How this Long Bacterium Beats the Diffusion Limit

by Mara Casebeer Most bacteria, like the common E. coli, are around a micron in length – less than a tenth of the width of a strand of human hair and invisible without a microscope. Recently, scientists discovered a bacterium, Candidatus (Ca.) Thiomargarita magnifica, that is almost 10,000 times longer than E. coli. Ca. T. magnifica cells were found attached to sunken leaves in the … Continue reading How this Long Bacterium Beats the Diffusion Limit

The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

by Sanjana Kulkarnifigures by Corena Loeb The bacteria Mycobacterium tuberculosis (TB) has been infecting humans for thousands of years. Today, TB, which is thought to have originated in Africa and evolved alongside human hosts, is found across the globe and causes 1-2 million deaths annually, making it the second leading infectious disease killer after COVID-19. As new COVID-19 variants keep emerging, we can observe the … Continue reading The Human-Tuberculosis Arms Race

Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

by Molly Sargen Antibiotics are drugs that kill or inhibit the growth of microbes, including bacteria and fungi. These drugs work by blocking essential processes like protein production, DNA replication, and cell division. After Alexander Fleming’s serendipitous discovery of Penicillin, antibiotics became a central feature of medical care. Today, antibiotics are used to treat a wide variety of infections and prevent new infections during invasive … Continue reading Antibiotic Persistence and Resistance

Mapping Individual Microbes among the Multitudes

by Sophia Swartzfigures by Jasmin Joseph-Chazan If you put all of the living things on Earth in a box–from humans to anteaters to teeny-tiny tardigrades–and then plucked one of these organisms out at random, it is very, very likely that you just found yourself a microbe. Microbes, although too small to be seen with the naked eye, are some of the most common forms of … Continue reading Mapping Individual Microbes among the Multitudes