Microbiologists perform a wide range of jobs and activities, and the tools they use are just as diverse. The instruments and techniques that microbiologists use range from the simplest to the most complex.
Ages ago, as land plants were evolving, they ran into a few impediments. Soil can sometimes prove a nutrient-poor and inhospitable environment. In order to grow and thrive, plants need nitrogen to make proteins, but they lack the chemistry set to convert f... Read More
Ant Farmers and Their Gardens of Fungi
It’s not clear precisely how and why some ancestral species of ant first took up fungus farming, but scientists have determined by genetic testing that it happened about 50 million years ago.
Collaborations on a Minute Scale
Over millions of years of evolution, we humans have worked out a mutually beneficial partnership with the microbes that came to inhabit our guts. In ... Read More
Fungi are eukaryotic organisms. This means that their DNA-containing chromosomes are enclosed within a nucleus inside their cells. (The chromosomes of bacteria and archaea are not walled off inside nuclei, making them prokaryotic organisms.)
Viruses are found on or in just about every material and environment on Earth from soil to water to air. They're basically found anywhere there are cells to infect. Viruses have evolved to infect every form of life, from animal to plant and from fungi to bacter... Read More
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