The bacterial exposure experiment took place from 2015 to 2018 using the Exposed Facility located on the exterior of Kibo, the Japanese Experimental Module of the International Space Station. Credit: JAXA/NASA Tanpopo mission addresses the possibility of natural interplanetary transport of microbial life called panspermia. Imagine microscopic life-forms, such as […]

The Pappy Lane wreck in Pamlico Sound, North Carolina. Credit: John McCord, Coastal Studies Institute Shipwrecks act as artificial reefs and provide a substrate and nutrients for a great diversity of microorganisms, which can contribute to either the deterioration or preservation of the ship. Precisely how diverse such communities are, […]

A scientist places a water sample onto a custom-made platform before a test. Each water sample contains microorganisms such as the parasite Giardia and adenoviruses, both of which can make humans sick. Credit: T. Larason/NIST NIST researchers describe unique system for testing how well narrow wavebands of UV light kill […]

False color scanning electron micrograph of meningococci (orange) adherent to human host cells (green). Credit: Alexandra Schubert-Unkmeir / University of Wuerzburg Meningococci are bacteria that can cause life-threatening meningitis and sepsis. These pathogens use a small protein with a large impact: The RNA-binding protein ProQ is involved in the activation of […]

Rhizobia (in blue) in the roots of a plant. The brown structures are plant proteins (colored electron microscope image). Credit: ETH Zurich / Anne-Greet Bittermann Plants need nitrogen in the form of ammonium if they are to grow. In the case of a great many cultivated plants, farmers are obliged […]

Microorganisms in green colonize gypsum rock to extract water from it. Johns Hopkins and UCI researchers ran lab experiments to understand the mechanisms of survival for these cynanobacteria, confirming that they transform the material they occupy to an anhydrous state. Credit: David Kisailus / UCI By studying how the tiniest […]

DNA may not be life’s instruction book, but just a jumbled list of ingredients. University of Maryland researcher develops potentially revolutionary framework for heredity and evolution in which inheritable information is stored outside the genome. The common view of heredity is that all information passed down from one generation to […]

A watercolor-like illustration of Treponema pallidum, the bacterium that causes syphilis. Credit: Alice C. Gray By shuffling DNA in and out of one gene, syphilis stays a step ahead of the immune system to resist eradication. The bacterium that causes syphilis, Treponema pallidum, likely uses a single gene to escape the immune system, […]

Diving in the Gulf of Mexico: With the submersible ALVIN, the researchers from Bremen were able to reach the seafloor. There they used ALVIN’s grab arm to collect sediment cores from the seabed. White-orange colored microbial mats made of sulfur-oxidizing bacteria indicate hot vents, where particularly large amounts of methane […]

Purified schizorhodopsin protein in water solution. Credit: © 2020 Inoue et al. Unique protein acts as an inward proton pump in a distant microbial relative. Researchers investigated the group of microorganisms classified as Asgard archaea, and found a protein in their membrane which acts as a miniature light-activated pump. The schizorhodopsin […]