Lichens: When Fungi and Algae (or Cyanobacteria) Merged
Fungi feed themselves quite ably, absorbing nutrients from organic materials. Algae and cyanobacteria are also adept at providing for their own nutritional needs by turning sunlight into energy through photosynthesis.
Y... Read More
The Partnerships That Led to Higher Life
If you could peer deep into one of the many cells in your body, you’d see little blobs, squiggles, and coils. These are the cel... Read More
In the deepest sea, where not a single photon of sunlight ever penetrates, life persists in eternal darkness, crowded around chemical- and lava-spewing fissures in the ocean’s floor. Life around these hydrothermal vents includes shrimp, crabs, and tall, slender tubeworms.... Read More
Microbeworld has a host of multimedia content (audio and video) available about the science of microbiology and several of its disciplines. MicrobeWorld's video and audio podcasts are distributed through the iTunes music store, the Zune marketplace, Miro, Blackberry and various video sharing ... Read More
Archaea comes from the Greek word meaning “ancient.” An appropriate name, because many archaea thrive in conditions mimicking those found more than 3.5 billion years ago. Back then, the earth was still covered by oceans that regularly reached the boiling point ... Read More
Ever been outside on a day so hot, you said to your friends, "I feel like I’m melting"? Well, of course you were exaggerating. But there are microbes called thermophiles <ther-mo-files>, or heat-lovers, that live in temperatures so hot, the microbes could actually melt if they hadn’t devel... Read More
As you read the pages of this Web site, you might have come across things that made you pause and say, "now how do they do that?" Well, here's where you can find out at least some of the answers. Click on the links below to find out how microbes manage to do some of the amazing things they do... Read More
Some people think it would be great if scientists could wipe out all the microbial bugs! Should we do it, and why or why not?
We get a lot of requests to track down the nasty bugs that are making people sick. It's true that some microbes cause health problems such as strep throat, chi... Read More
When you go to the dentist to have your jaws X-rayed, you’ll notice that you have to wear a heavy lead apron—and the person who takes the X-ray leaves the room to do it. X-rays are safe, but these precautions give you some sense of how careful we have to be around even relatively harmless lev... Read More
The biggest of the big! The baddest of the bad! The oldest of the ancients! This is where you'll find all the microbial record holders, microbes that beat all others hands down in a variety of categories. This is our microbial Boo... Read More
Developing tricks and tools to keep their enzymes in order is one way thermophiles survive. They also use techniques to keep their DNA from falling apart under intense heat. Like proteins, the parts of the long, spiral ladder-shaped DNA molecule start to unravel and break apart under high hea... Read More
Our Challenge: Name at least three places microbes live. Can you think of any places that microbes might not live?
Bacteria contain the genetic blueprint (DNA) and all the tools (ribosomes, proteins, etc.) they need to reproduce themselves.
Viruses are moochers. They contain only a limited genetic blueprint and they don't have the necessary building tools. They have to invade other cells and hijack the... Read More