Microbiology for All: 1/12 and 1/19

Cybele Collins is holding two events to introduce us to our tiniest tenants and neighbors.

Two workshops: 1/12/16 and 1/19/16, 7-9PM. Attendance of both or neither, walking in and out are fine

Microorganisms, the oldest and most diverse kinds of life, are visible through their actions. They make life possible but are also responsible for disease and decay. Bacteria, archaea, viruses and protists exist on a scale millions of times smaller than ours, in our bodies as the microbiome and in extreme conditions of heat, salt, pressure and cold. Most are one-celled organisms that share a common language of DNA and biochemistry with our cells. Our microbiome affects our health and mind, while pathogens can penetrate our cells with tiny motors or toxins and are in an arms race with antibiotics. Bacteria are used to ferment alcohol, make food, and to produce drugs and biofuel while the cyanobacteria and algae of the ocean produce most of the oxygen in the atmosphere.

In two sessions, we will see the microbes in their range of forms, habitats and behavior, cultivating our own microbial colonies from soil in a Winogradsky column (from mud, calcium from eggshells and cellulose from newspaper) and the mouth microbiome. We will cover the basics of biochemistry in order to see the world of beings that live in intimacy with molecules, as well as to understand issues with antibiotics and photosynthesis. Drawing as a way to learn is encouraged but experience in science and art are not necessary.

Soil bacteria have a complex relationship with the climate, and warming oceans threaten the oxygen-producing bacteria Cybele mentions in her description. I’m going to the 1/19 one. Learn more and say you’re coming!



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