Dave Young

We interviewed Dave from Northampton University. He is a student studying microgorganisms to find answers. he is working on a bacteria called Clostridium difficile. We asked Dave some questions about his work and he kindly sent us some answers. Thanks!

Hi guys, here are the answers for the questions you asked me.

(1) My favourite fact about bacteria is probably that they can live
anywhere from in our stomach to active volcanoes, even in radioactive
waste and the deepest depths of the ocean. There is even a theory that
there is life on the planet mars which originated from bacteria on
earth (years ago a meteor hit the earth so hard it sent large chunks of
earth rock covered in bacteria out into space and it landed on mars)
this is just a theory but the maths make it feasible. (still really
cool though right!!)

(2) I’ve kind of always liked science but never really had the
opportunity at school. Luckily now though i have the chance, so you
guys should make the most of any opportunity in science you get.

(3) Regarding accidents I’ve only really had one and that was dropping a
plate that had a bacteria with the potential to kill called clostridium
difficile. This resulted in contamination and an immediate clean up.

(4) At the moment I am working on clostridium difficile (strains cd630
and r20291) disrupting the genes that encode for its movement. There
are two products I’m trying to stop one is the type iv twitching pili,
these act like little arms that come out of the bacteria in clusters
and aide in the movement surfaces (such as the lining of your
intestine) the second is known as a flagellum (flagella = more than
one) this acts as a tail that rotates clock wise and counter clockwise
to provide stability and movement in a fluid environment (such as
diarrhoea). Hopefully my research will give an insight into possible
ways of stopping this dangerous bacterium from spreading (mainly in
hospital wards) (in America I believe the count was at 14,000 deaths
due to clostridium difficile and is one of the few bacteria that is not
controlled that well thus the death toll is still rising.

Hope this helps guys and if you have any other questions feel free to
ask.

Dave

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