Adventure Travel Guide to the Microbial World

We are a group of faculty and first year graduate students who are embarking on a travel expedition into the microbial world.  Check this site for a description of what we learn and see along the journey.   You can also follow us on Twitter!  @ClassMicro

We welcome your constructive feedback!

Broadening the Microbiome: Fungi in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)

I recently read a blog post by Christy Clutter that discusses the role of fungi in Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is characterized by immune hyperactivation that damages the intestine of about 3 million Americans, and includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although 240 genetic variations associated with increased likelihood of IBD development have been identified, epidemiological studies show that strong environmental factors such as diet, antibiotic exposure, and smoking can affect individual susceptibility.

Alcanivorax, an efficient cleaner of our oceans

Our oceans are chock-full of microbes, from the clear blue waters to the darkest depths.  In fact, the reason ocean water is so clear in some areas is due to the nearly perfect utilization of nutrients in the water.  Even though many people might find the thought of bacteria disgusting, they are invaluable members of marine ecosystems.  Along with other microbial life, they are responsible for the majority of the nutrient cycling that

“Tis the season to be… artistic with agar?!”

John Fowles, an acclaimed English novelist, wrote, “All good science is art. And all good art is science,” demonstrating the interdependence of these two disciplines. Microbiologists across the world strive to merge science and art in a novel way—by creatively plating bacteria on agar to produce microbial art. Dr.

Biofilm Competition for Maximum Growth

Brushing your teeth is important to maintain proper dental hygiene. The mouth contains millions of bacteria that accumulate over time when brushing or flossing is not being regularly practiced. The accumulation of bacteria will result in a sticky film of bacteria adhering to the teeth known as a biofilm.

Microbes-Let's Wine About Them

Many microbiologists will experiment with their own homebrewing or winemaking at some point, combining their two favorite past times- alcohol and microbes!  Recently there has been a shift in the larger brewing community, with even more attention to the microbes.  As microbiologists, we know microbes live everywhere, and can influence just about everything.  It comes as no surprise in the article posted by the blog, “Small Things Considered,” how microbes are starti