Category Archives: Environmental Microbiology

Streptomyces: bacterial explorers

Streptomyces bacteria are some of the most studied microbes on the planet. This genus of soil-dwelling organisms is best known for being prolific producers of many of the antibiotics that we use clinically. However, despite 70 years of study, they … Continue reading

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Drumming up disease? Anthrax and African drum hides

In 2006, a man in Scotland died from the first case of anthrax in Britain for 32 years. Then, in 2008, a man in London was fatally infected with the same disease. The properties of both men were sealed up … Continue reading

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Testing the waters: Legionnaires’ disease and the Olympics

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be exploring the molecular methods that enable scientists to investigate disease outbreaks, often in real time. This week, research from the Journal of Medical Microbiology on dealing with outbreaks of Legionnaires’ disease. Water was a big topic of conversation at the Olympics … Continue reading

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Cows on antibiotics release more methane from their dung

It’s a well-known fact that cattle and other livestock are responsible for releasing greenhouse gases like methane into the atmosphere. However, contrary to popular belief, it’s actually bovine burps, not farts, that are to blame. Methane from belching is a … Continue reading

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Is Antarctic wildlife at risk from human E. coli?

Antarctica is the only continent on Earth without a native human population. But at any one time, there are still thousands of people living there, most of them scientists. During the course of their research, it’s inevitable that these scientists … Continue reading

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Can we use models to predict virus outbreaks?

Professor Matthew Baylis from the University of Liverpool will talk about his predictions for future impacts of climate change on infectious diseases of animals at the Microbiology Society Annual Conference today (21 March). If we can anticipate what will happen … Continue reading

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Ash dieback disease: A plague on our ashes

Ash dieback is expected to kill millions of Britain’s ash trees over the next ten years. Caused by a fungus, Hymenoscyphus fraxineus, the disease kills trees by spreading through the branches and strangling the vascular system. Dr Anne Edwards and Prof … Continue reading

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