Why You Should Love Bacteria


On February 8th 2017, a guest lecture with the theme “Why You Should Love Bacteria” was held in Balairung Universitas Indonesia, Depok. The keynote speaker is none other than Dr. Sir Richard J. Roberts, a Research Director at New England Biolabs in Massachusetts who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Medicine in 1993 for his discoveries of split genes and mRNA splicing. This lecture is a part of 6th ASEAN “Bridges” event series ranging throughout January to March 2017 in Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.


In his lecture, Dr. Sir Richard conveyed his great interest in bacteria by explaining how the world is full of bacterias of any kind. Even the most extreme habitats, from 2000C volcano crates with high methane level to -200C ice lands in the earth poles, can be a perfect habitat for archaebacteria. Although we cannot see bacterias, they can be found everywhere including our own body. We are most likely to be dead if there’s no Escherichia coli to help digest the food in our colon. We also utilize various bacterias for food and beverages such as dairy products and fermented foods.

Not all bacterias are the ‘good guys’, of course, surely we all know how some diseases can be caused by pathogenic bacterias. The keynote speaker not only explained about the classifications of bacterias but also their functions and applications, or the bad effects they caused. At the end of the lecture, he encouraged educated people to keep developing and researching in order to apply their knowledge for a better nation. There are people out there who are still afraid of innovation in genetically modified organism because of fake issues regarding health risks and economical disadvantage. However, do not stop to pursue your dream as well as the world’s dream; reducing food scarcity, improving agriculture, innovating new methods of health care, and so on.



This article is written by our member, Kanya Citta H.A., Bioprocess Engineering 2015, who attended the guest lecture and are willing to contribute in SBE UISC website. If you have any article regarding Biological Engineering you would like us to post, please send an email to sbeuisc@gmail.com with the subject “Post My Article”.


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