NASA's Curiosity rover team reported on Tuesday surprising spikes in methane gas, raising the possibility of microbial alien life on the red planet. On Earth, most methane, better known as natural gas, is released by microbes that belch out the gas as they digest food. The rover mission scientis... Read More
Microorganisms are very diverse and include all the bacteria and archaea and almost all the protozoa. They also include some members of the fungi, algae, and animals such as rotifers. Many macro animals and plants have juvenile stages which are also microorganisms. Some microbiologists also clas... Read More
In 1887, Dr. Joseph Kinyoun set up his one-room Hygienic Laboratory in the Marine Hospital on Staten Island in New York to research cholera and other infectious diseases such as diphtheria, typhoid, smallpox, typhus, plague and tuberculosis. This was the beginning of the National Institutes of H... Read More
Designer Wei Lei poses a challenging, and fascinating question: Would you lick a delicious treat that resembles a prickly cactus or a deadly E. coli bacterium?
The Chinese designer’s collection of sweets, Dangerous Popsicles, transforms frozen sugar water into colorful spiny treats inspired b... Read More
The Foraminifera ("forams") are among the largest and most abundant of all unicellular organisms. They can reach 20 cm in length and 18 cm in width, and the shells surrounding them are even bigger, up to 30 cm in length. They have existed in prodigious numbers that the remnants of their shells h... Read More
On July 20 a man who was ill flew on commercial planes from the heart of the Ebola epidemic in Liberia to Lagos, Nigeria's largest city. That man became Nigeria's first Ebola case—the index patient. In a matter of weeks some 19 people across two states were diagnosed with the disease (with one a... Read More
The seafloor off the coast of Chile is carpeted with bacterial mats of gigantic proportions. They cover an area as large as that of the state of Alabama. Their total weight is of the order of 100 million tons, which probably makes this the largest single species microbiome on Earth. The mats con... Read More
Scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) have discovered exactly how the malaria parasite is developing resistance towards the most important front-line drugs used to treat the disease.
Malaria is a mosquito-borne parasite which affects over 60 million people worldwide and in se... Read More
Scientists who unlocked the genetic code of bacteria grown from a soldier who died of dysentery say it revealed a superbug that was resistant to antibiotics decades before those drugs were in common use.
The discovery sheds light on the history of antibiotic resistance, which has become a glo... Read More
Considered as an obsolete theory for many years, the transmission of acquired traits has returned to the forefront of debate thanks to the development of epigenetic research. In this context, a team of researchers has described how in Paramecia, mating types are transmitted from generation to ge... Read More
From November 2010: http://subtledesigner.blogspot.com/
So this year we really tried hard to geek out with the Christmas tree decorations (not that we haven’t done this before). We went with a 'microscopic universe' theme complete with DNA garland (made from pipe cleaners), micro-organism o... Read More
Oil reservoirs are scattered deep inside the Earth like far-flung islands in the ocean, so their inhabitants might be expected to be very different, but a new study led by Dartmouth College and University of Oslo researchers shows these underground microbes are social creatures that have exchang... Read More
Scientists from the University of Granada have successfully created magnetic bacteria that could be added to foodstuffs and could, after ingestion, help diagnose diseases of the digestive system like stomach cancer. These important findings constitute the first use of a food as a natural drug an... Read More
Imagine that scientists wanted to take Ebola virus and see if it could ever become airborne by deliberately causing mutations in the lab and then searching through those new viruses to see if any spread easily through the air.
Would that be OK?
The question was posed by David Relman, a mic... Read More
"The Holy Scriptures teach us that the realization of this wonderful plan covers all that is around us, and that came out of the thought and the heart of God," Pope Francis said, as quoted by Italian news site Resapubblica. The Pope added that "heaven is open to all creatures..."
Pet owners ... Read More
This is our first ever recommendation of an article published outside the usual scientific venues, but after all the hype we have heard about the human microbiome we were delighted to finally read a balanced account of what the research tells us and what it does not tell us. Plus, this article w... Read More
Genetic factors could play an important role in whether people survive the Ebola virus, say US scientists.
A study of mice infected with the virus found they showed a number of different symptoms, with 19% remaining unaffected by the disease.
This could explain why some people recover from... Read More
Scientists who work on genomics and are funded by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) must post their data online so that others can build on the information, the agency has said in an update to its guidelines.
The change, which expands the remit of an earlier data-sharing policy, is ... Read More
Life is pretty interesting, and at the microscopic scale, it can also be beautiful, strange, intriguing, frightening and gross. The winning photos and videos from this year’s Olympus BioScapes competition span the whole range.
From rat brains to butter daisies to weevils and barnacle appendag... Read More
A music video making the rounds on YouTube entitled “One Truth,” is dedicated to all of the brave researchers, healthcare workers, and others who have put their lives on the line to save people during the recent outbreak of Ebola virus disease. Pardis Sabeti, MD, DPhil, an NIH-funded New Innovat... Read More