UV Water Purifiers Are Bullshit

To achieve its claimed ability to remove pathogens, water going into CamelBak’s new UV purifier must first be cleaned by a filter from a rival manufacturer. And that rival product is cheaper. That’s according to CamelBak’s own lab testing. And its not the only water treatment technology that’s incapable of performing… » 5/14/15 2:25pm 5/14/15 2:25pm

How Scientists Will Find Your Next Antibiotic in this Pile of Dirt

Nearly a century after scientists dug up penicillin, researchers are turning once more to the soil for new pharmaceuticals. But this time, they have tiny, powerful technologies on their side. Here's how scientists are unlocking the secrets of soil microbes and discovering the next generation of medicine. » 3/13/15 11:00am 3/13/15 11:00am

This Water Bottle Filters All Germs As You Drink

Worry about dirty water when you're traveling, biking or hiking and don't want to fuss with a complicated, heavy filter or pollute the taste of your drinking water with chemical treatments? This new Naked Filter from Liquidity promises to remove "99.9999%" of bacteria and protozoa as you sip. » 3/12/15 1:48pm 3/12/15 1:48pm

Magnetic Nanobeads Can Snatch Bacteria and Virus Out of Blood

Sepsis is an nasty and surprisingly common way to die. The illness is triggered by blood infections but, ultimately, it's your own immune reaction—not the bacteria or virus—that poisons you to death. Filtering those pathogens out of blood right away, though, could be a promising treatment. Enter a new device made of m… » 9/16/14 3:19pm 9/16/14 3:19pm

Switzerland Puts Secret Bacteria in Cheese to Catch Knockoffs

In parts of Europe, where cheese is taken seriously as a source of national pride, entire labs are devoted to spotting knockoff Emmental and Gruyere. Switzerland has what may be the most impressive strategy yet: secret cocktails of bacteria, sent only to licensed cheesemakers, that work as living biological tracers. » 8/28/14 3:46pm 8/28/14 3:46pm

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 8/25/14 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

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