Livin' on the MDedge

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Big honor for a small pharmaceutical partner

This week, we ask an important medical question: What’s your favorite microbe? Think about that for a minute while we discuss New Jersey’s new bacterial BFF.

Streptomyces griseus recently joined the Knobbed Whelk (state shell), the Square Dance (state dance), and the A.J. Meerwald (state tall ship) as official symbols of the Garden State.

S. griseus, it turns out, was discovered in the soil of New Jersey in 1916 and also was “isolated from the gullet of a healthy New Jersey chicken.” In 1943, researchers from Rutgers University (the state university of New Jersey, by the way) used it to create streptomycin, the first antibiotic to treat cholera and tuberculosis. In 1952, Rutgers researcher Selman Waksman received a Nobel Prize for discovering the microbe and creating the antibiotic.

LOTME certainly acknowledges the place of S. griseus in history, but we’ve selected another significant organism as our official microbe: Saccharomyces cerevisiae, also known as brewer’s yeast.

And since we know you were wondering, our official amphibian is the Eastern Hellbender salamander, our official fabric is Carrickmacross lace, our official soil is Harney silt loam, our official fictional opera singer is Placebo Domingo, and our official sport is jousting.

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