USGS - science for a changing world

U.S. Geological Survey - Microbiology

Maps, Imagery, and Publications Hazards Newsroom Education Jobs Partnerships Library About USGS Podcasts/RSS

Human Health

Using microbes, scientists study environmental agents that can impact human health.

Human Health Research Activities

Many microbes are part of the normal flora of humans. They provide numerous functions from protection against pathogenic strains to assisting in metabolism. Other microbes that are not part of human flora protect us with products of microbial metabolism which humans both eat and drink. Still others are modified to develop vaccines or produce insulin, vital for the health of humans diagnosed with Type I diabetes. Other microbes are pathogenic to humans and exposure can cause illness or death. Humans may come into contact with pathogenic bacteria through multiple sources, including exposure through atmospheric, contaminated food or water, injury or contact with an infected human or animal.

Energy ImpactsHuman liver tissue. Photo credit: USGS
Topics from USGS Human Health

Related Links and References

Bunnell, Joseph Human liver tissue. Photo credit: USGS
De Cola, F. Lee  
Helterbrand, Wm. Steve  

back to top

*this list of USGS scientists involved in human health and microbiology is likely to be incomplete