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Microbes News

Essential Science: Alternative power from the microbial world

From biofuels to batteries, microorganisms provide unique and continual alternative resources for the energy industry. The question is whether they can provide this energy consistently and reliably? Several biotech startups think so.

Essential Science: Space agencies are looking at space microbes

Moscow - Wherever you find people you find microorganisms and life onboard the International Space Station is no exception. Do these organism behave differently and do any differences pose a threat to astronauts?

Microbes eat away the Deepwater Horizon oil plume

Deepwater Horizon stands as one of the most costly and ecological damaging industry related environmental disasters in history. With root cause established and safety measures in place, one thing continues to be discussed: the disappearing oil.

Sea life changes as a result of melting ice caps

Copenhagen - The ecological changes that go with the increasing amount of sea ice melting in the Arctic is disturbing — but it's not the only side to the story. The melting leads to increased production of algae and more food for creatures in the sea.

Understanding why some people spread more germs that others

Atlanta - Looking at how diseases spread from animal to animal, researchers have gained a new understanding into why some individuals are greater ‘spreaders’ of disease within a community than others.

Microbes from land invading and harming coral reefs

The world's coral reefs are already at risk from global warming. A new study suggests corals face a new problem: microbes, normally associated with land. Such harming microbes are coming as outfall from sewage treatment plants and coastal inlets.

Using microbes to measure ecological health

There are different measures of the state of an environment, such as toxins in soil or gasses in air. One measure, that can be qualified, is the microbial population since living entities directly signal the ‘health’ of a given locale.

Oldest ever microbial fossils discovered

Remains of microorganisms, said to be over 3,770 million years old, have been discovered. These remnants provide conclusive evidence of the age of one of the oldest life forms on Earth.

Essential Science: New types of microbial life in the oceans

The seas and oceans of the world make up the majority of the surface and less is known about life in the oceans compared with the surface of the moon. New research has revealed the mysteries of oceanic microbial life.

Jefferson Memorial covered in microbial slime

Washington - Over the past ten years the Jefferson Memorial has turned from a white-ish sandstone color to a dark-grey. This has happened due to a microbial biofilm.

Nano device disinfects water using solar power

Washington - In many parts of the world there is limited access to clean water. Different devices exist to clean water but these are rarely portable. In a breakthrough, researchers have developed a nano-sized solar powered device.

Altering gut microbes to reduce effects of fatty food

We avoid overeating by our guts sending messages to our brain. However, high fat foods can disrupt this neural network, according to new research. This means high fat food is doubly bad because we may want to eat more of it.

Is living in buildings that exclude microbes good for health?

Modern buildings, with advanced air conditioning and filtration, are designed to exclude pollutants and microorganisms from buildings. This may not, according to some scientists, be good for our health.

New figure puts number of microbes at 1 trillion

The numbers of different microorganisms on the planet have always outweighed the numbers of other organisms. A new estimate paces a very large figure on the numbers of microorganisms, possibly up to one trillion.

CDC sanctioned for mishandling pathogens

Washington - The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has received a sanction due to several weaknesses relating to its handling of pathogens and infected material.

Cities have individual microbial signatures

Each city in the world has character, based on the buildings, the people, and its culture, and so on. How about the microorganisms in the air, on surfaces and in the water? New research suggests cities can be profiled at the biological level.

Antibiotic resistance rates rise with children

London - In evidence of an emerging generational issue, half of children around the world could carry organisms resistant to the most commonly prescribed antibiotics and antimicrobials. This presents concerns for future treatments.

Tracking down the extent of fungal diversity

Fungi are part of their own biological kingdom, yet little is known about the extent and diversity of the eukaryotic organisms. Experts think there are millions of undescribed fungi, found in different locations around the world.

From jungle to city, the move affects the immune system

The move from living in rural settings to cities altered human exposure to certain microorganisms. In turn this residential shift appears to have impacted upon immune function.

Microbes used to increase hydrocarbon recovery

Mexico - Microbial technology appears to provide the means of improving hydrocarbon recovery from oil wells, according to a new study. The research is based on using the microorganisms found in extracted oil.

Do our bodies really have more microbes than human cells?

Pick up a text book on microbiology or human physiology. Chances are you’ll stumble across a reference to the number of microorganisms in the human body exceeding the number of cells ten-fold. But is this correct?

Exercising early changes gut microbes for the better

A new study has found how exercising while younger alters the types of gut microbes so that the composition is different than a person who takes up exercise later in life. These changes to the gut microbiome are beneficial.

Forensic microbes work out time of death

Working out the time of death is important for forensics. By looking at bacteria and fungi living in the soil beneath a decomposing body reveals the time, and even the place, of of death.

How well do microbes grow on the ISS?

Houston - Scientists are curious to know whether microbes isolated from Earth grow in the same way on board the International Space Station (ISS). Such information is important for long-distance space travel.

Using fungi to create jet fuel

Scientists have devised a method to create fuel for aircraft using a black fungus. The fungus is commonly found in decaying leaves and vegetation. The biofuel is predicted to be economically viable within five years.

Slow progress on the antibiotic resistance front

Geneva - Despite calls to restrict the use of antibiotics, in order to stem the tide of antibiotic resistance, a new report shows that around three-quarters of the countries in the world have no plans to slow-down on antibiotic use.

Keeping medicines safe from contamination Special

Birmingham - This week in Birmingham, U.K. at the Making Pharmaceuticals exhibition a series of presentations focused on the themes of risk assessment and keeping the environment in which medicines are made clean and in control.

New York subway infested by deadly bacteria and mystery DNA

New York - Researchers have found that the New York City subway system infested with dangerous microorganisms and bacteria, some potentially deadly to human beings.

Solving sex crimes with microbes

Perth - A new study shows how microbial species found in pubic hair samples could help track down criminals. This is because every person has a slightly different microbial composition in this bodily region.

Drilling for microbes in extreme environments

Scientists have been analyzing samples from the deepest-ever marine drilling expedition to identify living microbes. In parallel, researchers exploring the Arctic have found life thriving below the ice.
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Scanning electron micrograph of very small and numerous bacterial cells inhabiting icy brine channel...
Scanning electron micrograph of very small and numerous bacterial cells inhabiting icy brine channels in Antarctica’s Lake Vida, which lies in the Victoria Valley, one of the northernmost of the Antarctic dry valleys.
Credit: Christian H. Fritsen, Desert Research Institute
Felisa Wolfe-Simon processing mud from Mono Lake to inoculate media to grow microbes on arsenic.
Felisa Wolfe-Simon processing mud from Mono Lake to inoculate media to grow microbes on arsenic.
NASA / Henry Bortman
Microbes
Microbes
Serendigity
Microbes in a testtube
Microbes in a testtube
Granger
Glass representation of the parasite that causes malaria
Glass representation of the parasite that causes malaria
Luke Jerram
Representative image of bacteria
Representative image of bacteria
Geek1
Research field camp on Lake Vida  located in Victoria Valley  the northern most of the McMurdo Dry V...
Research field camp on Lake Vida, located in Victoria Valley, the northern most of the McMurdo Dry Valleys.
Photo Courtesy Desert Research Institute, Alison Murray.
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Luke Jerram
Representative image of bacteria
Representative image of bacteria
Geek1
Glass representation of the bacteriophage virus by Luke Jerram
Glass representation of the bacteriophage virus by Luke Jerram
Luke Jerram

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