I really like a species of bacteria call S. aureus. I use it to study whether air pollution causes infections in the lung. By adjusting the bacteria’s DNA I can make the S.aureus glow. This makes it easy to count in lung cells under the microscope.
A fun fact is that aureus means ‘golden’ in latin and S.aureus grows as a golden splodge in a petri dish 🙂
My job is to study microbes so I know lots of interesting ones. I guess I would have to pick Zika virus as that is what I’m working on just now. It was discovered in the 1950s but didn’t really do anything. Then all of a sudden it appeared again in 2015 and made thousands of people sick and we still don’t really know why.
I’m a microbiologist so I find them all pretty fascinating! I’ve always been interested in types of microbes called ‘extremophiles’ which can live in really inhospitable environments on Earth, such as places with very high or low temperatures, pressures or salt concentrations. They are useful in part for studying how life could potentially exist on other planets!
One of my specific favourites though which isn’t an extremophile is a bacteria called Pseudomonas aeruginosa. It can zip about swimming through liquids, and it’s actually the cause of a lot of infections and disease so it’s interesting to study.