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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. 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, <em>The Germ Code</em>, which was shortlisted as Science Book of The Year (2014) and <em>The Germ Files</em>, which spent several weeks on the national bestseller list. He has also co-edited, <em>The Human Microbiome Handbook</em>, which provides an academic perspective on the impact of microbes in human health. He lives in Toronto.
How Germs Can Keep Your Motor

How Germs Can Keep Your Motor Runing

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" height="59" width="300"></a>The use of germs to produce biofuels has been in exploration since the mid-1990s, but finding the right organisms is a difficult task. The horse rumen has a vast array of environmental bacteria and ...something else. Could this be the treasure trove scientists are looking for?
04/30/2013 08:18 EDT
Meet the New Strain of Flu:

Meet the New Strain of Flu: H7N9

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" height="59" width="300"></a>Much like any new offering from Stephen King, which requires time to determine its place in his legacy, the new H7N9 flu requires more than just a few weeks to determine its place in the historical records of infectious disease.
04/14/2013 11:19 EDT
The Health Benefits of Eating Raw

The Health Benefits of Eating Raw Produce

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" height="59" width="300"></a>From a collection of studies looking at the link between diet and the human microbiome there appears to be a benefit to eating raw produce -- a healthier and happier gut. The healthiest microbial populations come from individuals who eat a significant amount of vegetables and fruit.
04/01/2013 12:23 EDT
Lose Weight By Eating

Lose Weight By Eating More...Worms?

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" height="59" width="300"></a>New research suggests obesity might be an autoimmune condition caused by an imbalance in the microbiota of the gut. Good germs could help to keep obesity at bay, while bad germs could lead to increased weight gain, even without the person eating more.
03/24/2013 11:03 EDT
An Unlikely New Ally in the Fight Against

An Unlikely New Ally in the Fight Against Acne

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" height="59" width="300"></a> In the last few years, there has been a different approach to controlling acne through a natural process of using good germs to control bad ones. Yet a group of researchers based out of UCLA published an article in <em>Nature</em> last week that took the use of probiotics to an entirely different level.
03/17/2013 11:11 EDT
A Eulogy to the Germ-Fighting

A Eulogy to the Germ-Fighting Penny

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> February 4 of this year was a momentous day for numismatists as the Canadian Mint officially stopped distribution of the one-cent coin, the penny. While the reaction from Canadians was mixed, there was a general consensus that the loss was still a sad end to a 105-year era. The moment was also a sombre day for those striving to improve public health.
03/03/2013 10:09 EST
How Germs Can Ruin Your

How Germs Can Ruin Your Smile

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a>A trip to the dentist is for many a stressful event, especially when accompanied by the dreaded words: "You have a cavity." Naturally, you can blame germs for this aggravation. The main cause is a group of bacteria known for their ability to grow on hard surfaces, such as the enamel of the teeth.
02/24/2013 11:09 EST
Germs May Hold the Key to Infant

Germs May Hold the Key to Infant Health

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> Should pregnant women have a natural or caesarean birth and afterwards, should they breastfeed or use formula? The debate has been at a standstill for quite some time yet thanks to a relatively new branch of science, there may be a means to resolve the disquiet.
02/18/2013 01:17 EST
The Secret Benefits of

The Secret Benefits of Germs

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> Pathogens only make up a fraction of the diversity of germs on Earth and a number of environmental germs have been examined for their financial and environmental benefit. For the most part, these germs are unknown and kept away from the science spotlight.
02/11/2013 12:56 EST
Beware the Germs in the

Beware the Germs in the Air

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> It's been known for some time that germs can be found in the atmosphere and they have made clouds a happy home. But more important than how they survive is the question of which germs are surviving and whether they pose a threat to our health.
02/03/2013 11:52 EST
The Healthy Benefits to Cold

The Healthy Benefits to Cold Weather

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> Most of Canada and parts of the United States has been gripped in a cold snap that has seen temperatures dip below -40ºC in some places. While we may have little enjoyment from this forecast, in terms of germs and pests, this may actually be good news.
01/28/2013 12:31 EST
Why This Flu Season Shouldn't Shock

Why This Flu Season Shouldn't Shock You

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a>The 2012-2013 influenza virus season has shocked North America with its early start and high numbers of both cases as well as deaths. Yet the surge of concern and panic is somewhat unwarranted, especially considering the world knew almost eight months ago that this was coming.
01/20/2013 11:04 EST
When it Comes to Germs, Norovirus is Public Enemy Number

When it Comes to Germs, Norovirus is Public Enemy Number One

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> The norovirus infection is short, lasting only 48 to 72 hours but during that time, one might believe they have been put into one of Ridley Scott's <em>Alien</em> movies. But there are thankfully a few ways to thwart this perfect villain.
01/14/2013 12:38 EST
How to Stay Healthy at Your Holiday

How to Stay Healthy at Your Holiday Party

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> The holiday party is a tradition of the season. Thanks to germs, however, some of those memories may be less than pleasant. Infections are best spread in a crowd and the presence of a single person can lead to spread to some or all of the people in attendance. There are however, a few ways to minimize the chances for acquiring an infection and most are fairly easy to follow.
12/17/2012 12:13 EST
This Christmas, Give a Holiday Germ

This Christmas, Give a Holiday Germ Card

The holidays are approaching and there's that one person on our list for whom we have no idea what to give. It's a common problem that is usually resolved with the purchase of a gift card from a local retailer. Now there's a new kind of gift card with a rather unique offer: an understanding of one's own microbiome.
12/09/2012 11:55 EST
Probiotics and Your Gut: A Match Made in

Probiotics and Your Gut: A Match Made in Heaven

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> With any luck, we may be able to harness the combined effects of our gut germs and probiotics to create a harmonious and peaceful gut and keep at least one part of our bodies regularly healthy. Now that would be boldly going where no one has gone before.
12/02/2012 11:38 EST
The Top Five Food Germs Battle it

The Top Five Food Germs Battle it Out

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> Researchers took a selection of 14 foodborne pathogens and compared them based on the number of illness caused, the number of hospitalizations, the cost of illness and what's known as the cost to a person's quality of life. One by one, the pathogens demonstrated their abilities and slowly, several started to emerge from the rest of the pack, leaving a top five.
11/26/2012 12:49 EST
Why the Recipe for Health Includes

Why the Recipe for Health Includes Germs

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> The recipe for health is dependent on a balance of ingredients although instead of savoury, sweet and salty, our well-being is based on a combination of genetics, diet and of course, germs.
11/19/2012 12:55 EST
The Next Thing to Worry About Post-Sandy? Infectious

The Next Thing to Worry About Post-Sandy? Infectious Disease

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> Natural disasters, like Hurricane Sandy, are common worldwide and leave the affected public vulnerable to the harsh realities of nature, including the onslaught of infectious diseases. The reality of any disaster of this magnitude is that public health measures are all but forgotten as people do everything they can to survive. The viruses will surely arrive before the area has recovered.
11/04/2012 10:59 EST
Why Germs in Space Are a

Why Germs in Space Are a Nightmare

<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/jason-tetro/flesh-eating-disease_b_1551111.html"><img alt="2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" src="http://images.huffingtonpost.com/2012-05-28-GermGuyBanner.jpg" width="300" height="59" /></a> During the second mission to the moon in 1969, Apollo 12, the crew brought back a camera that had been sent some two and a half years earlier. When they returned, the camera underwent extensive testing including microbiological analysis. Much to their surprise, they found a colony of earthly bacteria; apparently the microbes had survived the inhospitable lunar environment.
10/29/2012 12:18 EDT