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Microbiome:How Commensal Bacteria Can Be Our Friends

Apr 14, 2016 @ 7:00 pm - 9:00 pm

| Free
E.coli bacteria. Coloured scanning electron micrograph of the rod-shaped, Gram-negative bacteria, Escherichia coli, commonly known as E. coli. These bacteria are normal inhabitants of the human intestine (also animal intestines) and are usually harmless. Under certain conditions E. coli may increase in number and cause infection. Serotypes of E. coli are responsible for gastro- enteritis in children, particularly in tropical countries. In adults it is the cause of "traveller's diarrhoea"; and of 80% of all urinary tract infections. It is also the organism most used in genetic studies. Magnification: x3,000 at 6x7cm, x1,500 at 35mm size. x10,000 at 8x10"

Join us at Genspace for another free lecture presented as part of the Know Science series. Know Science is an international education and advocacy organization working to promote knowledge of science and scientific research to a non-specialized audience.

Most people associate the word “bacteria” with disease, but we have about as many bacteria as human cells in our body. Why do we have these bacteria?

It is known as commensalism when one organism benefits from another without affecting it. In this case, the human organism is benefitting from bacteria. These commensal bacteria help us develop our immune system, digest and absorb food, and even prevent the colonization of otherpathogenic bacteria, or bacteria that cause disease.

However, imbalances in the populations of commensal bacteria are associated with several diseases, particularly inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD. Dr. Deepshika Ramanan’s work as a graduate student has focused on identifying these imbalances, and possible therapeutic options to prevent them.


Apr 14, 2016
7:00 pm - 9:00 pm
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Know Science


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