On my new podcast, I talk to Martin Blaser of New York University about Helicobacter pylori, best known as the microbe that causes ulcers. It’s also an ancient passenger in our stomachs, and has evolved a delicate balance with its human hosts. In fact, Blaser is worried by the disappearance of H. pylori from the modern world, thanks to antibiotics and hygiene. We may have to pay a price for its extinction, in the form of higher rates of asthma, esophageal cancer, and perhaps even obsesity. Check it out.
With this episode, the American Society for Microbiology is bringing the Meet the Scientist podcast series to a close. In the coming year, they’re going to be focusing their online efforts on some new projects you can look forward to on the Microbe World web site. (And they’ll be keeping all the episodes of Meet the Scientist on the site.) I’ve had a wonderful time over the past year hosting the podcast, and I’d like to thank all the scientists who shared their work with me and all the people at ASM who made this experience possible.