by Molly Sargen figures by Molly Sargen and Nicholas Lue Microbes (also known as microorganisms) are everywhere: on surfaces we touch, in the air we breathe, and even inside us. As suggested by the name, all microbes are too small to be seen without a microscope. Beyond size, microbes are incredibly diverse. Microbes include bacteria, fungi, and protists. To be able to live harmoniously with … Continue reading How Microbes Grow
Researchers have discovered microbes that can not only break down ethane, but also produce it, with important implications for carbon-neutral industrial processes. Continue reading Newly Discovered Microbe Both Breaks Down and Produces Ethane
Mucus is not just the awful phlegm from your cough, it actually has the ability to tame bacteria infection! Scientists at MIT recently discovered that the glycans on our mucus can actually trigger biochemical responses that protect us from pathogens. Read Wei Li’s article to learn more. Continue reading The Key to Taming Bacteria: Mucus Sugars
A group of scientists uncovered a commensal gut bacteria, Akkermansia muciniphila, that can significantly ameliorate ALS symptoms in mice, and also prolong their lifespan. Their results highlight the potential of modulating the gut microbiome to treat ALS. Continue reading The Next Ice Bucket Challenge: Modulating Your Gut Microbiome to Treat ALS
Helping malnourished kids recover means we can’t just feed only them – we also have to feed their bacteria. And the bacteria are picky eaters. Continue reading Malnourished children don’t just need more food—they also need more microbes
by Ilia Gelfat figures by Nicholas Lue Whether you are perusing the aisles of your local grocery store or scrolling through news articles, there’s a term that has been hard to miss in the past few years – probiotics. You might know it has something to do with bacteria helping digestion, but this broad view of the concept might leave you fuzzy on some of … Continue reading Probing Probiotics: the scientific process behind the hype
Antibiotic resistance is a rampant problem around the world. More than 23,000 deaths a year in the US are a result of antibiotic resistant bacteria. Bacteria become resistant to antibiotics in several ways. The antibiotic itself can be broken down, or the components of bacteria targeted by antibiotics can mutate. Over prescription leads to the development of further resistance. With each year there are increasing numbers … Continue reading Have antibiotic resistant bacteria met their match? A new method for antibiotic discovery that could change the arms race.
Surface features such as canyons and valleys on the “Red Planet” suggest an abundance of liquid water in its geological past. Water vapors on Mars were first detected in the early 60s followed by observation of water-rich ice patches decades later, but it was not until 2011 that Lujendra Ojha, a Nepali undergraduate student, spotted signs of possible water flows on our neighboring planet. While … Continue reading Going with the Flow: New Evidence for Liquid Water on Mars