A1: Intro

Hello! My name is Harrison, and I am a Junior studying chemistry. I am very interested in pharmaceutical research and plan on attending pharmacy school in the fall. I am a pharmacy technician at a local pharmacy to gain experience and knowledge for my passion in pharmaceutical studies. When I am not working I spend …

A2: Microbes in the News – Post 3

A new plastic film glows to flag food contaminated with dangerous microbes

Maria Temming – April 17, 2018

Summary: This article discusses a flexible film coated in molecules that glow when they come into contact with E. coli, and the presence of molecules secreted by E. coli which allows for the material to detect food contamination without being in direct contact with bacterial cells.

Critical Analysis/Connections: This article does an excellent job of providing a lot of information about the technology to detect E.coli and also how many individuals are killed due to foodborne illnesses. I personally would love to see this technology in the upcoming future in all packaged food. The only downside is having access to an ultraviolet lamp, but they are easily purchasable at the store and online. The article also mentioned a convenient smartphone fluorescent light attachment which could be used. In class, we discussed proper hygiene and contamination of food products. We also have discussed about how dangerous E.coli can be. This invention is a groundbreaking achievement that will save lives in years to come.

Questions: Could this be used to detect other bacteria? How much does it cost to manufacture the film?

A2: Microbes in the News – Post 2

Can You Change Your Microbiome?


Summary: In this article, the author discusses alteration of the human microbiome. In particular, a microbiome-augmenting treatment was performed on an autistic patient, which drastically improved the behavior of the child. The article further explains how altering the microbes living inside us can have “wide-reaching consequences- sometimes for the better.”

Critical Analysis/Connections: Not only does this article give a great insight of the possibilities of altering the human microbiome for beneficial effects, but it also shows current success in helping an autistic child. The article captures the reader’s attention within the first sentence of the article. After the first paragraph, we get into examples of current microbiome treatments and the future of altering the human microbiome. The article discusses the current and future uses of synbiotics which can be used to reduce cases of sepsis and mortality in premature babies. These topics all connect to our lectures on the human microbiome and the possibilities of future developments

Questions: Are there more than just one success story of the microbiome-augmenting treatment?

What are the negative effects of the microbiome-augmenting treatment?

A2: Microbes in the News – Post 1


Title: “Could You Fight Off Worms? Depends On Your Gut Microbes” – Nadia M. Whitehead

Source: NPR.org

Date: 4/7/18

Summary: This article discusses a discovery of individuals infected with parasites share common microbes even though the individuals live in different geographic locations. The article further discusses how certain bacteria known as  Lachnospiracae is associated with individuals who can fight off worms naturally.

Connections: This article is focused on the microbiome and the possibility of altering the human microbiome to fight parasites naturally without the use of drugs. We have discussed in class about the human microbiome and our bodies natural defenses over disease.

Critical Analysis: I liked how the author explains that 25% percent of the world’s population is infected with parasitic worms. The author further explains how these worms are contracted and that despite decades worth of deworming efforts to exterminate the world of worms, people in developing countries continue to be reinfected. I wish the author would have included graphs/charts on the research that was associated with the article. It would help further explain the research and engage the reader. The writer gives credit to Makedonka Mitreva, the lead researcher on the study reported in the article. Mitreva suggests a great way to rid the world of worms. She hopes to use fermented foods to plant “worm-defending” microbes inside of individuals to help fight worms.

Questions: Can we use the same plan of attack against worms to alter the human microbiome to fight other diseases, such as cancer or common infections?