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  • Winogradsky Column: Microbial Ecology in a Bottle

    Winogradsky Column: Microbial Ecology in a Bottle

    Click & Learn

    Explore this virtual Winogradsky column to learn about the diversity of microbes, microbial metabolic strategies, and geochemical gradients found in sediments.

  • A World Without Microbes: An Apocalyptic Thought Experiment

    A World Without Microbes: An Apocalyptic Thought Experiment

    Feature Film

    (7 min 1 sec) A world without microbes seems at first like a utopia without bacterial infections, mildew, or mold. But let’s take a deeper look.

  • Fecal Microbiota Transplants: The Ins and Outs of FMT

    Fecal Microbiota Transplants: The Ins and Outs of FMT

    Feature Film

    (7 min 21 sec) Poop. You flush it, and usually that’s the end of the story. But to scientists like Mark Smith, poop is more than just waste – it’s medicine.

  • Microbes from Mom — Vaginal Birth vs C-Section

    Microbes from Mom — Vaginal Birth vs C-Section

    Feature Film

    (9 min 13 sec) Do you remember your first birthday present? No? Good, because it’s gross.

  • Solving Crimes with the NECROBIOME

    Solving Crimes with the NECROBIOME

    Feature Film

    (7 min 10 sec) We can’t talk to the dead, but in their own way, the dead can speak to us.

  • Film Guide for How Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents

    Film Guide for How Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents

    Film Guide

    The following classroom-ready resources complement the film How Tube Worms Survive in Hydrothermal Vents. It tells the story of the symbiotic relationship between the giant tube worm, Riftia pachyptila, and chemosynthetic bacteria.

  • Nature’s Cutest Symbiosis: The Bobtail Squid

    Nature’s Cutest Symbiosis: The Bobtail Squid

    Feature Film

    (8 min 5 sec) The bobtail squid is an underwater delicacy for many predators, so the creature found a handy superpower to stay alive: Invisibility

  • Living Together

    Living Together

    Phenomenal Image

    Students explore photos of bobtail squid as an anchoring phenomenon to explore symbiosis and species interactions.

  • Maternal Microbiota Impacts Offspring Immune System

    Maternal Microbiota Impacts Offspring Immune System

    Data Point

    In this study, scientists compared two populations of pregnant mice, one which was kept germ-free throughout pregnancy and the other which was exposed during pregnancy to a strain of E. coli to determine whether the immune systems of offspring begin to develop in utero.

  • I Contain Multitudes: The Series

    I Contain Multitudes: The Series

    Collection

    I Contain Multitudes offers a new lens on life. With an eye on microbes—microscopic single-celled organisms—larger creatures such as ourselves suddenly look very different. Each of us is a more of a...

  • A Wasp Mom’s Gift: Blankets of Bacteria

    A Wasp Mom’s Gift: Blankets of Bacteria

    Feature Film

    (9 min 10 sec) You don’t want to be a honeybee when the beewolf is on the prowl.

  • Mosquitoes Might SAVE Lives, Thanks To Bacteria

    Mosquitoes Might SAVE Lives, Thanks To Bacteria

    Feature Film

    (9 min 4 sec) Dengue fever is a deadly mosquito-borne virus that plagues the earth, but science is inching closer to an unlikely solution: bacteria.

  • How Giant Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents

    How Giant Tube Worms Survive at Hydrothermal Vents

    Feature Film

    (10 min 20 sec) Deep at the bottom of the Pacific Ocean, an amazing bacterial discovery reshaped our view of life on earth.

  • Superbugs That Resist Antibiotics Can Evolve in 11 Days

    Superbugs That Resist Antibiotics Can Evolve in 11 Days

    Feature Film

    (8 min 50 sec) Antibiotics like penicillin have a critical role in medicine, but using them is not a decision to be taken lightly.

  • Termites Digest Wood Thanks To Microbes

    Termites Digest Wood Thanks To Microbes

    Feature Film

    (7 min 11 sec) The next time you spot a termite chomping down on wood, know that they’re not dining alone.

  • Origins of Antibiotic Resistance

    Origins of Antibiotic Resistance

    Data Point

    Scientists collected bacteria from locations that had never been exposed to humans or modern antibiotics to determine if antibiotic resistance is newly evolved since the introduction of antibiotics or has evolved independently.

  • What van Leeuwenhoek Saw

    What van Leeuwenhoek Saw

    Activity

    This hands-on activity helps students understand concepts related to building scale models by using cards of microorganisms and cells that were first visualized by Antonie van Leeuwenhoek.

  • Microbial Community Response to an Oil Spill

    Microbial Community Response to an Oil Spill

    Data Point

    Researchers monitored the succession of the microbial community in the Gulf of Mexico using data from before, during, and after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill.

  • Using Wolbachia to Suppress Mosquito Fertility

    Using Wolbachia to Suppress Mosquito Fertility

    Data Point

    In this study, researchers tested whether releasing Wolbachia-infected male Aedes albopictus (Asian tiger mosquitoes) would suppress populations of this mosquito species in their study area.

  • Animated Life

    Animated Life

    Collection

    These five short films, produced in conjunction with The New York Times, bring to life five historical scientific discoveries and the people behind them: Alfred Russel Wallace and his contribution to...

  • Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible

    Animated Life: Seeing the Invisible

    Animated Short

    (6 min 31 sec) This animated feature celebrates 17th-century citizen-scientist Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, whose discoveries of microbes changed our view of the biological world. Also available in Spanish.

  • The Deep History of a Living Planet

    The Deep History of a Living Planet

    Lecture

    (1 hr 28 min 29 sec) Microbes have been the dominant life form throughout Earth's history. Eukaryotes and animals evolved only after microbes evolved oxygen-generating photosynthesis.

  • Winogradsky columns: Microbial ecology in the classroom

    Winogradsky columns: Microbial ecology in the classroom

    Activity

    An activity that recreates zones of microbial activity in a glass column. To accompany the lecture series Changing Planet: Past, Present, Future.

  • Bacterial ID Virtual Lab App

    Bacterial ID Virtual Lab App

    Apps and eBooks

    Learn about the science and techniques used to identify different types of bacteria based on their DNA sequences

  • Q&A on Quorum Sensing

    Q&A on Quorum Sensing

    Lecture

    (12 min 59 sec) In this 13-minute Q&A session, Dr. Bonnie Bassler answers questions on quorum sensing and other topics related to bacteria.

  • Eavesdropping on Tiny Conspiracies

    Eavesdropping on Tiny Conspiracies

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) The quorum sensing system is a target for a new class of drugs that interfere with virulence without killing bacteria.

  • Shedding Light on an Invisible World

    Shedding Light on an Invisible World

    Lecture

    (58 min 29 sec) Bacteria are capable of communicating and coordinating their activities with a molecular signaling system called quorum sensing.

  • Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Exploring Biodiversity: The Search for New Medicines

    Lecture

    What medical secrets do venomous snails hold? How can listening in on bacterial conversations help develop new antibiotics? In four presentations, Dr. Bonnie L. Bassler and Dr. Baldomero M. Olivera reveal how a deeper understanding of nature and biodiversity informs their research into new medicines.

  • Demonstration: Quorum sensing molecules

    Demonstration: Quorum sensing molecules

    Clip

    (50 sec) Quorum sensing signal molecules have parts that are common between species as well as species-specific parts.

  • Demonstration: Glowing bacteria in a flask

    Demonstration: Glowing bacteria in a flask

    Clip

    (52 sec) Dr. Bassler demonstrates the bioluminescence of a culture of Vibrio harveyi.

  • The LUX operon controls light production

    The LUX operon controls light production

    Animation

    (2 min 25 sec) A single transcription factor controls this operon, which contains five genes necessary to produce bioluminescence.

  • The molecular cascade in bacterial quorum sensing

    The molecular cascade in bacterial quorum sensing

    Animation

    (3 min 20 sec) Quorum sensing regulates gene expression by a protein phosphorylation cascade that controls transcription.

  • Genetic engineering

    Genetic engineering

    Animation

    (1 min 13 sec) A new gene can be inserted into a loop of bacterial DNA called a plasmid. This is done by cutting the plasmid DNA with a restriction enzyme, which allows a new piece of DNA to be inserted. The ends of the new piece of DNA are stitched together by an enzyme called DNA ligase. The genetically engineered bacteria will now manufacture any protein coded by genes on the newly inserted DNA.

  • Test Your Knowledge of Microbes

    Test Your Knowledge of Microbes

    Click & Learn

    Take this quiz to see how well you understand some of the topics covered in the 1999 Holiday Lectures on infectious disease.

  • Bacterial Identification Virtual Lab

    Bacterial Identification Virtual Lab

    Virtual Lab

    This virtual lab will familiarize you with the science and techniques used to identify different types of bacteria based on their DNA sequences.

  • 2000 and Beyond: Confronting the Microbe Menace

    2000 and Beyond: Confronting the Microbe Menace

    Lecture

    (57 min 36 sec) In four presentations, Donald E. Ganem, MD, and B. Brett Finlay, PhD, discuss the latest advances in understanding how pathogens invade the body and how this knowledge is leading to the development of new therapies. They also explain how new infectious diseases are recognized and how epidemics arise.

  • Size Analogies of Bacteria and Viruses

    Size Analogies of Bacteria and Viruses

    Clip

    (1 min 44 sec) Dr. Finlay and Dr. Richard Ganem use physical analogies to compare the size of bacteria and viruses relative to a standard mammalian cell.

  • Penicillin acting on bacteria

    Penicillin acting on bacteria

    Clip

    (34 sec) Penicillin, as shown in this video, causes the cell walls of bacteria to rupture.

  • Bacterial Growth

    Bacterial Growth

    Clip

    (54 sec) Dr. Brett Finlay shows how bacteria can grow rapidly to incredible numbers, and also explains what limits this explosive growth.

  • E. coli Infection Strategy

    E. coli Infection Strategy

    Animation

    (2 min 53 sec) Watch this animation to see the molecular tricks that an infectious strain of Escherichia coli uses to infect your gut.

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