SDARI: San Diego Association of Rational Inquiry Monthly Meetup
- SUNDAY, JULY 22, 2012 Speaker: Greg Wanger; Topic: Bacteria and What It Can Do For Us.
Microbes are among the oldest lineage of life on the planet, having been around for ~3.7 billion years. They have changed the atmosphere of our planet and altered the chemistry of our vast oceans. In our modern world we are beginning to understand that the notion of bacteria as ‘bad’ or ‘germs’ is not a complete picture. For instance, recent work into the human microbiome (i.e. all the microbes that live on and in us) show that many of these microbes are beneficial to us and without them our lives would be vastly different. From generating electricity, producing medicines and other useful products, and maintaining our own health and well-being bacteria can do it all.
Greg Wanger joined the J. Craig Venter Institute as a postgraduate fellow in the Electomicrobiology Group in San Diego in 2008. Greg spent several months as part of a team performing metagenomic deep mine sampling in South African gold and platinum mines in search of previously unknown genes. The organism they discovered has been billed as a possible model for alien life, since it lives in very harsh conditions alone without light or oxygen.
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