Ancient microbial life used arsenic to thrive in a world without oxygen

How ancient microbes survived in a world without oxygen has been a mystery. Scientists discovered a living microbial mat that uses arsenic instead of oxygen for photosynthesis and respiration.

Kimberley L Gallagher, Adjunct professor, Quinnipiac University • conversation
Sept. 25, 2020 ~9 min

Tags: metabolism mars microbes photosynthesis oxygen arsenic astrobiology origin-of-life stromatolites

How a pregnant mouse's microbes influence offspring's brain development – new study offers clues

Microbes in the gut aren't just important for digesting your food. In pregnant women, these gut microbes are producing chemicals that are essential for proper brain development of the fetus.

Helen Vuong, Postdoctoral Scholar of Integrative Biology and Physiology, University of California, Los Angeles • conversation
Sept. 23, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health medicine biology microbiome microbes viruses pregancy virome vaginal-microbiome

Making tuberculosis more susceptible to antibiotics

Shortening carbohydrates in the bacterial cell wall makes them more vulnerable to certain drugs.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Sept. 16, 2020 ~6 min

Tags: chemistry antibiotics microbes research school-of-science national-institutes-of-health-nih

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead bodies, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

Plants might be able to tell us about the location of dead people, helping families find missing people

Researchers are figuring out how plants respond to the presence of human cadavers. The findings could prove important for discovering the locations of murder victims or mass graves.

Neal Stewart, Professor of Plant Sciences, University of Tennessee • conversation
Sept. 3, 2020 ~7 min

Tags:  evolution  innovation  agriculture  plants  microbes  adaptation  genetically-modified-organisms  forensics  genetically-modified-plants  decomposition

A new tool for modeling the human gut microbiome

Bacteria linked to Crohn’s disease are difficult to grow in the lab, but MIT engineers have found a way.

Anne Trafton | MIT News Office • mit
Aug. 6, 2020 ~7 min

Tags: medicine bacteria microbes disease research mechanical-engineering school-of-engineering national-institutes-of-health-nih biological-engineering health-sciences-and-technology



Finch Therapeutics unleashes the power of the gut

The company is developing treatments that restore gut bacteria in people struggling with a range of diseases.

Zach Winn | MIT News Office • mit
July 23, 2020 ~8 min

Tags: health medicine bacteria startups microbes microbiology research drug-development school-of-engineering alumniae biological-engineering microboime

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