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Jason Tetro

Microbiology, Health & Hygiene Expert

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.
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Planting A Natural Way To Clean Indoor Air

Although we may gain a sense of comfort from being indoors, the act of being separated from the external environment may come with a cost in the form on air pollution. Without proper ventilation, the indoor world can become a rather toxic place due to several chemical and biological factors.
04/11/2016 11:57 EDT
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Seaweed May Be The Next Health Superfood

Imagine for a moment a fully sustainable food product with no land, animal, or lab requirements. This may seem impossible, yet it does exist in the form of seaweed. Each and every year, up to 5 billion tonnes of these algae are harvested as food yet this number only represents a small amount of what is available on Earth.
03/28/2016 10:42 EDT
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Here's Another Way Friendly Microbes Help Your Health

If you were to take a microscope to your intestines, you would see tens of trillions of microbes moving around doing what they do best: eating and multiplying. Yet, while this may appear to be a utopic environment, what's happening is exactly the opposite. There's a microbial war happening and your health depends on which side wins.
03/21/2016 01:38 EDT
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Introducing A New Probiotic: Bacillus Coagulans

For over a century, a variety of good bacteria has been extoled as a means to improve our general health. Today, these helpful microbes are better known as probiotics. When taken, according to the definition, a person can expect to receive some form of a health benefit. The actual list of probiotic species is relatively small with the majority of species coming from the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium genera. Yet, while these two are dominating the probiotic field, other species have slowly made their way from the papers of academia to store shelves.
03/14/2016 10:35 EDT
Scimat Scimat via Getty Images

Introducing A New Probiotic: Bacillus Coagulans

For over a century, a variety of good bacteria has been extoled as a means to improve our general health. Today, these helpful microbes are better known as probiotics. When taken, according to the definition, a person can expect to receive some form of a health benefit. The actual list of probiotic species is relatively small with the majority of species coming from the Lactobacillus or Bifidobacterium genera. Yet, while these two are dominating the probiotic field, other species have slowly made their way from the papers of academia to store shelves.
03/14/2016 10:35 EDT
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Probiotics May Help Lower Pesticide Problems

While governments attempt to find the right balance between agriculture and human health, researchers have turned to our microbial counterparts in the hope of finding species capable of breaking down chlorpyrifos. The goal has been primarily to find beneficial candidates with little concern for public health. After all, it's rare that one can get the best of both worlds. Yet this indeed may be the case.
02/29/2016 11:11 EST
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Don't Believe These Zika Virus Theories

Normally, when an outbreak or epidemic is found, the first order of business is to confirm a situation is actually happening. Once that is confirmed, the next step is to identify the cause. In the case of Zika virus, both these steps happened without much concern. Unfortunately, the rest of the epidemiological investigation has been anything but a matter of routine. The reason stems from our rather rudimentary understanding of the Zika virus. While we have known about its existence for decades, only a few studies on its effect on humans have ever been conducted. This means we're learning new things every day as new studies are ordered. What this does NOT mean, however, is that we are all victims of a vast conspiracy. So let's keep that in mind as we look at what we do know so far.
02/22/2016 11:00 EST
UBC

A 1,000-Year-Old B.C. Remedy May Help Fight Antibiotic Resistance

It's been nearly two years since the World Health Organization called the rise in antibiotic resistance a crisis. Since that time, public health officials have sought new answers to prepare for an uncertain future. While the idea of making new and stronger antibiotics continues to explored, its popularity has faded.
02/08/2016 12:56 EST
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Cranberries For Children May Help Ward Off Urinary Troubles

For many Canadians, no turkey dinner is complete without the addition of cranberry sauce. The tartness from the red berries offers a perfect complement to the rich meal. But beyond these special moments, cranberries have long been thought to be an excellent way to improve health, particularly in the urinary tract.
01/25/2016 11:42 EST
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Heartburn Medications Are Bad For Good Bacteria

If you are one of the over 6 million Canadians suffering from irregular heartburn or stomach ulcers, you're probably familiar with proton pump inhibitors, or PPI. But new research suggests a non-trivial link between these commonly-prescribed heartburn medications and increased risk of infection, all because of one specific stomach bacteirum. Let's investigate.
01/11/2016 10:58 EST
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A New Natural Barrier Against Influenza Virus

The flu is coming back. Based on the information from the Public Health Agency of Canada, the virus is slowly making its way across the country and establishing a hold on our collective lungs. Within a few weeks, the entire country will be awash in sniffles, coughs, and sick days.
01/04/2016 11:56 EST
YelenaYemchuk

Stressed During The Holidays? Fermented Milk May Help

It's the middle of the holiday season and despite the promises of comfort and joy many Canadians will be dealing with a plethora of less than cheery emotions. There is a route to help keep the stressors at bay that doesn't involve very much effort; all one has to do is eat or drink fermented foods.
12/29/2015 11:32 EST
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Share Love, Not Infections This Holiday Season

With the holidays approaching, many people tend to slow down and focus on comfort, joy, and closeness with others. We may normally think of cozy situations involving family, food, and festivities. But for many across the globe, this time of the year signifies a different type of bonding in which clothes are optional and the fire comes from deep within.
12/21/2015 02:29 EST