Popular Science

  • We would like to share our excitement about microorganisms and how they communicate using small molecules, so-called secondary metabolites. Check out our Photographic Explorations, Podcast, Popular Science Articles and Videos, which are predominately in Danish.  



  • In 1928, Alexander Flemming discovered that a microorganism produced a bactericidal substance: penicillin. This and similar antibiotic compounds are classified and so-called secondary metabolites because they are not believed to be essential for the growth of the organism.
  • Many microorganisms can produce antibiotics, and 60% of the antibiotics we use in medical treatment are of microbial origin. Analyzes of microbial genomes show that there is still a huge untapped potential for production of antibiotic compounds. This is good news for treating bacterial infections.
  • We have assumed that microorganisms in natural environments use antibiotics in their mutual competition, a kind of "weapons of mass destruction", but we do not know if this is actually the natural function. By understanding the (many) functions that secondary metabolites (with antibiotic activity) have in microbial communities, we can both become wiser about how nature works, but also lay out new and better strategies for finding new antibiotics.