Category Archives: Environmental Microbiology

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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Surfer bums and antibiotic resistant bacteria

Are surfers at greater risk of being colonised by antibiotic resistant bacteria? Anne Leonard, a PhD student at the University of Exeter Medical School, is trying to find out. Anne is part of a research team led by Dr William Gaze … Continue reading

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Do hand dryers spread viruses in public bathrooms?

Seeing someone leave a public toilet without washing their hands is enough to make your stomach turn, but how someone actually dries their hands also has important implications for public health, according to recent research from the University of Westminster. … Continue reading

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Best of the blog 2015

Given that it’s almost time to say goodbye to 2015 and wave hello to 2016, it seems like the right moment to have a look back at some of the posts we’ve had on the blog and reflect on what … Continue reading

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Bioremediation: The pollution solution?

Over the past few months, Rebecca Philp, a PhD student from the Pirbright Institute, has been working at the Microbiology Society as our Public Affairs intern. While researching for a policy briefing, Rebecca learnt a lot about bioremediation. She explains … Continue reading

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Microbes: Martian miners of the future?

In the world of ‘Emerging Tech’, asteroid mining is an idea that won’t go away. As we whittle away our resources here on Earth, many companies are looking to the orbiting lumps of rock in our Solar System as the … Continue reading

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Arsenic in drinking water: Detecting a silent killer

Today at the Society’s Focused Meeting on Industrial Applications of Metal–Microbe Interactions, Dr Joanne Santini spoke about her group’s research into biosensors for arsenic contamination. In the 1970s, the United Nations (UN) and the World Bank led a movement to … Continue reading

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Deadlier than Darth: Death by worm-star

If you happen to be a nematode, worm-stars are probably your worst nightmare. One minute, you’re swimming around minding your own business. The next, you’ve been sucked into a wildly thrashing mass of your peers, all stuck to each other … Continue reading

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Fungal spores: the root of rain?

There’s a branch of chaos theory suggesting that the minute air movements caused by a butterfly flapping its wings could ultimately cause a distant hurricane. Yesterday, at the International Meeting on The Invasive Fungus, Professor Nik Money, from Miami University, … Continue reading

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Could our internal clocks be a mechanism for viral resistance?

What are the underhanded tactics that viruses use during infection? How might the time of day affect the body’s response to a virus? Dr Rachel Edgar, a Research Associate based at the Wellcome Trust-MRC Institute of Metabolic Science at the … Continue reading

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