Since he was a teenager, Jason Tetro has called the laboratory his second home. His experience in microbiology and immunology has taken him into several fields including bloodborne, food and water pathogens; environmental microbiology; disinfection and antisepsis; and emerging pathogens such as SARS, avian flu, and Zika virus. He currently is a visiting scientist at the University of Guelph.
In the public, Jason is better known as The Germ Guy, and regularly offers his at times unconventional perspective on science in the media. Jason has written two books, The Germ Code, which was shortlisted as Science Book of The Year (2014) and The Germ Files, which spent several weeks on the national bestseller list. He has also co-edited, The Human Microbiome Handbook, which provides an academic perspective on the impact of microbes in human health. He lives in Toronto.
Jason Tetro, a visiting professor at the University of Guelph, explains that although we may think we are more immune to sickness in the summer, summer viruses may be easier to catch and take longer to beat.
A need exists for rapid change in the social mindset of the next generation on antibiotics. If our youth do not appreciate the challenges facing public health officials today, they may end up living under the shadow of untreatable bacterial infections known as the post-antibiotic era.
There's little doubt white bread has become a symbol of poor health choices. For years, a war against the loaves has been waged in the hopes of convincing people to avoid intake. Canadians have been warned against even daring to eat this staple of Western life.
Over the last few years, the human body's microbial population has been the subject of numerous discussions and controversies. But few topics have sparked as much interest as the concept of fecal microbiota transplantation, or FMT. This rather easy procedure has become a lightning rod for debates ranging from its effectiveness to ethical issues regarding donations.
If we can prevent infections before they begin, we can reduce the amount of antibiotics used in medicine. In light of the wide array of uses already known - and possibly more to come - we may have a simple yet effective way to use our own natural chemistry to keep us safe.
The main culprit behind gum disease is bacterial growth, usually called plaque. Although several different types of species are detrimental to gum health, some are more troublesome than others. One particular enemy is known as Porphyromonas gengivalis .
About three decades ago, something devastating happened in Brazil. An infectious disease had struck the cacao trees and threatened to wipe out the population. Some 70% of these plants fell victim to this deadly ailment. The industry faced decimation. Officials tried to stop the progression but it was hopeless. The situation was becoming dire. If something wasn't done, chocolate was surely going to disappear. Researchers went into the fields of Brazil in the hopes of saving one of the most beloved foods on Earth.
As Mother's Day approaches, Canadians will be celebrating the people who brought us into this world and nurtured us as we developed. Most of the adulation will be due to social graces, such as care, kindness, and those life lessons that always come in handy. But there are other reasons -- specifically molecular -- making Mom a baby's best ally.
Mosquito bites are a part of Canadian living. Usually, the only consequence of an unwanted invasion is an itchy welt. However, over the last decade, the consequences have become significantly greater due to the emergence of several viruses.
Apps such as Tinder and Grindr have gained popularity over the last few years. Many utilize the programs to find casual sexual partners. This specific purpose has led some researchers to believe digital dating may be the underlying reason for the rise in cases. This allegation, while reasonable in appearance, does not come without criticism.
Over the last few weeks, researchers have discovered a natural yet nasty phenomenon leading to troubles in the elderly. The reports focus on two very different parts of our bodies, the immune system and the microbial population in our guts. Though both studies were conducted in mice, the results unveil an inconvenient reality we may all face as we get older.
It's a scenario straight out of a horror movie. You start with a normal bout of strep throat and figure you're going to have to deal with that week-long stretch of pain and difficulty swallowing. But after a few days, things get much worse. You are diagnosed with necrotizing fasciitis, better known as flesh-eating disease.