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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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You Might Get A Fecal Transplant One Day

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.
06/05/2017 01:03 EDT
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How Microbes Keep Chocolate On Store Shelves

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.
05/15/2017 01:00 EDT
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How Breast Milk May Help Babies Fight Off A Deadly Infection

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.
05/08/2017 12:04 EDT
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Are Dating Apps Behind A Recent Rise In Sexual Diseases?

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.
04/24/2017 11:03 EDT
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The Series Of Events That Leads To Elderly Health Issues

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.
04/17/2017 02:33 EDT
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Why Even Pasteurized Milk Eventually Goes Bad

Apart from sterilization, all treated milks eventually will go bad. Yet little research has been conducted to best understand how long milk will remain drinkable. This has left us relying solely on the best before date on the package to determine if we are risking a nasty mouthful.
03/27/2017 10:03 EDT
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How Fibre May Keep Your Mouth Healthy

For decades, good oral health has focused on three primary activities. We brush to keep teeth white, floss to maintain healthy gums, and for some, rinse with mouthwash to freshen breath. We want to keep bad microbes at bay. But there is a catch to this strategy.
03/20/2017 11:17 EDT
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Curing The 'Addiction' Of Antibiotic Resistance

At its core, antibiotic resistance is merely a coping mechanism. Bacteria are faced with a rather dire form of stress and need to find a way to cope. They can take the biological route of genetic mutation to render the drug useless. They also can gain a plasmid from the environment or another bacterium, to gain resistance mechanisms.
03/13/2017 10:01 EDT
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Here's The Reason Mumps Has Made A Comeback

Despite the success of vaccines, mumps wasn't eradicated. Small pockets of infection continued to appear. These small outbreaks were difficult to control but eventually burned out such that they disappeared. For the most part, these isolated events were considered part of the ongoing reality of an ever-present virus.
03/06/2017 09:27 EST
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How Travel Helps Antibiotic Resistance Spread Around The World

Though infections can affect almost any area of the body, on average, about half of the troubles are gastrointestinal, usually in the form of traveller's diarrhea. While this condition usually is not life-threatening, the symptoms certainly can ruin a vacation. Thankfully, most of these troubles are caused by bacteria and can be treated with a simple antibiotic prescription. Within a few days, the pain and those runs fade away allowing individuals to continue enjoying their trip.
02/20/2017 06:31 EST
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We Are One Step Closer To A Syphilis Vaccine

As Valentine's Day approaches, most Canadians turn their thoughts to love and all that comes with it. However, for public health officials, this year is particularly worrisome in the love department. It's all due to the rather unwelcome realization sexually transmitted diseases are continuing to rise in this country and are showing no signs of slowing.
02/13/2017 09:15 EST
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We May Soon Have A Trojan Horse To Defeat Cancer

Until about ten years ago, the only weapons we had against this internal enemy were surgery, chemicals and radiation. But around that time, researchers began a quest to use more natural means to identify these antagonistic agents and rid them. Two very different strategies were initiated in the process. One relied on repurposing an already known enemy while the other utilized our own internal defense forces.
02/06/2017 08:14 EST