Breaking down the microbiology world one bite at a time
- 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.
- A new powerhouse.
Mitochondria are our powerhouses: they give us energy from the oxygen we breathe. But did you know other powerhouses exist?
- From leafy greens to stink bombs.
A story about two bacteria working together to produce a stinky rotten-egg smell.
- A bacterium and an archaeon hand in hand.
Sharing resources is necessary to survive. Meet PT and MT, a bacterium and an archaeon, which have developed a way to evolve together to share nutrients, hand in hand.
- Ants drink their own poison as a disinfectant.
Why would carpenter ants supplement their food with an acidic serum from their poison gland?
- Hello bacteriophages, goodbye antibiotics?
Back to basics, viruses to treat infection and fight antibiotic resistance.
- Mimivirus – a giant in a small world.
Viruses are the smallest known organisms. But some viruses are breaking records. Meet the “MImicking MIcrobe”: the Mimivirus, and learn about their possible origin.
- Did viruses make living rocks?
Microbial mats may have persisted through millions of years thanks to viruses. But how do viruses shape these microbial communities?
- Microbes in cheese – competition or cooperation.
Friend, foe, or wary coexistence?The nature of relationships between fungi and bacteria are decided on a cheesy landscape.
- Sourdough bread and its aromatic microbes.
Sourdough bread has been part of human history for millennials but where do its aromas come from?
- Mars in a BOX – Microbes to survive Martian environment.
Mars does not seem very welcoming: It’s cold, dry, and it gets a lot of UV light on the surface. Would microbes survive in this harsh environment?
- Small animals, big conclusions- pros and cons of HMA models.
Determining the causal link between diseases and microbiota is still a challenge in microbiota research. But animal models […]
- Finding food in a labyrinth – an hyphae story.
Fungi are not the most ordinary microbes; they are the biggest organisms on earth. And we thought microbes […]
- Can bacteria tell the time?
We can do it, and so can plants: tell the time of day based on our environment. How […]
- Mad scientists are starving bacteria for years.
Some experiments take days, some weeks or months and a few take years. In bacterial time this means […]
- Open Sesame – the chemical power needed to enter the hive.
Do you want to know how bees communicate with each other and recognize themselves? It could be all […]
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