Articles on Microbiology

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Monitoring sewage for virus allows for a quick public health response if any polio is detected. AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Sewage surveillance is the next frontier in the fight against polio

Polio can be circulating through a community long before anyone is paralyzed. Monitoring sewage for the virus lets public health officials short-circuit this 'silent transmission.'
Magnetotactic bacteria owe their special property to the magnetic nanoparticles they contain. Andy Tay

Magnetic bacteria and their unique superpower attract researchers

These single-celled organisms naturally respond to the Earth's weak magnetic field. Scientists are untangling how it all works, looking to future biomedical and other engineering applications.
Former governor general David Johnston invests Toronto scientist Janet Rossant as a Companion of the Order of Canada during a ceremony at Rideau Hall in Ottawa in 2016. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld

Canada’s unsung female heroes of life sciences

Canada's female scientists are superstars in their fields yet most Canadians have never heard of them. On International Day for Women in Science, it's time to give them the recognition they deserve.
Just as organisms that infect us make changes in us - we too make changes in them and they grow and adapt to their human hosts. from www.shutterstock.com

How we change the organisms that infect us

Humans play host to many little passengers. Right now, you’re incubating, shedding or have already been colonised by viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal microorganisms - perhaps even all of them.
In us, on us and all around us. Microbes image via www.shutterstock.com.

Microbes: Our tiny, crucial allies

Long viewed simply as 'germs,' the hidden half of nature turns out to be crucial to the health of people and plants.
Tackling antimicrobial resistance relies on us tackling the interrelated areas of human, animal and environmental health. from www.shutterstock.com

Why the health and agriculture sectors need to work together to stop antibiotic resistance

The federal government is tackling antimicrobial resistance with a 'One Health' approach. But what is One Health and what can it offer that other approaches haven't?
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions? Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.

How many genes does it take to make a person?

The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
It’s bacterial biofilms that give the Grand Prismatic Spring its colorful hues. Karin Sauer

Unlocking the secrets of bacterial biofilms – to use against them

The vast majority of the bacteria that surround us are not free-floating but prefer to band together in cooperative communities called biofilms. How do biofilms form and cooperate?
This attractive specimen, collected from a doorknob in New York, loved being in space. Alex Alexiev/UC Davis

Bacteria found to thrive better in space than on Earth

One common terrestrial bacterium has been found to grow in the microgravity of the International Space Station than on Earth, although it remains a mystery why.
Baby it’s warm inside … we have 200 microbes for every human cell. Agricultural Research Service

Are you overweight? The clue’s in your poo

Our personal collection of microbes is vital for gut health - but new research shows that large-scale analysis of our 'microbiomes' can show if a population is fat or lean. The answer is in sewage.

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