The Secret Lives of Bacteria

image courtesy Sanofi Pasteur
30388d8f seeable

Taught by Jessica S.

Despite her NYC pedigree, Jessica has always been obsessed with the natural world, above and beyond pigeons, rats, and cockroaches. By day, Jessica studies membrane biogenesis and signaling in M. tuberculosis, the nasty bacterium that causes TB. She holds an MPH from Columbia and a PhD from Cornell. Her grandmother would like you to know that this kind of doctorate means that Jessica does not come equipped with a prescription pad (and therefore “is not the real kind of doctor.").

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Did you know that the bobtail squid glows because it has an organ specifically dedicated for bioluminescent bacteria? Neat! Did you know that there are more bacteria in your intestines than there are humans on earth? Creepy. You need only peruse your daily news source to see yet another story of bacteria making the rounds everywhere…or are they? From disinfectant cleaning products to yogurt that makes you poop, bacteria have become ubiquitous members of our daily lives, albeit not always in the most accurate light.

In this class, we will explore bacteria in the human-centric universe and beyond. We will briefly cover the basic biology of these elegant, unicellular critters and from there, discuss our ongoing and sometimes tumultuous relationship with them, including those that live on and inside of us, as well as those we unknowingly meet in places like the subway.

We will also explore exactly what is living on us with some hands-on experiments (no previous science experience necessary!) and test whether or not anti-bacterial products are a panacea or placebo.

And yep, this class meets Tuesday/Thursday of the same week.

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