Thinking Small: National Daily Radio Series to Explore Our MicrobeWorld

Barbara Hyde

Washington, DC - December 10, 2002 -- Here's a riddle. It's something that you're born without, that enters your body soon after birth and sustains you the rest of your life. What is it? The answer is Microbes. In fact, microbes are the centerpiece of life - large and small - and are found all around you.

Soon they'll be found on the radio dial, too.

The American Society for Microbiology (ASM) has teamed with Finger Lakes Productions International (FLPI) to produce a nationally syndicated daily 90-second radio show called MicrobeWorld. The program is designed to increase public appreciation of all things microbial. Public and commercial news/talk radio stations will be the primary venue for the series.

After listening to MicrobeWorld, you'll know the tale of Planetary Protection Officers; scientists charged with screening for microbes as we explore other planets. You'll understand what it is in the saliva of the Komodo dragon that renders its prey lifeless. You'll appreciate how microbes enter the initially sterile bodies of infants just hours after birth, establishing the microbial community that stays with them for life. MicrobeWorld will explain why the overuse of antibiotics is a growing problem, how microbes are key in the making of chocolate, and how microbiologists are on the front line in the war against bioterrorism.

Indeed, for things so small, microbes cut a large swath through our lives.

Ronald M. Atlas, the president of ASM, says "ASM is committed to engaging in vigorous research for the betterment of humankind and to improving the public's understanding of how microbes, good and bad, affect our lives. The MicrobeWorld radio series is a key component of this communications effort."

To learn more about MicrobeWorld and to hear a sample of the program, visit the FLPI website at Those interested in having the series heard on a local station are encouraged to call FLPI at 607-275-9400.

About ASM

The American Society for Microbiology is the oldest and largest single life science membership organization in the world. Membership has grown from 59 scientists in 1899 to over 42,000 members today located throughout the world. ASM represents 25 disciplines of microbiological specialization plus a division for microbiology educators. The ASM can be found online at The ASM also has an educational site for the general public at

About FLPI

Finger Lakes Productions International, based in Ithaca, New York is an industry leader in the production and distribution of radio programming. FLPI is in its 15th year of operation and currently serves more than 500 stations with 60 and 90-second environmental, scientific and lifestyle radio features.