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Tuberculosis Cure In Running For New Jersey's 'Official State Microbe' Title

NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – New Jersey's official state flower is the violet; its state animal is the horse; now, it may be getting a state microbe.

Yes, the Garden State may be getting a germ.

"I think it fits for New Jersey. Us to have a state microbe is kind of just saying that germs fit us very well," Jersey City resident Wendell Senatus told CBS2's Meg Baker.

Some may see it as yet another reason why New Jersey gets a bad rap. But others say it's an honor.

Streptomyces griseus was discovered in the Garden State in the early 1900s and helped create the world's first antibiotic for tuberculosis in 1943.

"I hope the trend turns out to be contagious. It definitely should spread. We need to infect all the other states in the union," Browns Mills resident Tim Schwanitz said.

"I think microbes should get more recognition, because they do a lot for the community," said a Wall Township woman.

Rutgers University professor Douglas Eveleigh told Baker "a microbe is a lovely little bacteria."

"I'll put in a New Jersey plug in that it came from New Jersey soil," he added.

That's right, Jersey dirt with healing powers.

"It hit tuberculosis, which at that time was probably the biggest killer in the world," said Eveleigh.

"It's done uncalculable things for humanity, it's essentially saved millions of lives," associate professor Jeff Boyd added.

Rutgers professors Albert Schatz and Dr. Selman Waksman received a 1952 Nobel Price for helping to cure the deadliest disease of their time.

"Kids will learn about the state bird, the state bug, and now they learn about the state microbe. Just another part of our would and another branch of science to be explored," said Daniella Slomko, of Woodbridge.

Science lovers say have a "germy" state has its benefits.

The state voted unanimously in favor of the bacterial bill. Now, it's on to the Assembly for a vote.

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