Just how long does it take from idea to picture book?

The inspiration for Big Cat Pepper was my then-seven year old son, Willie, grabbing handfuls of rose petals and scattering them into the open grave on top of his favorite pet, Ratty Three.

Now a grad student in Evolutionary Ecology, Will has just co-published a paper in the ISME Journal: "Rhizobitoxine producers gain more poly-3-hydroxybutyrate in symbiosis than do competing rhizobia, but reduce plant growth

William C Ratcliff and R Ford Denison
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN, USA

Legume sanctions against rhizobia that fix less nitrogen should exert a strong selection for more beneficial genotypes of rhizobia, but strains providing little host benefit are common.... ISME Journal advance online publication, 9 April 2009; doi:10.1038/ismej.2009.38."

That's how long.