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Fighting infections with infections
Multi-drug-resistant bacterial infections are becoming more of an issue, with 1.2 million people dying of previously treatable bacterial infections. Scientists are frantically searching for new metho…
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A tale of two colleges
COVID-19 at the University of Wisconsin this fall has been pretty much a non-issue. While we are wearing masks, full in-person teaching is happening on campus. Bars, restaurants, and all other busine…
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Get your Vitamin D to Protect Yourself from COVID-19
This sounds like another hydroxychloroquine or ivermectin hoax, but the science is peer-reviewed. Getting enough vitamin D in your diet is an excellent way to protect yourself from severe COVID-19. E…
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About 35,000 people die from drug-resistant infection in the US. What are we going to do?
When antibiotics first achieved widescale use in the middle of the 20th century, they had a tremendous impact. For example, the mortality rate in England from infectious disease dropped from 25% in 1…
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Nasal nanoSTING vaccines may Provide Lasting Protection Against SARS-CoV-2
All successful vaccines against SARS-CoV-2 have used the spike protein as the target and delivered the vaccine by intramuscular injection, typically a shot in the left or right shoulder. The vaccines…
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Why Microbes Matter

0 - Download the Ebook

0 - 1 Thank you for your purchase of Why Microbes Matter

0 - 2 Download the Ebook

1 - Introduction

1 - 1 Why I Wrote this Book

1 - 2 How to Read This Book

1 - 3 Summary of Chapters

2 - Staying in the Real World

3 - The Lego Blocks of Life

3 - 1 Why knowing what we are made of matters

3 - 2 The simplest Legos - atoms

3 - 3 Molecules, monomers, and polymers

3 - 4 Structure in the context of bacteria

3 - 5 Structure in the context of fungi

3 - 6 Structure in the context of multicellular organisms

3 - 7 Strange aliens among us

4 - The Origins of Life

4 - 1 Open hearts and open minds

4 - 2 Life’s ingredients

4 - 3 Building from the Bottom

4 - 4 Building up complexity

4 - 5 A self-replicative genome

4 - 6 Tracing back to LUCA

5 - The Central Dogma - the Universal Tools of All Life

5 - 1 The thoughts of Francis Crick

5 - 2 DNA sequence directs its replication, transcription, and translation

5 - 3 Transcription

5 - 4 Translation

5 - 5 Using the central dogma to blow your mind

6 - Enzymes and Beer

6 - 1 Enzymes and Beer

6 - 2 Enzymes in Cheese and Yogurt

6 - 3 Fueling our Economy

6 - 4 A rapid run through all the ways microbial enzymes touch your life

7 - Manipulating the Molecules of Life : Molecular Biology

7 - 1 Is genetic manipulation of living things by humans a new thing?

7 - 2 Bacterial immune systems provide the tools to change genetics

7 - 3 DNA Sequencing

7 - 4 The second bacterial immune system - CRISPR

7 - 5 The polymerase chain reaction (PCR)

7 - 6 How genetic engineering impacts your life

7 - 7 The development of CRISPR shows the promise and danger of genetic technologies

8 - The Flow of Carbon and Why You Should Care

8 - 1 The history of environmental microbiology

8 - 2 Learning to look the right way

8 - 3 Where do all the dead things go?

8 - 4 Microbes of the Land

8 - 5 Microbes of the water

8 - 6 Microbes and Food: Friends and Foes

9 - Microbial Partnerships

9 - 1 Would we be better off without microbes?

9 - 2 Plant/fungi relationships

9 - 3 Insects would die without their bacterial partners

9 - 4 Bacteria can count

9 - 5 You are covered in microorganisms, and that’s a <i>good thing</i>: The human microbiome

9 - 6 Changes in the microbiome change you

10 - Microbe Aggressions

10 - 1 What causes infectious disease?

10 - 2 The black death changes the world

10 - 3 Today’s most important pathogens

10 - 4 Diarrheal diseases

10 - 5 Tuberculosis and the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)

10 - 6 Malaria

11 - Fighting the Microbial Hoards : Your Immune System

11 - 1 General Concepts

11 - 2 Innate immunity

11 - 3 Adaptive immunity

11 - 4 Your immune system can make mistakes

11 - 5 Three examples of the immune system in action

12 - Fighting the Microbial Hoards: Controlling their growth

12 - 1 Fighting Disease is more than pills and shots

12 - 2 Vaccination

12 - 3 Antimicrobials

13 - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Fights the Flu

13 - 1 The threat of influenza

13 - 2 Why do we have these organizations?

13 - 3 The CDC Response to H1N1

14 - COVID-19

15 - Closing Thoughts

15 - 1 Why science, especially microbiology, matters

15 - 2 Appreciate the role that chance plays in all things

15 - 3 Small things matter

15 - 4 There are some threats that we do face that have nothing to do with microbes.