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Welcome to Mostly Microbes and Infectious Diseases. David Ojcius posts newspaper and journal articles in the broad field of microbiology.

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Microbiology and Climate Change

This special issue will provide a global snapshot of the research that addresses the association between #microbiology and #climate change. Guest editors: Dr. Jason Tetro, University of the Pacific, San Francisco Dr. David Ojcius, University of the Pacific, San Francisco Special issue information: #ClimateChange has become part of the common lexicon; however, most discussions tend to focus on macroscopic topics such as atmospheric CO2 levels and extreme weather conditions. Ye

Climate Change’s Hidden Impact: Landslides

#Climate change could increase likelihood of landslides due to more extreme rain events, more intense wildfires & rising sea levels. It is easy to view the ground as stable, as fixed, as immovable, even when deep down we know that it’s not. Sometimes the earth seems to shudder, as with an earthquake, and sometimes it pops, as with a volcanic eruption. Other times the earth slips, bits of dirt, handfuls of pebbles, beads of water combining and shifting until they coalesce int

California wildfire smoke poses health risk

Droughts & #wildfires are increasing due to #climate change. How to protect yourself Read more at:

Climate change brings more wildfires and health hazards from wildfire smoke

Adriana Chan, Melissa Nguyen, Adam Acevedo and David Ojcius As #wildfire season begins, be prepared to change your behavior to minimize the amount of inhaled wildfire smoke, & use a mask. But we must do our part to reduce our carbon footprint, which then reduces changes to the #climate & the threat of #wildfires. Wildfires and wildfire smoke have always been a natural feature of California’s environment. The data are clear – since 1980, the wildfire season increasingly shifts

New Study Shows Climate Change May Increase the Spread of Plant Pathogens

New Study Shows #ClimateChange May Increase the Spread of Plant Pathogens #climate #microbiology Models suggest that higher latitude crops will experience higher infection rates and a greater number of threats The agricultural impact of climate change would be a little more straightforward, if it occurred in a world where crops were free of their microbes. Research published today has found that in this hypothetical landscape, rising global temperatures will boost global agri

Microbes in ocean help moderate Earth's temperature

#microbiology #microbiome #environment #climate #climatechange A lot of methane is found beneath seafloor, yet very little leaves oceans & gets into atmosphere. Researchers now discover that microbes rapidly consume the methane, preventing its escape into Earth's atmosphere. Methane is a strong greenhouse gas that plays a key role in Earth's climate. Anytime we use natural gas, whether we light up our kitchen stove or barbeque, we are using methane. Only three sources on Eart

More Than a Third of Heat Deaths Are Tied to Climate Change, Study Says

#climate #climatechange #globalwarming #heatstress #economicinequality Sweeping new research found that heat-related deaths in warm seasons were boosted by climate change by an average of 37 percent. More than a third of heat-related deaths in many parts of the world can be attributed to the extra warming associated with climate change, according to a new study that makes a case for taking strong action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to protect public health. The

First Genetically Modified Mosquitoes Released in US Are Hatching Now

#Zika #dengue #chikungunya #yellowfever #climatechange As Aedes aegypti #mosquitoes increase their range because of warming #climate, genetic manipulation of the disease-carrying species could gain wider appeal This week, mosquito eggs placed in the Florida Keys are expected to hatch tens of thousands of genetically modified mosquitoes, a result of the first U.S. release of such insects in the wild. A biotechnology firm called Oxitec delivered the eggs in late April as part o

Climate-friendly microbes recycle carbon without making methane.

#microbiology #environment #climate #archaea Researchers identify an entirely new phylum of archaea (which they named Brockarchaeota) in hot springs in China & deep-sea hydrothermal vents in the Gulf of California. Earth’s hot springs and hydrothermal vents are home to a previously unidentified group of archaea. And, unlike similar tiny, single-celled organisms that live deep in sediments and munch on decaying plant matter, these archaea don’t produce the climate-warming gas

Climate change may have driven the emergence of SARS-CoV-2

A new study provides the first evidence of a mechanism by which #climate change could have played a direct role in the emergence of the #coronavirus #SARSCoV2, which causes #COVID19. The study has revealed large-scale changes in the type of vegetation in the southern Chinese Yunnan province, and adjacent regions in Myanmar and Laos, over the last century. Climatic changes including increases in temperature, sunlight, and atmospheric carbon dioxide—which affect the growth of p

Phages: Viruses that Infect Bacteria

A new genetic approach can accelerate the study of phage-microbe interactions with implications for #health, #agriculture, and #climate. Scientists are continually searching for new and improved ways to deal with bacteria, be it to eliminate disease-causing strains or to modify potentially beneficial strains. And despite the numerous clever drugs and genetic engineering tools humans have invented for these tasks, those approaches can seem clumsy when compared to the finely tu

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