Hans Kristian Kotlar began his career as a cancer researcher and says he was "the last idealist who left to turn industrialist." His professed "love of a pretty woman" lured him to another part of Norway, where ended up using his early training in polymer chemistry to work for StatoilHydro, the Norwegian state oil company which chiefly operates in the North Sea. Now the head of StatoilHydro's R&D, he looks for interesting microorganisms in oil deposits under the North Sea, which he describes in "Can Bacteria Rescue the Oil Industry?".

As a graduate student, James Lyons-Weiler was asked if bioinformatics was a fad or was something real. Intrigued, he investigated and became hooked. In this month's opinion ("Time for an IP Share Market?"), Lyons-Weiler argues that investors should put their money towards specific intellectual property, not just the companies that own it. The idea came because...

With an undergraduate degree in mechanical engineering and a graduate degree in bioengineering, intern Tia Ghose says she always liked The Scientist because it "was accessible to the general public but also had articles meant for the scientific community." Ghose explains that she's always been torn between writing and learning; talking to scientists and writing about their work allows her to combine both. She comes to us from internships at Science News, where she wrote about plant biology, neuroscience, and genetics, as well as the online environmental magazine Grist.

Wesley Allsbrook is this month's cover artist and illustrator of "Can Bacteria Rescue the Oil Industry?" . A 2007 graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design, Allsbrook says part of her early success as a freelance illustrator is a result of working all during her schooling with two professors who were active in the field. Once graduated, before she had landed anywhere, "I had a job with the New York Times and I didn't have a chair to sit on or any materials and was calling friends to find a place to sit and do the work." Now happily settled in Brooklyn, Allsbrook has the chair, materials, and the work all in hand.

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