Did you hear the one about the microbes that send out electricity through their hair? Or the one about the germs that actually clean up toxic algae-ridden water? How about the bacteria that build up artificial bones or manufacture medicine?
They may sound as outlandish as the stupid pet tricks you see on late-night talk shows, but the tricks that microbes do could end up improving lives and saving energy.
Researchers from around the world swapped their tales of not-so-stupid microbe tricks over the weekend at the Society for General Microbiology's meeting at Herot-Watt University in Edinburgh, Scotland. Here's a sampling of the stories: