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 Tuesday 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

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 teeth,… » 12/13/13 10:40am 12/13/13 10:40am