Kicker: A state microbe


NICK EICHER, HOST: Each state celebrates its unique agriculture, wildlife, and cultural traditions with a set of official symbols.

New Jersey, for example, has an official state bird: the Eastern Goldfinch.

An official flower, the Violet.

An official tree, the Dogwood.

So New Jersey is no exception, except for this exception: it now has an official state microbe. Say it with me, Streptomyces griseus.

Governor Phil Murphy signed a bill last week recognizing the microbe, which scientists discovered in New Jersey soil in 1916.

Why the Streptomyces griseus? You might ask.

Researchers would use this microbe to create the antibiotic that helped drastically reduce the death rates due to tuberculosis.

Rutgers researcher Selman Waksman won the 1952 Nobel Prize for Medicine for discovering the microbe and creating the antibiotic.

It’s The World and Everything in It.


(Photo/The Scientist Magazine)

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