Dancing with the Bugs: Delicate Choreography for Humans and their Microbial Partners

From the perspective of a typical bacterium or virus, the human body is a perfect incubator: constant temperature, filled with nutrients, bathed in moisture! So why are we still around? Amy Cheng Vollmer discusses how humans and bacteria co-exist.

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by Professor of Biology Amy Cheng Vollmer "From the perspective of a typical bacterium or virus, the human body is a perfect incubator: constant temperature, filled with nutrients, bathed in moisture! So why are we still around? How do bacteria sense the presence of a host's immune response? How can both the bacterium and host survive? We'll consider these topics from a co-evolutionary and inter-dependent point of view," Vollmer says. "As well, we will explore the concept that there are many beneficial bacterial commensalisms, upon whom our lives depend. My talk will provide an overview to the intertwined worlds of humans and microbes. It will also include examples of how microbiology is an ideal vehicle for promoting science literacy throughout the Swarthmore curriculum."