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Small Is Big: How Bacteria Will Make Our World Cleaner and Healthier – NOVA Next | PBS

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Unlike bacteria which thrive in the human body, soil microbes are incredibly difficult to cultivate in the lab-you can’t just inoculate a Petri dish and return in the morning.

Rather than assuming bacteria and other microorganisms lead lives that occasionally intersect with the macroscopic world, we would come to learn that microbes exert their influence in various and surprising ways.

Jansson and one of her collaborators, Terry Hazen, also a microbiologist at the Berkeley Lab, asked BP, which was already funding Jansson’s work on oil and microbes, if they would be willing to back a study of Gulf bacteria populations.

If we could harness the Gulf’s oil-loving bacteria, they could be used to mop up a spill more quickly. Soil microbiologists-including Jansson-have been studying the intimate relationship between bacteria and plants.

If we’ve known about beneficial soil bacteria for years, why has it taken so long for the field to thrive? One reason is certainly our ability to inexpensively sequence DNA and RNA from soil, making it easier than ever to survey microbial communities.

Jansson is hopeful that by mapping that diversity, we can gain a better understanding of the role bacteria play in the environment and in our bodies-and how we can use them.

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Article originally posted at to.pbs.org

Post Author: Carla Parsons

1 thought on “Small Is Big: How Bacteria Will Make Our World Cleaner and Healthier – NOVA Next | PBS

    Rodney Berry

    (October 29, 2017 - 3:31 am)

    Thank you so much for this piece, on behavior modification being caused by bacteria and viruses of our gut flora… I for years have been cryingout to Science that not only is the filth trying to control our thoughts on foods, but on suicide and is also doing WHAT??? Making us age and die… Go examine the site at http://adamandevewordresearch.blogspot.com/ wherein I speak of what some call the protrance of death, and I call the quorum sensing of mankind/Wo-mankind… The ancient researchers knew, what we this day have proved… Also on facebook at “Adam and Eve now End Aging” …. Respect to all born of Adam/Atoms {My new favorite photo of the great Creator Cell/the Stem Cell}

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