Purified and Yellow Bacterial Happiness: Mycobacterium vaccae

Dust

Mycobacteria are an important group of bacteria which includes pathogens known to cause serious diseases in humans, including tuberculosis and leprosy. Whilst the diseases caused by this genus of bacteria can be devastating, in contrast one of its harmless members, Mycobacterium vaccae, is ubiquitous in soil, and exposure to it has been shown in many studies to reduce anxiety, and through this effect, even improve the ability to learn. Here this natural bacterium with powerful anxiolytic properties has been converted into a persuasive glitter or dust, that incorporated into clothing, food, or an art gallery’s air ventilation system, would make the wearer, eater, and observer of the art happier.

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