Category Archives: Environmental Microbiology

Sewage science: Are bacteria just the tip of the fatberg?

The UK population continues to have a morbid fascination with fatbergs; these mammoth clumps of oil, wet wipes and human waste coagulate in sewers and grow with every flush. In 2017, a 130-tonne fatberg dubbed ‘The Beast’ made national headlines … Continue reading

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Plastic waste: A global problem and an opportunity for microbiology

Public appetite for reducing plastic waste is insatiable following the release of Blue Planet II; a series narrated by David Attenborough and focusing on the impact of human activity on the marine. At the Microbiology Society’s Annual Conference 2018, delegates … Continue reading

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Podcast: Does air pollution make bacteria more dangerous?

Air pollution is a big problem. It’s our single largest environmental health risk, and causes an eighth of all global deaths worldwide. We know that air pollution increases respiratory diseases and the risk of infections like pneumonia. But now, new … Continue reading

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Pioneer fungi start degrading dead wood before it hits the ground

Next time you go walking in a forest during the summer months, take a look up and see if you can spot any branches missing their leaves. It might not seem obvious at first, but you’re looking at a poorly … Continue reading

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Podcast: Antarctic microbes from Scott’s Discovery Expedition

In 1901, Captain Robert Falcon Scott led a team of men on the Discovery Expedition to explore the mysteries of Antarctica. The expedition is famous for its scientific legacy, including the discovery of snow-free valleys, emperor penguin colonies and the … Continue reading

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In New York State, bats are showing signs of recovery from white-nose syndrome

Bats in North America are in trouble. Millions of them have died over the past few years, over an area that stretches for thousands of miles, from Nova Scotia in Eastern Canada to Nebraska in the heart of North America. … Continue reading

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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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