Breaking down the microbiology world one bite at a time
- Solved: A Mangrovial Microbial Mystery
Read on to learn how the biggest bacterium in town, Thiomargarita magnifica, is changing what we consider a microbe to be.
- Links Between Diseases and Bacteria in your Mouth
The role bacteria in your mouth play in the development of illnesses like cancer, heart disease, and Alzheimer’s.
- Bacterial testament – the DNA of historical pathogens
Scientists recover the ancient DNA of an Escherichia coli strain from the gallstone of a Renaissance mummy.
- Recording the gut with bacterial cameras
Live streaming from the gut microbiome: harnessing engineered bacteria to record and report on gut health
- Micro-G and bacterial machinery
Astro meets micro: A look at the ways that space factor- microgravity influences bacterial metabolism.
- When a curse becomes a blessing
Lessons learned from Alzheimer’s disease gave us hints to killing antibiotic-resistant bacteria.
- Microbes, worms and plastic
Plastic pollution needs immediate attention worldwide. “Reduce, reuse, recycle” is still the best way forward. Scientists have recently found that worms and their gut bacteria can collectively degrade plastic.
- Disrupting pathogens with RNAs
Tiny molecules called sRNAs can prove to be very useful in reducing infections.
- Health in space and why bacteria play a role in it
Astronauts and their microbiomes are inseparable even in space. But what happens when Streptococcus mutans rebel against peaceful life in the human body?
- Guardians of Your Bodyguard
Even your internal bodyguard can’t survive without bacteria. Recent work shows that a bacterial molecule in our gut helps guard our guardians.
- A song of gut and bacteria
While our gut bacteria have their own rhythm, they adapt to the surroundings by matching their beat and creating a unique song. Ultimately, this song benefits both the microbes and our gut.
- Tumor-fighting bacteria
Engineering a new way to fight cancer: Using bacteria as a vehicle to transport cancer-killing cargo directly to tumors, on remote command.
- Evolution of the human pathogenic lifestyle in fungi
What ticked fungi to shift towards the human host system to thrive as opportunistic pathogens over time? Here’s an overview.
- Phages reinterpret the genetic code
The genetic code is highly conserved. However, some bacteria-infecting viruses called phages have redefined the code, possibly to fine-tune the timing of lifestyle transitions.
- Soils: Sources or Sinks of Methane?
Using omics’ to quantify methane fluxes in soils.
- World microbiome day 2022!
Enter the world of microbiomes and celebrate this day with us!
- Run-reverse-wrap! A swimming pathogen story.
Researchers discover a new type of swimming movement that boosts an efficient spread of Pseudomonas aeruginosa, an opportunistic human pathogen.
- Honeybee’s learning and memory rely on gut bacteria
Poor memory, could this be related to our gut microbiome? Recent research suggests a role of the gut microbiome in governing host’s social behavior and brain function.
- Dirt(y) plastics
Plastics in the oceans gain a lot of attention, but what is the effect of plastics on microbial communities in the soil?
- Therapeutic potential of probiotic-like drugs
The use of live biotherapeutic products is a developing strategy to treat challenging diseases. Administration of one such drug, called VE303, could become successful against recurrent C. difficile infections.
- Four antibiotics and the intestinal microbiota
The ironic role of orally administered antibiotics: savior or destroyer of our gut?
- Relationship Advice from Mucus
Healthy relationships require a fine balance between communication and boundaries. Get the best tips from mucus, mediator of our relationship with our gut microbes.
- When #2 can be your #1 solution…￼
Your Best Friend’s #2 could be your #1 solution to fight C-Diff infections; exploring the success of fecal transplantation for the treatment of recurrent C Diff infection.
- Attack strategy 101 of the debutant phage SI01
Recently isolated novel phage SI01 is now here to provide some insights into how phages regulate algal growth in oceans.
- Soil protists as indicators of pollution
Although scientists know a lot about soil, the same cannot be said about soil protists. Read about these peculiar microorganisms, and how they can help with identifying polluted land areas.
- Tale of a troubled microbe
Microbes converse through the exchange of metabolites. Who knew that a simple conversation could improve the drug tolerance of microbes?
- Veillonella takes you to the Olympics!
Could your gut microbiome make you run faster or even take you to the Olympics?
- Fire! A close up look at bacterial spearguns
Spring-loaded: bacterial spearguns are ready to fire! Getting a closer look at molecular nanomachines that act as spearguns.
- An Abundant Marine Microbe Makes its Own Oxygen
This marine microbe is able to make its own oxygen in a low oxygen environment. And it can use it to its own advantage.
- Squirreling into the gut of ground squirrels
Ground squirrels are known to hold on to long periods of hibernation through the strategic help of ureolytic bacteria. Here’s the why and how this connection is important to us.
- The Bacteriophage’s gambit
Bacteriophages strategically use the protein signalling system to determine when it’s best for them to proliferate or to stay dormant
- Intraterrestrials – microbes living under our feet
Don’t you mean extra-terrestrials? Well, humans have been looking for life outside our planet, but there’s also life inside it.
- A Voice for Protists
Uncover just how widespread and versatile protists can be thanks to metabarcoding.
- Cleansing the Water from Antibiotic Resistance Genes (ARGs)
Disinfection technologies in wastewater treatment plants can contribute to the removal of microbes and their ARGs. How do we respond to resistant microbes that are still determined to survive the treatment?
- The future is green
World, where all processes are carbon-neutral, is closer than you think! Learn how and why algae are important for this transition.
- A probiotic cream to treat acne
Skin conditions like acne have been treated with antibiotics for a long time. Alternative treatments are possible now with emerging knowledge about the beneficial effects of bacteria like Lactobacilli.
- ‘You are what you eat.’
Can bat gut microbiomes provide proof for this generalized truth? Bats with different dietary specializations have ‘distinct’ microbiomes that suit their nutritional pathways. So it turns out that you might indeed be what you eat… but it is not as straightforward as that.
- Secret growth stimulators
Most trees form an intimate relationship with fungi. Researchers have now shown for the first time how important this partnership is for the growth of trees.
- An arms race between SARS-CoV-2 and our immune systems
New covid-19 variants keep on arising and spreading, but can our bodies still recognize these variants and protect us from serious disease?
- Next-level gene editing with DARTs
Genome editing just reached a whole new level: Instead of targeting isolated bacteria, researchers developed tools to target them in their natural communities.
- Meeting the ancestors
What was the physiology of the very first bacterium? Turns out that it was not as different as you might have imagined! Read about Last Bacterial Common Ancestor to understand how it gave rise to millions of bacterial species that you know today.
- Martyrs of infection
Just like the outer skin heals itself after a wound, there is an inner skin that has its mechanisms to protect itself from infections.
- No sex life means less diversity?
The tree of life is not uniform. Some groups contain many species and others, like microbes, a lot less… Are multicellularity and sex driving these differences?
- Best Buds and Flaky Friends
Our crops have microbial friends that keep microbial enemies at bay. But who is a friend and who is an enemy? It all comes down to communication.
- A Day in the Life of a Spaniard’s Microbiome
Everyone’s microbiome is unique — changing based on factors like diet. This article focuses on a Spaniard’s microbiome and what makes it stand out.
- Honey, I killed the bacteria.
Did you know honey has antibacterial properties? Well, its way of action has to do with how bacteria communicate.
- Living on Air
Scientists explain fascinating mechanisms of survival of bacteria in the unforgiving environment of Antarctica.
- The Space-Faring Fungus: Aspergillus niger
A common fungi’s superpower unleashed! Learn here what made it better than humans for space travel.
- MicroBites is 1!
MicroBites 1 year anniversary! Let’s have a look at the past year in numbers.
- Bitter-sweet resistance
Antibiotic resistance has been the hot topic of the current century. Recent research has shown that microbial interactions can modulate the susceptibility of bacteria to antibiotics.
- Kefir – A fermented drink with many health benefits
Is the rising popularity of kefir’s ‘proposed’ health/weight loss benefits backed by science or too good to be true?
- Your gut bacteria are little drug depots.
Therapeutic drugs can accumulate in gut bacteria, altering bacterial physiology and community composition, and potentially reducing the effectiveness of the drug.
- Count von Count counts all the phages
Phage Lambda uses genetic interactions to perform something human children need years to learn: counting.
- Geometry vs Bacteria and Fungi… Who will win?
Scientists already know that the soil is full of microorganisms, and that these microorganisms need to adapt and act fast to survive in this complex environment. Learn here how space and geometry can influence bacterial and fungal growth.
- The bacterial community of your old chewing gum￼
Scientists discover the microbial communities that exist within old, discarded chewing gum. Their work could have implications for the bioremediation of chewing gum pollution.
- A Microbe’s Gift of Life
Do you know these moments where you get gifts, and only realize three billion years later how to use them?
- Bacteria to the rescue: helping corals survive warming oceans
Probiotics are already used to improve human health but could they help corals survive climate change?
- Moving across borders: how bacterial genes become mobile
Microbes can undergo changes in their genetic composition. Mobile Genetic Elements can facilitate these changes. Is this just another travel route for the spread of antibiotic resistance genes?
- Positive news on the social life of bacteria
Negative interactions between bacteria were thought to be the rule… Until now.
- Conversations with microbes
Can scientists predict composition of a microbial community for a specific habitat? Researchers have shown that by using mathematical models and simulations, interactions amongst various microbes can be estimated relatively accurately.
- Winning Tiny “Dirt-y” Battles
Scientists uncover how a bacterium, living within a soil-dwelling fungus, protects its host from predatory nematodes.
- Desert microbes can help with fighting climate change
What mysteries are hidden under layers of sand in a desert? Scientists believe that microorganisms that live in this environment can help the human population to avoid the crisis of climate change.
- A two-pronged approach to antibiotic resistance
Antibiotics have revolutionized the treatment of deadly infectious diseases, but does that mean that these diseases are only a thing of the past?
- Fermented food fighting for us – Part II
Fermented foods are famous for helping with proper gastrointestinal function, but can they help with respiratory infections, like COVID?
- Flesh of the Fallen.
Many human cultures consider cannibalism unethical. Bacterial cultures have a different take.
- The collateral damage of antibiotics.
Scientists analyzed the “collateral damage” of antibiotics on our gut microbiome and identified potential antidotes to protect our gut bacteria.
- Improving wine with a cocktail of microorganisms
Wine is made by the fermentation of microorganisms, but do you know that the species used or association of several species can impact wine aromatic quality ?
- Life After Death: Using the Human Microbiome as a Forensics Tool
We are never alone…even in the moment of death. Our microbiomes stay with us until the last second. Interestingly enough, the moment we die, our “microbial clocks” start ticking! Learn more about this unique clock and how it can help forensic scientists solve cases in the future.
- Keeping an eye for the gut microbiota!
The gut microbiota is full of surprises! Already proven to be linked with our immunity and metabolism disorders such as obesity or diabetes, it seems like it could also affect our eyes…
- Where did viruses come from?
Viruses are surrounding us, yet we do not know their origin. Are giant viruses the missing part to understand virus evolution?
- A Deeply Rooted Connection
Plants love bacteria, bacteria love plants back. Who loves who more?
- Behind the scenes: Enigma of epigenetics
Epigenetics, a budding field in biology, is the study of the influence of environmental factors on the genes of an organism. Recently, researchers have utilized epigenetics to design new vaccine candidates.
- The conversion of xylitol in the human colon
Xylitol metabolism by gut bacteria has unexplored and intriguing benefits.
- Computers vs. pathogens: the final frontier?
The role of computers in the fight against multidrug-resistant bacteria – designer proteins enhance the production of key bacteria-killing enzymes.
- Plant protein or microbial protein, which is better?
Photovoltaic-driven single-celled protein (PV-SCP) may be a sustainable protein source for the future. But what is PV-SCP and how does it compare with other protein sources?
- Microbes eating plastics
Microbes are everywhere, and they have a large repertoire of degrading chemicals. Some microbes can even degrade plastics…
- Death of Bacillus subtilis gives rise to new cellular structures
Sometimes, the death of a bacterial cell signifies the beginning of the development of unique cellular structures, known as nanotubes. Read below about Bacillus subtilis and its mechanism for nanotubes production!
- Fighting Microbe With Microbe: the Power of Wolbachia.
As microbial pathogens continue to plague the Earth, we have found a way to combat some diseases employing their own kind: bacteria known as Wolbachia.
- Targeting tumors with bacterial magnets.
Discover how bacteria and magnets get along to offer hope toward better treatment for cancer.
- How tuberculosis evades our immune response
Tuberculosis survives most of what our bodies have to throw at it. What tricks does it employ that other diseases don’t?
- Smart slime – memory without a nervous system.
Memory is generally used to describe behavior in organisms with a nervous system. However, a slime mold is capable of encoding the location of (past) food sources in its tube-like body!
- Microbes and immune cells battling antibiotic resistance.
From one tissue environment to the next, pathogens are challenged and react in different ways. Researchers have found two novel mechanisms by which the microbiota and immune system interact to protect against antibiotic-resistant pathogens.
- How Ancient Microbes Can Change the Future of Science.
Current technological advances in the fields of genetics and biology offer exciting opportunities for future research. But can these technologies be applied to study ancient microorganisms?
- Prokaryotic origins of science’s biggest gene editing technology
Scientists at a dairy production company discovered that bacteria use CRISPR to defend against viruses.
- Competition is the rule in culturable microbes.
In the environment, microbes don’t live alone but rather in a community. But do microbes necessarily cooperate within these communities in order to survive?
- There’s no such thing as inefficiency.
All nitrogen in living things is fixed by microorganisms. One enzyme is better at this than the others, so why do others exist at all?
- Bioreactors in Bacteria: the Bacterial Microcompartment
To great surprise, many bacteria possess organelles that function as microscopic bioreactors, helping them thrive in niche environments.
- An ancient chemical weapon against viral predators.
We’re not so different after all. Researchers have discovered that a human antiviral defense strategy likely originated in earth’s most ancient microbes.
- From Antarctica to our freezers.
Have you ever wondered what makes frozen food last so long in the freezer? The answer to this question lies 9,000 miles away in Antarctica.
- Fermented food fighting for us- Part I
Fermented foods are more than a flavorful companion to our dishes- they provide protection in a myriad of ways.
- What genes make a bacteria?
The many genes of an organism are all not equally important. Which are crucial and how do they differ between bacteria?
- A Simple Switch from Friend to Foe.
After a little makeover, this microbe can transform from a harmless friend to a dangerous foe.
- Can we train computers to predict bacterial functions in plants?
Researchers have developed a machine learning tactic to help discover new beneficial genes and bacteria. While the research discussed here is on plants, this tactic can be applied to every host-microbe system!
- The limits of microbial life.
Life can be found in many extreme environments: high temperature, high salinity, or acidic environments. But can microbes survive in a place that combines all three?
- World microbiome day!
Enter the world of microbiomes and celebrate this day with us!
- A toxin to kill them all.
In a man-made waterbody in the ground there lived a bacterium. A nasty, dirty, wet hole, filled with the ends of worms and an oozy smell… The protagonist of this story is a cyanobacterium.
- Microbial hitchhiking.
Streptomyces spores have found a way to use motile soil bacteria and travel to new destinations.
- A low carb diet- resilience of the soil microbiome.
Though the soil microbiome manages to thrive through the harshest ecosystems, scientists thought them limited by their access to organic carbon sources… until now.
- The skin’s “frenemy”
Our skin is teeming with microbes crucial to its health. However, one microbe is not always the skin’s friend.
- A new letter in the genetic alphabet.
A,T,C,G is our universal genetic alphabet, from viruses to human beings. But some viruses like to stand out from all of us and use another letter: Z.
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