Microbiology Today February 2007 - Microbes shaping history

Being small doesn't mean you won't make an impact. Throughout history, and no doubt into the future, microbes have had an effect upon our world. This issue of Microbiology Today looks at microbes shaping history.

Microbes shaping history
Bernard Dixon reflects upon the effects that microbes have on mankind - throughout our past and into our future.

Napoleon and typhus: a tale of two generals
Military tactics play an important role in deciding the outcome of battles, but so too does infectious disease, as Gavin Thomas explains.

Phytophthora: a blight on Ireland
Millions died or emigrated from Ireland in the 19th century, after late blight devastated the potato crops. Gareth Griffith tells us how this disaster revolutionized plant pathology and crop protection.

How two antimicrobials altered the history of the modern world
Milton Wainwright informs us of two significant uses of novel antimicrobial drugs and discusses how their use may have altered the outcome of World War II.

Vaccination spells the end for a devastating plague
Highly virulent diseases, such as avian influenza and AIDS, are a current major threat, but Tom Barrett highlights a global vaccination programme that is successfully eradicating deadly rinderpest disease.

Evolution in action: a virological experiment of long duration
Jean Lindenmann describes the serial passage of rabies virus in rabbits for over 50 years - possibly one of the longest biological experiments on record.

Comment: XDR tuberculosis - untreatable disease or the X factor in mycobacteriology
Extreme drug resistant TB poses a serious risk to public health. Ibraham Abubakar takes a look at problem and discusses whether this emerging threat can be controlled.

John Grainger offers some helpful advice on choosing and using the right microbial cultures in school laboratory practicals.

Jane Westwell takes a look at the range of roles available in the healthcare sector for medical microbiologists.

Hot off the Press highlights some new developments in microbiological research published in the Society's journals - Microbiology, Journal of General Virology, International Journal of Systematic and Evolutionary Microbiology and Journal of Medical Microbiology. Topics covered include:

  • A soapy solution to HIV?
  • Star Wars fantasy comes true!
  • Mobile genes and meningitis
  • A 'tail' about brain abscess formation

Other items include:

Last updated 14 May 2007