OUR VITAL MICROORGANISMS
Meet Anna Blücher, Senior Lecturer at the Department of Chemistry and Biomedical Sciences, Linnaeus University and part of the Pure Effect Network. We interviewed Anna to catch a glimps of her knowledge of and love to microorganisms.
You have devoted much of your life to microorganisms and their importance for life on this planet. When did you first become aware of them and why do they fascinate you?
During the study period, I realized the benefits of microorganisms. I worked a semester in a project of micro fungi with special organs to catch harmful nematodes. The more I read about bacteria, the more fascinated I become. With more knowledge of ecology, I have learnt to appreciated their vital importance in the natural cycle.
How can we and the ecosystem benefit from their capabilities?
By studying what they can do in nature. Break down different substances that we do not want to have around us (fat, smell and dirt) and other substances, such as nasty environmental toxins. The examples are so many. Find the “extremists”; those who can work in the most difficult conditions, hot, hot, cold or sour …
Do you have a “favorite” bacteria?
I actually have two groups: Lacto bacteria that give us so many tasty foods with long shelf-life (cheese, sourdough bread, soured vegetables and salami to mention just a few) and that do so much good in our guts. And the Bacillus species that are specialized in degradation and which we can use to produce so many interesting enzymes.
The past 50 years has been a lot about peoples fear of bacteria, although most of them are vital to us. What is your weirdest bacteria experience?
“Yuck, bacteria can NEVER be good”. I had a student who didn´t even dare to open the culture dish (with totally harmless microbes) – he was convinced that they would jump out of it and make him sick.
What everyday problems do you think we will be able to solve in the future using bacteria?
I hope and believe that products like Pure Effects’ will be found in most homes. And that we will make even better use of old and new knowledge about microorganisms. I hope that we can accept the possibilities that DNA technology gives us to make good organisms even better – i. e. that GMO (and GMM – genetically modified microorganisms) will be accepted!
What bacterial advice would you like to give us to improve our own health? What can we do/eat more or less of?
When it comes to our own health, the advice given by the Swedish Food Administration is correct: Fruits, vegetables and fiber-rich foods multiplies our “good” gut bacteria, wich make us healthier – and HAPPIER! In that diet there is not much room for white flour and added sugar products; soda, ice cream, candy and fine bakery products.