A2: Microbes in the news 1 kraig hammond

Bacteria could be making China’s smog worse: Microorganisms that may be harmful to human health are multiplying and thickening Beijing’s pollution haze, experts warn


Victoria Bell, February 5, 2019




Guidelines for creating a post:

—  Summary:   Bacteria found in the smog covering Beijing is multiplying leading to thickening pollution haze, and aversive health effects. Professor Maosheng Yao from Peking University found that when the haze was worse, there was a far larger amount of bacteria found. This is due to the increased availability of pollutant chemicals in the air like sulphates, and nitrates that microbes can feed on. Unfortunately, this is not good because it allows microbes to release volatile organic chemicals as waste, leading to more disease and worse allergies.

—  Connections:  This connects to what we have learned in class by citing the ubiquity of microbes, and their ability to survive as particulates in the air. It also mentions how they can feed on different energy sources, such as organics and inorganics.

—  Critical analysis:  I found this story interesting because with pollution being a major cause of respiratory problems, I wonder if Mycobacterium tuberculosis could gain traits of these airborne microbiomes through conjugation and become super bug killings millions of people. I think this story is scientifically accurate because it factually states how microbes can affect people and how they can proliferate. This article did a fantastic job communication science to the public because it is easy to read, logical, and does not throw a bunch of unnecessary biological processes.


—  Question: Is it possible that a deadly airborne bacteria can inherit these traits through conjugation and become antibiotic resistant?

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