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Rx for Action

A blog devoted to helping people find local medicine take-back programs and highlighting current research findings and pending legislation.


UpClose with John Kelly

UpClose with John Kelly takes readers into the microscopic world of freshwater bacteria. Kelly, a microbiologist at Loyola University Chicago, talks with IISG's Anjanette Riley and Laura Kammin about the impacts commonly-used pharmaceuticals and consumer products have on these microbes. Their conversation highlights the results of several of Kelly's most recent studies and explores just how materials we use every day are driving significant changes in the make-up and function of the bacterial communities that keep things running smoothly in aquatic ecosystems. One of the projects discussed is among the first to study how bacterial communities respond to a nanomaterial commonly used in cosmetics and sunscreen. The results of this IISG-funded study and additional nanomaterial research could help guide the development of these chemicals while their levels in the environment are still low.

Kelly has spent the last decade working to shine a light on the impacts that human activities have on aquatic microbial communities. His research has looked at everything from how bacterial communities are affected by atmospheric carbon dioxide to the role biofilms may play in helping dangerous pathogens survive in the pipes that deliver drinking water.

Click here to read what Kelly had to say, and view previous issues in the series at UpClose.

For a print copy of this or any other interview, contact Susan White at 217-333-9441 or

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Posted by Laura Kammin at 11:17AM on 7/31/2013
Categories: Latest Research