microorganisms

Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond | Full Program

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Over the last few decades, diseases that spill over from animals to humans have been on the rise. Learn what's behind the increase, and what we can do to fight these dangerous diseases. Join scientists as they investigate the rise of spillover viruses like Zika, Ebola, and Nipah, and see what scientists are doing to anticipate and prevent epidemics around the world.

You Are Mainly Microbe - Meet Your Microbiome | It's Okay to Be Smart

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Our bodies are home to ten times as many microbes as human cells. We are walking ecosystems, each of us home to thousands of different species on and inside of us. Meet your microbiome! Sure, some bacteria are dangerous, but without our tiny friends we wouldn't be here. Enjoy this introduction to your microbiome from Joe Hanson, host of It's Okay to Be Smart.

The Invisible Creatures That Keep You Alive! | It's Okay to Be Smart

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A complete microbiome lives inside us, and believe it or not, that's a good thing.

Why We Fart | MIT's Science Out Loud

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Behind every fart (and poop) is an army of gut bacteria undergoing some crazy (and crazy useful) biochemistry. Learn what they have in common with beer brewing, and why we'd want to know about this science anyway...

Picking a Colony From a Plate

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A lab technician illustrates how to prepare an overnight culture of transformed E. coli cells in this video produced by WGBH. She identifies and selects a single transformed colony using proper aseptic technique.

Ebola Invades | Spillover - Zika, Ebola & Beyond: Part 2

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Learn about Ebola, a virus was first recognized in Zaire in 1976, transmitted by person-to-person contact and causing isolated outbreaks. An unexpected and large outbreak occurred in 2014 in West Africa, a region that had not experienced the disease before.

Oh Shuck! | Oyster Farming: Threat of Vibrio Infection

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Raw oysters can carry toxic amounts of Vibrio, types of bacteria, in their gut. Researchers are looking for a relationship between high Vibrio levels and the water's salinity and temperature, which can be affected by a number of weather variables.

Gross Science | The Food Poisoning Lurking in Your Freezer

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Learn about listeria, a type of bacteria that causes food poisoning, in this video from NOVA’s Gross Science series. Listeriosis is a serious disease that can kill up to 20 percent of people infected. Listeria grows on food and is tough enough to survive and even reproduce in cold refrigerators. When food contaminated with listeria is consumed, the body’s immune system recognizes the bacteria as a danger and mounts an immune response. White blood cells engulf the bacteria in phagosomes; however, listeria can escape this initial immune response by hijacking the cell’s cytoskeleton to move inside the cell, where it collects nutrients and reproduces. Eventually, the bacteria burst from the cell to infect other cells; the infection can become deadly as it spreads through the bloodstream to major organs. This resource is part of the NOVA: Gross Science Collection.

Producing Penicillin

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This video segment adapted from A Science Odyssey tells how two scientists, Howard Florey and Ernst Chain, used the research findings of Alexander Fleming to turn a natural compound, penicillin, into an effective treatment for bacterial infections. Their tests in mice and later in human patients demonstrated penicillin's ability to cure such infections. After U.S. drug companies figured out how to mass-produce penicillin, its reputation as a "miracle drug" was established. Spurred by public support, medical research and development consequently took off.

The Tiny Key to Aging | Braincraft

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Studying biology at the smallest scale.

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