The Golden Age of Microbiology: Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | May 4 2022

Last week's post introduced the work of Louis Pasteur, the father of microbiology. It was not long after Pasteur proposed that microorganisms were to blame for food spoilage that someone would make the leap that infection could, too, also be caused by microorganisms. That man (who would become a great scientific rival to Pasteur) came to be known as the founder of modern bacteriology.

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The Pathogens That Made History: Consumption, Part 2

by Erica Mitchell | April 20 2022

In last week's post, we described a pervasive disease that so affected the global population that it found its way into visual, musical, and literary works of art for centuries. What was this horrible disease?

Tuberculosis.

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National Pet Day: Pets and Pathogens

by Erica Mitchell | April 6 2022

April 11th is National Pet Day! Let's take a moment to focus on the intersection between infection and household pets. There are many sides to this issue: The health of the pet owners, the health of the pets, and the overall household environment. Today we will explore some important information and tips to help everyone stay safe and healthy.

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The Origins of Germ Theory, Part 3: Microscopes

by Erica Mitchell | May 19 2021

There is really no way to overstate the importance of Girolamo Fracastoro's bold proposal about the roots of infection. His idea that infections were caused by "seeds," living things unseen to the naked eye, was followed by deductions that included the spread of contagion, incubation periods, the organs affected by particular infectious agents, the vulnerable age for a particular disease, the idea that a survivor of an infection is protected against future infections, the ability of a disease to pass from mother to child through nursing, and many other valuable observations. His genius, while respected and supported, was not definitively proven until over 100 years later, with the advent of the microscope.
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Thankful for... Bacteria?

by Erica Mitchell | April 16 2021

We spend a lot of time here pointing out the dangers of bacteria. However, we're going to take a moment to reflect on all the wonderful and life-giving benefits of bacteria. These unseen organisms help us in so many ways, it would be safe to say we can't live without them. Join us as we explore the kinder side of bacteria.

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Our Love/Hate Relationship with Bacteria

by Erica Mitchell | April 12 2021


What is bacteria?

Bacteria are single-cell organisms. Where humans are made up of, on average 1 trillion cells, bacteria are made up of just one. But one isn't the loneliest number when it comes to bacteria; they reproduce very efficiently by splitting into two, who then go on to split into two more… and on until you have a colony of bacteria. Some of these colonies are beneficial to us, some don't harm us at all, and some are downright nasty, leading to harmful infections which can threaten our lives.

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Preventive Biocidal Surfaces: A Definition in 4 Parts

by Erica Mitchell | December 29 2020

What makes a surface a Preventive | Biocidal SurfaceTM? Four critical characteristics: It is registered by the EPA for public health claims. It actively kills harmful bacteria*. It continues cleaning even after recontamination. Finally, it requires no additional human processes - it performs its sanitizing simply by being installed. 

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The Horrors of Biofilms: Like Jason, They Keep Coming Back

by Erica Mitchell | October 28 2020

We experience the ickiness and inconvenience of biofilms every day. From slow drains to tooth plaque, biofilms surround us because bacteria surround us. But take our everyday annoyance with biofilms such as a gunky sink pipe or teeth that need to be brushed twice daily and multiply that exponentially and you begin to have an idea of the horror biofilms present to industries and healthcare planet-wide. Today we'll explore the tenacious, intractable, just-as-likely-to-return-as-Jason nature of bacteria's number one weapon: biofilms.

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When Your Bacteria Colonies Get Hostile: That's An Infection

by Erica Mitchell | September 30 2020

There is a good chance that you have Staph - Staphylococcus aureus - on your body right now. In fact, it is estimated that 25-30% of us carry Staph on our skin or in our nose all the time. But a quarter of us are not sick, suffering from the symptoms of a Staph infection. What's the deal? It comes down to colonization vs. infection.

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Gram Positive vs Gram Negative Bacteria and the Fight Against HAIs

by Erica Mitchell | September 23 2020

In formal descriptions of the germ-fighting powers of antibacterial and biocidal products, the terms "Gram positive" and "Gram negative" are used as a way to categorize bacteria. While there are estimated to be over 10,000 species of bacteria, they can be categorized into a few helpful categories.

One of those categories has to do with the structure of the cell membrane. All the known bacteria fit into one of two categories of cell membrane structure: Gram-positive or Gram-negative. But what does that mean?

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