Questions for ‘Good germs lurk in gross places’


Animals, dirt and other sources of germs help people maintain healthy communities of microbes in their bodies.


To accompany feature “Good germs lurk in gross places”


Before Reading

1.       What do you think of when you hear the word “germs”? What are some of the most germy places you can think of?

2.       What products in your home or school are designed to kill germs?

During Reading:

1.    What is a microbiome?

2.    What is a fecal transplant?

3.    What health condition is a fecal transplant approved to treat in the United States?

4.    What method did Thomas Borody and his colleagues use to give new fecal bacteria to children with autism?

5.    Why does Anita Kozyrskyj think it is important for babies to be exposed to germs?

6.    Where do some of a baby’s first microbes come from?

7.    How does growing up with a dog seem to affect the microbiomes of babies?

8.    Why are bacterial communities in the body a good place to search for new antibiotics?

9.    What new antibiotic did Bernhard Krismer and his team discover in the human nose?

10.  Why is it important for researchers to find new antibiotics?

After Reading:

1.    What are some ways that germs help keep people healthy?

2.    If you got sick with something that a doctor thought a fecal transplant would cure, would you want to have one? Explain why or why not.

3.    Look up the term the “hygiene hypothesis.” What does it mean? Use data presented in this story to support or refute this idea.