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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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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
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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
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Meet <em>Escherichia albertii</em>, A Pathogen To Watch

There are only two routes to go forward to ensure public safety. The first is to examine how the bug grows in the lab and identify any possible differences from E. coli. There are a few but they could take time to detect and may not be valuable should an outbreak occur. The other is to use genetic methods to identify the bacterium based on its DNA.
11/16/2015 03:27 EST
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There May Be A Social Reason For The 'Man Cold'

It's about that time of year when those cold and flu viruses will be making yet another surge across the country. For most of us, this will be just another moment where we've caught a bug. But for some, particularly men, the experience may cause a unique consequence more commonly known as the "man cold."
11/09/2015 08:39 EST
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Probiotics May Be The New Vaccines

Probiotics offer a host of potential benefits ranging from better digestion to improved weight management and even better mental health. But until recently, no one has mentioned vaccines. Yet, a probiotic oral vaccine may one day be our route to protection against infection.
11/01/2015 09:25 EST
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How Yeast Influences the Flavour of Your Wine

There is another significant contributor to terroir although never given its due credit: microbes. Soil is rich with a combination of bacteria, viruses, and fungi. For years, this variation, particularly in yeasts, has been thought to contribute to the unique taste and flavour of a wine region. But, until recently, no one quite knew how.
10/05/2015 05:07 EDT
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Indoor Plants Are Good for Your Health

All you have to do is bring Mather Nature indoors in the form of plants. For many Canadians, this isn't entirely a new concept. For decades, plants have been brought into the home and office to brighten up the mood and add some colour to an otherwise drab atmosphere. But the benefits are far greater than aesthetics.
09/28/2015 05:36 EDT
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Does Breast Cancer Have a Connection to Cows?

Cancer is the number one killer in this country. In women, breast cancer is the second leading cause of this potentially deadly disease. Researchers across the country and around the world are working tirelessly not only to find a cure but also to find the cause. When it comes to how exactly breast cancer is triggered, the answer is elusive.
09/21/2015 12:18 EDT
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How Microbes Could Give You a Heart Attack

Twenty years ago, heart disease was the number one killer of Canadians. That number has dropped over the years thanks in part to research examining the causes of heart attacks and recommendations for better preventative behaviours. Despite this drop, there is still much to be learned about how heart attacks happen. One of the most studied causes is the atherosclerotic lesion, better known as plaque. This accumulation of cells, fats, minerals, and other organic material tend to accumulate in the arteries as we age. If buildup happens to occur in the coronary artery, cardiac arrest may inevitably happen.
09/15/2015 08:32 EDT