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Microbes News

Scientists bring 100 million-year-old microbes back to life

Scientists have succeeded in reviving microbes retrieved from sediment deep under the seafloor in the heart of the South Pacific that had survived in a dormant state for 101.5 million years in research illustrating the resiliency of life on Earth.

Genetically modified bacteria used to protect pollinators

Biologists have proposed a new strategy designed to protect honeybees from colony collapse disorder. This is based on deploying genetically engineered strains of bacteria, with the aim of altering the microbiome of the bee.

Using microorganisms to address microplastic pollution

The challenge to the environment posed by microplastics has received considerable attention and some different solutions have been proposed, as efforts are made to reduce reliance upon plastics. One solution involves microbes.

New process turns carbon dioxide into eco-plastics

Scientists have developed a means by which they can manipulate bacteria to generate biofuel and degradable bioplastics by utilizing airborne carbon dioxide, water vapor, and nitrogen, via a light-initiated biochemical reaction

Infectious bacteria on-board the International Space Station

The International Space Station hosts some less desirable strains of bacteria, with the organism Enterobacter bugandensis having been identified from samples taken from the toilets used by the astronauts.

Review: AirFree purifier aims to clean up the office or home environment Special

A new air purifier promises to remove a range of allergens from the home or office environment. Added features include near silent operating and a range of different light colors.

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.
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Microbes Image

Artist image of bacteria mixed on a giant Petri-dish  taken at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Artist image of bacteria mixed on a giant Petri-dish, taken at the Wellcome Collection in London.
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Glass representation of the bacterium Escherichia coli
Luke Jerram
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.
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
Glass representation of the parasite that causes malaria
Glass representation of the parasite that causes malaria
Luke Jerram
The JOIDES Resolution departing Honolulu  Hawaii at the beginning of Expedition 321 in 2009.
The JOIDES Resolution departing Honolulu, Hawaii at the beginning of Expedition 321 in 2009.
William Crawford, IODP/TAMU
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
Microbes in a testtube
Microbes in a testtube
Christine Wang (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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