The National Academies

The National Academies: What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

What You Need To Know About Infectious Disease

The New Science of Metagenomics: Revealing the Secrets of Our Microbial Planet (2009)

Although we can't see them, microbes are essential for every part of human life—indeed all life on Earth. The emerging field of metagenomics provides a new way of viewing the microbial world that will not only transform modern microbiology, but also may revolutionize understanding of the entire living world. This audio podcast looks at recommendations from the National Research Council on how to shape this emerging field of study and manage the immense findings that it is sure to provide.

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What do you know about infectious disease?

True or False: Infection with a pathogen (a disease-causing microbe) does not necessarily lead to disease.

  • Correct!

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.

  • Sorry, that’s incorrect.

    Infection occurs when viruses, bacteria, or other microbes enter your body and begin to multiply. Disease follows when the cells in your body are damaged as a result of infection, and signs and symptoms of an illness appear.