Bacteria giveth and taketh away

Bacteria usually get a “bad rep.” Admittedly as a microbiologist, you’re taught more about how to kill bacteria than how to use them for the betterment of humankind. However, the truth is that bacteria aren’t going anywhere. Why should they be eradicated? They were here before us, they’re apart of us now, and they’ll probably be here when the human race is no more.

Yet, old habits die hard. The truth is that the average person is more concerned with the 99% antiseptic activity in their “Purell” hand sanitizer, than about how the microflora in their gut helps them digest food and absorb nutrients. Although it is true that pathogenic bacteria can be absolutely devastating, generalized “bacteria-phobia” is probably why the field of patenting genetically modified, new and useful bacteria is so untouched.

Well I’ve decided to dedicate today’s posting to a list of three ways bacteria may help or is helping humanity:

1. Scientist have found a bacterium from the deep sea that has the ability to fight human tumors

Check it out at: http://www.nature.com/ja/journal/vaop/ncurrent/full/ja20143a.html

2. Bacteria placed in a non-toxic liquid crystal may help physicians detect diseases sooner

Article: http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2014/02/140217200749.htm

3. Bacteria help create synthetic insulin, which helps patients with diabetes

http://www.dnalc.org/view/15928-How-insulin-is-made-using-bacteria.html

The truth is, bacteria do a whole lot more. With all of these advances taking place it is only a matter of time before “bacteria” and “patents” become frequent bedfellows, changing the world one discovery at a time.

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