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 

Trps of the Trade: Underneath the efficient biology of the tryptophan operon

by Edward Chenfigures by Corena Loeb Within any biological system, interactions abound. Organisms, cells, and individual molecules all affect the world in their own way, whether that’s caribou grazing, immune cells patrolling, or caffeine binding to neuronal receptors These infinitely many events and processes together form the networks that shape life. Within these networks, the effect of a process sometimes dampens down the process itself—we … Continue reading Trps of the Trade: Underneath the efficient biology of the tryptophan operon

Atmospheric Gases on Other Planets Could Help us Find Alien Life

by Kerry McGowen Have you ever wondered how scientists hunt for alien life on other planets? What are they looking for? Before jumping straight into the search for aliens, scientists look for planets that could support alien life in the first place. However, this is no easy task. In the Milky Way alone, which is the galaxy to which our eight-planet solar system belongs, there … Continue reading Atmospheric Gases on Other Planets Could Help us Find Alien Life