Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Growing pile of human and animal waste harbors threats, opportunities

The global amount of recoverable fecal waste harbors risks, such as water contamination, but also opportunities to harvest natural resources. A new study from Carlton S. Wilder Assistant Professor Joe Brown, left, and others at Georgia Tech has determined just how much of that recoverable biomass exists. Here, Brown is pictured with former student Andrew Loo. (Photo: Gary Meek)

As demand for meat and dairy products increases across the world, much attention has landed on how livestock impact the environment, from land usage to greenhouse gas emissions. Now researchers at Georgia Institute of Technology and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are highlighting another effect from animals raised for food and the humans who eat them: the waste they all leave behind.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Genomic study of 412 anthrax strains provides new clues about why some strains are more virulent than others

A photomicrographic view of Bacillus anthracis bacteria taken from heart blood and processed using a carbol-fuchsin stain. (Image Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

By analyzing genomic sequences from more than 400 strains of the bacterium that causes anthrax, researchers have provided the first evidence that the severity — technically known as virulence — of specific strains may be related to the number of copies of certain plasmids they carry. Plasmids are genetic structures of the cell that can reproduce independently, and are responsible for producing the anthrax toxin and other virulence factors.

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

New CDC-sponsored research seeks to understand water-related risks of antibiotic use in agriculture

Several chickens walking on a leaf and stick-covered area in Hapeville, Georgia. Joe Brown and a team of Georgia Tech researchers have received a grant from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to study how antibiotic use on poultry farms might impact waterways near and downstream from the farms. They will collect samples in north Georgia to measure antibiotic resistance genes and resistant pathogens in the environment. (Photo: Jess Hunt-Ralston)

A group of Georgia Tech researchers has received $340,000 from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to better understand how poultry feeding operations in Georgia potentially introduce antibiotic-resistant pathogens into the nearby environment.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Genomics technique could revolutionize how we detect bacteria in food poisoning outbreaks

Microbiologists use next-generation sequencing technology to identify a bacterial DNA fingerprint. (Photo: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)

A new testing methodology based on metagenomics could accelerate the diagnosis of foodborne bacterial outbreaks, allowing public health officials to identify the microbial culprits in less than a day. The methodology could also identify co-infections with secondary microbes, determine the specific variant of the pathogen, and help alert health officials to the presence of new or unusual pathogens.

Thursday, December 1, 2016
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