Environmental Microbiology lecture – Prof. Ken Nealson

This year the Society for Applied Microbiology hosted the Annual Environmental Microbiology Lecture and we were lucky to hear from Professor Ken Nealson (University of Southern California) talk about bacteria that can use electricity as an energy source – defying previous assumptions of how bacteria should behave.

Ken was able to capture and impresses the audience at the Royal Society of Medicine and gave a fascinating talk on Extracellular electron transport (EET): opening new windows of metabolic opportunity for microbes .

The lecture was recorded by Wiley Blackwell and has just been uploaded to their YouTube Channel (below). Ken discusses the potential applications of bacteria that can move electrons around such as disposing of human and animal waste and the larger context of what it means when engineering and microbiology combine.

Ken Nealson is holder of the Wrigley Chair in Geobiology and Professor of Earth sciences at the University of Southern California. His current research focuses on the evolution of life in the universe and microbial life in extreme environments.

He gained recognition in the 1970s with his groundbreaking Ph.D. by discovering the mechanism by which bacteria communicate with each other. But Nealson’s collective body of research has become even more acclaimed since the discovery of quorum sensing. He has revealed new organisms and even spent time advising NASA on how to detect life on other planets.

The previous EMI lectures are all available for you to view here.

Paul Sainsbury

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