The Doctor Is In: Malevolent and Magnificent Microbes

Joan Bennett (Plant Biology and Pathology; Associate Vice President for Promotion of Women in Science, Engineering, and Mathematics)

Microbes are organisms too small to be seen by the naked eye. The best-known microbes cause diseases, but most microbial species are an essential and beneficial part of the living world. This seminar will explore the many roles of microbes: in food such as bread and yogurt, for beverage fermentations like wine and beer, as sources of biologically active chemical compounds, including penicillin and hallucinogens, and in processes such as bio-deterioration and sewerage treatment. Students will also examine microbial diseases in human history, including plagues, syphilis, and tuberculosis.

Course Number: 
11:090:101 section 02 index 07161