A Gut Microbe Could Be the Key to Stopping Peanut Allergies

In the past few decades, food allergies have been increasingly and mysteriously on the rise. A possible explanation lies with our gut bacteria, which have been reshaped by our soap- and antibiotics-laden lifestyles. A new study in mice adds intriguing evidence: one particular type of bacteria prevents sensitivity to… » 8/25/14 6:00pm Monday 6:00pm

Electricity-Eating Bacteria Are Real and More Common Than We Thought

In the extreme world of bacteria, stunts such as living in hot springs or without oxygen are, like, totally unimpressive. But then there are bacteria that live off electricity, feeding directly on naked electrons. Even more surprisingly, scientists are finding that these bacteria are not even that rare. » 7/17/14 7:47pm 7/17/14 7:47pm

This Flickering Screen Is Powered by Plant-Eating Bacteria

In the future, the lines between technology and nature will continue to blur, as we create innovative approaches to renewable energy. It's actually already happening, and there's no better example than the Eventual, a bio art project by two designers from the University of Pennsylvania. » 5/17/14 1:00pm 5/17/14 1:00pm

The SpaceX Launch Is Sending Dinosaur Microbes to the Space Station

The SpaceX Dragon capsule that just left Earth for the International Space Station is carrying many an important item: a new laser communication system, coffee (which they just ran out of!), a planter for fresh produce, and billions and billions of microbes swabbed from dinosaur bones, sneakers, and spacecraft clean… » 4/18/14 4:45pm 4/18/14 4:45pm

4 Ways Tiny Microbes Changed Life on Earth Forever

This is the microbes' world—we just live in it. Throughout the history of Earth, microbes have radically reshaped life on the planet, from creating the very air we breath to wiping out almost all life on Earth. Don't underestimate the power of tiny, tiny microbes populating the Earth trillions of times over. » 4/07/14 12:00pm 4/07/14 12:00pm

Did A "Field of Human Excrement" By The White House Kill A President?

If you remember President William Henry Harrison from U.S. history class at all, then you probably remember him as the poor fellow who died from pneumonia a month after delivering his inaugural address in freezing rain. Except was it really pneumonia after all? A New York Times article suggests a different theory, and… » 4/02/14 5:40pm 4/02/14 5:40pm

How the Architecture of Our Buildings Shapes the Germs Around Us

We design buildings to make human lives better—but should we also design them to make bacteria healthier? A new study posits just that, suggesting that the microbial communities that live amongst us are deeply influenced by the design of our buildings. Wait—but aren't microbes bad? Not exactly. » 1/30/14 4:40pm 1/30/14 4:40pm

The World's Awesomest Scientists Invent Cavity-Free Candy

With a breakthrough that will finally help Halloween top Christmas as the best holiday ever, scientists at the Berlin-based biotech lab Organo Balance claim to have developed a candy that doesn't cause cavities. You'll still get sick and pack on the pounds from gorging on sweets, but if you forget to brush your… » 12/13/13 10:40am 12/13/13 10:40am

The New Deadliest Substance Known to Man Is Top Secret (For Now)

Scientists recently discovered a new type of botulinum toxin (a.k.a. botox) that they believe is the deadliest substance known to man. Because they've yet to discover an antitoxin, researchers won't publish the details of gene sequence due to security concerns—a first for the scientific community. Thank God. » 10/14/13 12:24pm 10/14/13 12:24pm

Infections Fight To The Death Inside This 3D-Printed Chimpanzee Skull

A research team at the University of Texas, led by chemists Jodi Connell, Marvin Whiteley, and Jason Shear, has 3D-printed this microscopic chimpanzee skull, which later served as an unsettling proof-of-concept for printing "microscopic houses" to trap bacteria, forming "tiny zoos for the study of infections." » 10/07/13 7:13pm 10/07/13 7:13pm