This month, we spoke with Dr Alexandre de Menezes, soil microbiologist. Last year, Dr de Menezes went to the Chernobyl Exclusion Zone to see how the nuclear disaster is impacting the microbes in the soil, over 30 years later. We will cover what the soil microbiome is, why is it important and how microbes are affected by radiation
This month, we have spoken with Dr Nicholas Johnson about the ongoing outbreak of West Nile Virus in Europe. Dr Johnson researches arboviruses, which are spread by mosquitoes at the UK's Animal and Plant Health Agency (APHA).
To find out more about the research done at APHA: www.gov.uk/government/organisa…ency/about/research
For outbreak reports from the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control: ecdc.europa.eu/en/home
To find out more about Flaviviruses: jgv.microbiologyresearch.org/content/jo…v.0.000672
This month, we've caught up with microbiologist Ruth MacLaren, owner and founder of Sciencedipity.
This May, Ruth was at the Eden Project running a number of activities as part of their launch week for their new exhibit Invisible Worlds.
To find out more about the Invisible Worlds exhibit: https://microbepost.org/2018/06/20/invisible-worlds-at-the-eden-project/
To find out more about The Microbiology Society's engagement and outreach grants, see: https://microbiologysociety.org/education-outreach/get-involved.html
Malawi, in Sub-Saharan Africa, has the highest incidence and mortality of cervical cancer in the world. Nearly all cases of cervical cancer are caused by human papillomavirus, or HPV.
Earlier this year, the Microbiology Society funded one of our members, Dr Ramya Bhatia, to travel to Malawi as part of a research collaboration between Nkhoma Hospital and the University of Edinburgh.
In this podcast, Ramya talks to us about her time in Malawi, and Nkhoma's highly successful cervical cancer screening programme.
Image credit: Derek Brumby/Thinkstock
This month, we’re bringing you a real highlight from our Annual Conference in Edinburgh: a live discussion about the state of microbiome research.
A panel of experts gave their views on whether microbiome research is an opportunity, or whether it’s been over-hyped.
It was a really lively event with a great audience, and it was chaired by our very own Dr Benjamin Thompson.
Prof Julian Marchesi, Imperial College London
Prof Jim Prosser, University of Aberdeen
Dr Lindsay Hall, University of East Anglia
Dr Thorunn Helgason, University of York
Have you ever wondered about the kinds of microbes that are present in your kitchen? In the fruit bowl or the fridge, on your chopping boards or cleaning cloths?
Good Germs Bad Germs is a citizen science project from the University of Oxford, allowing people to experiment on the microbial life in their kitchens and to visualise the results.
This month, we went to Oxford to visit one of the households taking part in the project, and spoke to researchers Dr Jamie Larimer and Dr Beth Greenhough about they've found.
More information at www.goodgerms.org
Images courtesy of the researchers
In 2008, researchers from Google announced that they could predict outbreaks of the flu up to two weeks before the US authorities, by monitoring people's Google search behaviour.
The algorithm tracked searches for flu symptoms and remedies, which would increase in the build-up to an outbreak. Flu is a serious disease that can cause up to half a million deaths each year – so Google flu trends caused a lot of excitement in the field when it emerged.
But for all the hype, it didn't actually work. In the end, Google flu trends failed pretty badly. So what went wrong?
This month, we speak to public health experts and computer scientists to find out, and learn how the field of 'Digital Epidemiology' has moved on to successfully track disease outbreaks online.
We hear from Professor Guy Poppy and Dr Sian Thomas from the Food Standards Agency in the UK about a tool to track norovirus using tweets, and all the #vomit that entails.
And we speak to Professor Alessandro Vespignani from Northeastern University in the US about how Twitter can help to build virtual synthetic worlds where researchers can model the spread of flu.
Music: Anonymous420, Lee Rosevere and Candlegravity
SFX: fattirewhitey and kinoton on freesound.org
Image: artlensfoto on thinkstock
Air pollution is a big problem. It's our single largest environmental health risk, and causes an eighth of all global deaths worldwide.
We know that air pollution increases respiratory diseases and the risk of infections like pneumonia. But now, new research suggests air pollution may alter the properties of bacteria themselves, in some potentially worrying ways.
This month, we spoke to Dr Julie Morrissey from the University of Leicester about the study, and what it means for our health.
Image credit: Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources / Flickr
Earlier this month, the Microbiology Society hosted our Annual Conference 2017 in Edinburgh. While we were there, we managed to catch up with just a few of the researchers presenting posters and giving talks.
First up, we spoke to Kirsty Fraser from Heriot-Watt University about a weird protist pathogen wreaking havoc on golf courses.
Next, Dr Terry McGenity from the University of Essex told us about microbes that can survive for millennia trapped inside salt crystals.
Finally, we spoke with Saskia Rughöft from the Molecular Microbial Ecology Group at the University of Tubingen. Saskia is researching the impact of oil spills and cleanup chemicals on microbes in the ocean.
Music: In the Dust by Alex Fitch
In 1901, Captain Robert Falcon Scott led a team of men on the Discovery Expedition to explore the mysteries of Antarctica.
The expedition is famous for its scientific legacy, including the discovery of snow-free valleys, emperor penguin colonies and the location of the South Magnetic Pole.
But the team also brought back some mysterious life forms living at the bottom of a lake. It took nearly 60 years for scientists to work out what they really were: cyanobacteria.
Dr Anne Jungblut is a microbiologist studying cyanobacteria today at the Natural History Museum. In this episode, we visit the museum to learn more about these microbes, and see the very samples that Scott’s team brought back over 100 years ago….
Music: Alex Fitch
Image: Scott's Expedition Leaving for Antarctica - 1901, Archives New Zealand