Bacteria Are More Capable of Complex Decision-Making Than Thought

Hi! This is my article from Jan. 20, a little late sorry about that!

As I read this article I noticed the lead researcher, Gladys Alexandre, emphasizing that by manipulating the receptors in bacteria that there would be all-sorts of breakthroughs in medicines to fight different bacteria. I would like all who read this article to remember that (though taken directly from materials provided by University of Tennessee at Knoxville) it has been written for a wide public audience. This means that the researchers would most likely point out areas of the project that the general reader would find most useful. In this case it was the idea that there is now a new way to develop antibiotics, possibly a “full-proof” way.

This sounds great but bacteria are always evolving and adapting to different environments and even to what’s attacking them. That is why the scare of the “Super Bug” is so real. Even if scientists are able to figure out which precise receptor controls bad bacteria and make medicines tailored to that bug I’m sure that the strain would eventually mutate into something else.

So, basically, this research is aimed at better using nitrogen fixing bacteria to improve agricultural practices, any talk of the medicine aspect of it is purely to keep getting funded.

All the best,

Unpasteurizedmilk products not safe for consumption

Hi here the article that I discussed on Jan25thin the class. It Argues about the importance of heating up raw milk before using it which is recommended for health, how ever some people say that there are beneficial aspect to this as well.

here are the link to the article :

here is a blog which is against it

part one :

part two :

For more information on unpasteurized milk, and food borne infections, please visit:

Darya Mardani

Microbial Processing at Whistler Wastewater Treatment Plant

The following article in Whistler’s Pique Newsmagazine discusses the recent re-development of Whistler’s wastewater treatment plant. The new technologies involve the use of microbial processing as a means of both de-toxifying wastewater, and using heat of microbial metabolism waste energy to heat surrounding areas of the municipality.

This article is relevant in that it highlights the role of microbes in our immediate society. Microbial processes are constantly occurring in our society, however acknowledgement of that presence is not always present. Whistler’s introduction of microbe-based wastewater treatment processes exemplifies the capabilities of microbial metabolism, and the implications of those capabilities within our society. I find this article particularly noteworthy due to its focus on the role of microbes in the development of a sustainable infrastructure. Not only does this wastewater treatment plant incorporate the use of microorganism into the processing of wastes, the energy expended during the metabolizing processes is harnessed to promote the reduction of energy expenditure for household processes such as heat and hot water.

Wastewater and sewage treatment is an extensive process that involves both “good” and “bad” microorganisms. For further information on these processes, have a look at chapter 17 of our textbook: Microbes: An Invisible Universe.

Here is the article on the PIQUE website:

Additional information about the Wastewater Treatment Plant can be found on the Whistler website:


Bacteria in Hospitals – Presentation Post

Okay, my thoughts on this go as follows:

#1 Funding

“Cost is a factor with both studies’ methods. Dr. Darouiche said chlorhexidine-alcohol costs about $12 per patient compared with $3.50 for povidone-iodine. His study was financed by CareFusion, which makes both products. It had no access to the data.”

Yes it had no access but I’m sure they new what the result would be in favor of and of course they want hospitals to buy the more expensive one. Also I notice that they only compared antiseptics that they produce.

#2 Control

“The researchers found that patients receiving the standard disinfectant, povidone-iodine, were significantly more likely to develop infections. Those cleaned with the alternative, chlorhexidine-alcohol, got 40 percent fewer total infections, and half as many staphylococcus aureus infections.”

There are a few control factors that need to be addressed (if they weren’t):

Did these patients have visitors during recuperation and were they tested for Staph?

What about the nurses, doctors, cleaners ect. or other points of contamination.

#3 Percent of what?

“40 percent fewer total infections, and half as many staphylococcus aureus infections.”

Yes 40% fewer total infections but out of what. How many exactly came down with infections? 10? 100? ect.

All in all though, it seems that this is a great short term idea but how will we ensure that bacteria doesn’t become even more resilient to this type of approach.

I’m the host

I thought I’d share with you a personal bacterial story. We all like personal stories right? There is, at this very moment a little community of what I like to call ‘white dots’ in the back of my throat. The doctor I saw about them this morning refered to the dots as pus, but that’s revolting so I’ll continue to call them dots.

It all started with a sore throat last Thursday. No problem. I took the steps any responsible person would take: gargle with salt water, refrain from drinking irritant liquids like juice and coffee and get lot’s of rest. I pride myself on being an excellent hand-washer so I thought it unlikely that I could be really getting sick.

Then, my immune system kicked in. It started with a slight fever then swollen glands and it’s obviously failed me because now I’ve got a terribly irritated throat and have trouble swallowing. This is because, as I found out this morning from the doctor, I am the host to… streptococcal bacterium (a.k.a. Strep-throat). Well, the doctor didn’t exactly say: ‘you are the host’, but I am. Clearly.

Luckily penicillin cures it up fast. Unluckily, I’m allergic to that miracle drug so I get second best: erythromycin.

Not to scare anyone, but I’ve included a link to a news story about a “Rare, deadly strain of strep bacteria moving across Canada”. You probably shouldn’t visit me right now.

Here’s the link for your reading pleasure/safety:

Scientist Gets Experimental Ebola Vaccine

AOL News

BERLIN (March 27) – It was a nightmare scenario: A scientist accidentally pricked her finger with a needle used to inject the deadly Ebola virus into lab mice. Within hours, members of a tightly bound, yet far-flung community of virologists, biologists and others were tensely gathered in a trans-Atlantic telephone conference trying to map out a way to save her life.

Less than 24 hours later, an experimental vaccine — never before tried on humans — was on its way to Germany from a lab in Canada.