bacteria

Amy Mayer / Harvest Public Media

Farmers and scientists have long understood that what lives beneath the soil affects how crops grow. Often, they work to fight plant diseases—warding off infectious viruses and damaging fungi, for example. But now some microbiologists are focused on how to harness the good things microbes can do, with the goal of increasing farmers’ yields and diminishing their dependence on chemical inputs.

Bacteria, flooding close more Missouri public beaches

Jun 6, 2013

Flooding and concerns about water quality have prompted the closings of more public swimming beaches in Missouri.

The Department of Natural Resources says tests found high levels of bacteria at the day-use beach at Harry S. Truman State Park and the Grand Glaize Beach at the Lake of the Ozarks.

The beach at Mark Twain State Park is closed because of flooding and bacteria. The beaches at Thousand Hills State Park in Kirksville and Lake Wappapello in southeastern Missouri have been shut down by flooding.

trafftoo / Flickr

A southwest Missouri county health department has posted health advisories for three waterways because of high bacteria levels.

Soil may be a source of antibiotic resistance

Aug 31, 2012

Soil bacteria may be helping to make disease-causing bacteria resistant to antibiotics.

That’s according to a new study out of Washington University.

Lead researcher, microbiologist Gautam Dantas, says he and his colleagues found seven genes in farmland soil bacteria that are identical to genes in human pathogens – and that provide resistance to a wide range of antibiotics.

Photo by U.S. Department of Agriculture

The bacterium Enterococcus faecalis, which lives in the human gut, is just one type of microbe that was studied as part of the Human Microbiome Project funded by the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

Researchers have completed the first comprehensive census of the human “microbiome” — the trillions of bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms that live in and on our bodies.