In 2013, when Tenzin Kunor was in his last semester of college, he learned that he had a type of tuberculosis (TB) that was resistant to the typical drugs that are used to treat TB. At first, he thought it was a bad cold because he had been experiencing chest pains, a sore throat, and coughing. When it got to the point that it was painful to walk, he received his diagnosis: multidrug resistant TB. This bacterial infection requires special medications, and takes a long time to resolve. For Tenzin, it took two years.Continue reading “Mixing a Phage Cocktail to Combat Bacterial Infections”
Emily Collins has spent her life under the shadow of recurring bacterial infections. She spent a significant part of her childhood in the hospital, taking time off from her studies at her university, which cause her to lose her dream job of being a nurse. Emily suffers from chronic ESBL infections. ESBLs, or Extended-Spectrum-Beta-Lactamases, are bacterial chemicals that can break down a range of antibiotics, helping certain bacteria resist a large fraction of antibiotic treatments. As a result, these antibiotic-resistant infections are notoriously difficult to treat and can cause chronic, life-long infections.
Our planet is home to a diverse array of habitats. These can range from cozy, nutrient-rich, temperature-controlled havens to deadly, gruesome battlegrounds where only the fittest survive. Each habitat, no matter how extreme, serves as home to millions of microbes. For instance, the microbes in our bodies are only happy at a balmy 98.6 °F. They live a cozy life, feasting on food scraps and dead cells in and on our bodies. However, not all microbes live in such luxury. Continue reading “Living the Good Life in Uninhabitable Surroundings: How Microbes Adapt to Extreme Environments”
“Microbiome” – it’s a popular buzzword these days, but this word means different things to different people. What is the microbiome, really? How does it affect your body? Does it help you or does it hurt you?
When we think of microbes, most of us immediately think of getting sick, right? Get out your Lysol, your bleach, your antibacterial soap! Scrub until everything is spotlessly clean or risk a deadly infection…right!?!
What does this… Continue reading “Making Cheese Taste Gouda”
By pure volume, America has become one of the largest consumers of wine in the world. Twenty years ago, Americans produced about 440 million gallons of wine, and the average person in the US drank about two gallons of it a year. Continue reading “Where Wine Gets its Kick”