centric perspective that is not entirely encyclopedic in an article about bacteria as a general subject. I could be persuaded that there's a use for a specific subarticle on bacteria in human health that would be even more layman-oriented (if there already is one I don't know about, can it be more prominently linked in the interactions section?), but that's largely immaterial to this FAC nomination. Opabinia regalis 00:07, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
Good points Opabinia and Willow. I tried to deal with this by choosing Version 1, but adding the material in version 2 to a new article called bacteria and human health. I put a link to this new daughter article at the top of the Pathogens section. The current article is now not substantially different to the original, but of course incorporating the edits and suggestions from the reviewers here. TimVickers 00:26, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • I also prefer Version 1. As much as I like "larger picture" enviromental information, I really hate the overt focus on human health. Would a section on vetrinary health be significatly different? Wikpedia generally is biased towards a focus on humans (look up any organ or general bodily process), can we please avoid continuing this trend in a major topic on non-human lifeforms? --Birgitte§β ʈ Talk 05:22, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • It appears I'm late to the party, so I'll make it quick: Version 1. Fvasconcellos 13:20, 3 December 2006 (UTC)
  • This article is now a FA, thank you all for your help and suggestions during this process. TimVickers 05:45, 3 December 2006 (UTC)