Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. Trouble is, that story is nowhere near…
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there…
Using state-of-the art microscopy, scientists have peered inside cardiac cells while they beat, revealing tube-like structures that buckle and then snap back into shape, much like shock absorbers. The details now appear in Science.
Humans aren’t the only ones trying their best to warm up the world like it’s a Hot Pocket. Bacteria are also creating particles that melt glaciers and make the world comfortable for more bacteria.
Urinary tract infections are typically caused by a bacterium that somehow manages to creep its way into the bladder, despite the intense pressures exerted by urination. It turns out these microbes use hooks to cling on in desperation while we pee.
Mimiviruses are viruses so big they can actually be seen with a simple light microscope. European scientists have now learned that these bizarre organisms have their own immune system that makes them virtually invulnerable to predatory viruses, suggesting these creatures may actually represent a new branch in the tree…
The post-antibiotic future sounds terrifying, but here’s one upside you didn’t imagine: swilling Viking crunk juice to stay alive. New research suggests that mead, the vitality drink of gods and berserkers alike, was a potent medicine in ancient times. And with science, we can make it even better.
Like every other surface of your body, your mouth is teeming with a panoply of bacteria. It’s a thought most of us try to keep buried in the backs of our minds, but a new study shows that the tiny communities flourishing between your molars can be quite pretty. In a kaleidoscopic nightmare-fuel sort of way.
The 5,300-year-old natural mummy dubbed Ötzi the Iceman, discovered in 1991, is still teaching us things. A multidisciplinary team of scientists at European Academy of Bozen have studied Ötzi’s gut bacteria to learn more about early human migration patterns.
The winners of the 2015 FASEB BioArt Image and Video Competition have been announced, and they’re amazing. Chosen from a diverse cross-section of biology, they feature everything from the proteins that make up the Ebola virus through to roundworms feasting on bacteria. Here’s the best, most beautful science photos the…
A popular adage states that it’s okay to eat food off the floor if it’s picked up within five seconds. But is it true? A food scientist investigates.
I know breast milk is good and all, but when I became a mom I was kinda shocked at how much it was cited as a cure-all for anything that ailed my newborn. It turns out it’s not just because of the nutritional value. My baby’s immune system is communicating with mine THROUGH MY NIPPLES. And now that I understand how it…
One risk of sexual behavior is catching a disease from a partner. But sex partners trade a lot of other microorganisms as well, and some of them might actually have beneficial effects.
Researchers working off the Shimokita Peninsula in Japan have discovered living microbes buried 8,000 feet below the seabed, a new record. And because they resemble those found in forest soils, these organisms likely survived for tens of millions of years after being buried under the seabed.
By pitting various strains of bacteria against one another, researchers from Vanderbilt University have stumbled upon a novel way of discovering active chemicals that can be used to produce powerful new drugs.
When was the last time you thanked the bugs in your belly? Even if the concept of a “healthy” microbiome is flawed, the trillions of microorganisms living in your gut (and mouth, and vagina, and nose, etc.) play a vital role in many of your body’s functions. They’re so essential, many refer to the microbiome as an…
It’s a feeling I hope you never experience: You crack open an ice cold beer after a long day, take a sip expecting the familiar hoppy, bubbly goodness to hit your taste buds, and instead, you get a mouthful of flat, acrid sludge.
At Blood Falls, deep red iron-rich water oozes out of a glacier. It’s dramatic and unmissable on its own, but Blood Falls has always hinted at some greater hidden thing—that would be a vast subterranean network of briny waters, which scientists have just started to map.
The man in the picture is considered the "Father of Microbiology." He helped to discover and sketch microorganisms. When he turned his microscope on beer, he saw some of the most useful microorganisms in the world — but he failed to recognize them.