Bacteria

Alphonso Evans rolls his wheelchair into a weight machine in the gym at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center in Augusta, Ga.

"I'm not so much worried about dying from a heart attack or diabetes, because I'm active. I know what to do to work against it: watch what I eat, exercise," Evans says. "But what do I do about an infection? Or fighting off a bacteria — something inside me that I don't see until it's too late?"

UNCG Chemistry

Nadja Cech grew up in a hippy community in Oregon, spending her days building fairy houses in the woods and drawing and collecting plants. So after she became a scientist— and an associate professor of chemistry at just 23 years old — it made sense to her to look to nature for some of our most pressing medical needs. 

A picture of a spitting spider
Matt Bertone

Hosting family and friends for the holidays often means a lot of mopping, sweeping and scrubbing. However, biologist Rob Dunn says people need to use moderation in their cleaning. Pesticides and antimicrobials kill off many beneficial species that live indoors and eliminate competition for resistant species like German cockroaches, bedbugs and MRSA bacteria.

A picture of vials of blood for testing.
GrahamColm / Wikipedia

Doctors may soon be able to conduct a blood test to determine if a patient needs an antibiotic. 

Researchers at Duke Health have developed a process that identifies markers in the blood of patients with respiratory complaints. They show the difference between a viral infection and one that's caused by bacteria.

NC State University

We think we know calories.

Eat too many and you get fat. Eat too few and you get skinny. But Rob Dunn, a biologist at North Carolina State University, says that might not be the case. He argues that many other factors affect calorie consumption and that stomach bacteria may be more influential than once realized. Host Frank Stasio talk with Dunn about the mystery of calories.