Issues Magazine

Issues Magazine December 2013

An overview of what's in this edition of Issues.
From health to life on Earth as we know it, our relationship with microbes is far more complex than you might think.
The unusual properties and abilities of some Archaea have earned them the title of “extremophile”, and scientists are still working to understand them.
The stigma and sometimes silent nature of sexually transmissible infections are challenges to reducing the impact of this group of diseases.
“Bring back the pox! Bring back polio! Bring back whooping cough, mumps and measles! Your children will be stronger if they contract disease,” according to a book recently pulled from Australia’s biggest online book store.
One of the premises of pandemic plans is that the public will cooperate with authorities. How well we cooperate with quarantine and rationing, queuing at surgeries and being ordered to stay at home will determine how well the country copes.
Living things that glow in the dark are showing great potential in the fight against drug-resistant tuberculosis.
Many of us take antibiotics for granted, but rising bacterial resistance is having major health consequences.
A group of widely-occurring bacteria has been able to overcome the antimicrobial activity of nanosilver upon prolonged exposure.
Humans and animals intimately sharing the same environment will inevitably be exposed to each other’s microbiota. When one of those organisms is a drug-resistant pathogen, disease prevention gets complex.
Understanding the partnerships between microbes and plants could help to solve the global food crisis.
A fungus is providing a biological alternative to chemical methods for weed control.
Microbes can operate in the toughest conditions on Earth, including among the acids and heavy metals of the mining industry.
Australians tend to think of our “home-grown” mosquitoes as annoying rather than dangerous. That’s a mistake, according to one of Australia’s best-known mosquito experts, Dr Cameron Webb, an entomologist based at the University of Sydney.
Asthma symptoms can worsen for a range of environmental and occupational reasons. At least half of all asthma exacerbations are caused by respiratory viruses, but there are microbiological causes too.
In this podcast, microbial ecologist Prof Rob Knight explains why we need the millions of microbes that make a home in and on our bodies.
New evidence indicates that the microbial community in our gut has a huge effect on brain function.
Heralded as a “miracle of modern medicine” when they were first discovered, antibiotics have been overused for so long that most have become ineffective.
Bacterial disturbances in the gut may play a role in autoimmune attacks on the joints, pointing the way to novel treatments and diagnostics
A group of widely-occurring bacteria has been able to overcome the antimicrobial activity of nanosilver upon prolonged exposure.
The Institution of Chemical Engineers
Swinburne University
University of Adelaide
Iowa State University
UC Irvine