Latest News

How to beat COVID-19
It was not on purpose, but Dane County did a good experiment that shows how simple public health measures...
Read more
A new weapon against SARS-CoV-2
Holy COVID inhibition Batman. Hung et. al may have found a powerful weapon against SARS-CoV-2. A study...
Read more
Interferon beta
News of a clinical trial out of the UK shows that interferon β may be the first promising treatment...
Read more
Moderna's mRNA vaccine passes important first hurdle.
Many of you probably already heard that the Moderna vaccine raised a strong immune response in all participants...
Read more
Taking care of a family member, caregiving, does not impact your health
In the U.S. it is estimated that at least 17 million people care for loved ones with significant health...
Read more

Why Microbes Matter

0 - Download the Ebook

0 - 1 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 with microbes.