Engineered viruses can fight the rise of antibiotic-resistant bacteria

As the world has focused on the COVID-19 pandemic, other microbial foes are waging war on humans. Antibiotic-resistant bacteria pose a growing threat. But viruses may defeat them.

Kevin Doxzen, Hoffmann Postdoctoral Fellow, Arizona State University • conversation
Feb. 24, 2021 ~8 min

Fecal microbe transplants help cancer patients respond to immunotherapy and shrink tumors

Whether or not you respond to a certain medicine or therapy doesn't just depend on you. The microbes in your gut play a role in the success or failure of various drugs, including cancer therapies.

Diwakar Davar, Assistant Professor of Medicine, University of Pittsburgh • conversation
Feb. 5, 2021 ~7 min

A healthy microbiome builds a strong immune system that could help defeat COVID-19

The microbes in your gut influence how your immune system reacts to bacteria and viruses. A severe immune reaction is deadly; a small one lets the virus win. The right balance may depend on your diet.

Ana Maldonado-Contreras, Assistant Professor of Microbiology and Physiological Systems, University of Massachusetts Medical School • conversation
Jan. 22, 2021 ~12 min

Dangerous bacteria is showing up in school water systems, reminding all buildings reopening amid COVID-19 to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

Several schools find harmful bacteria in water systems, reminding all reopening buildings to check the pipes

When water stagnates in pipes, harmful metals and bacteria can accumulate and make people sick. Buildings that were shut down for weeks during the pandemic may be at risk.

Andrew J. Whelton, Associate Professor of Civil, Environmental & Ecological Engineering, Purdue University • conversation
Sept. 8, 2020 ~8 min

Bacteria and viruses are travelling the world on highways in the sky

The atmosphere has a microbiome of bacteria, viruses and fungi that travel around the world on highways in the sky.

Predrag Slijepcevic, Senior Lecturer in Biology, Brunel University London • conversation
July 21, 2020 ~6 min

Is bar soap as gross as millennials say? Not really, and we're all covered with microbes anyway

Finally, an answer to a long-bubbling question: What works best – bar or liquid soap?

Michelle Sconce Massaquoi, Doctoral Candidate in Microbiology, University of Oregon • conversation
July 14, 2020 ~7 min

How to manage plant pests and diseases in your victory garden

The COVID-19 pandemic has boosted interest in home gardening. Three scientists who garden explain some basic methods for controlling common insects and microbes that can spoil your crop.

Carolee Bull, Professor of Plant Pathology and Systematic Bacteriology, Pennsylvania State University • conversation
July 2, 2020 ~9 min

We caught bacteria from the most pristine air on earth to help solve a climate modeling mystery

Climate models have been overestimating how much sunlight hits the Southern Ocean. This is because the clouds there are different from clouds anywhere else. Bacterial DNA helped us understand why.

Thomas Hill, Research Scientist, Colorado State University • conversation
June 19, 2020 ~9 min

Hydrogen-breathing aliens? Study suggests new approach to finding extraterrestrial life

New research expands the pool of habitable worlds to include super-Earths with hydrogen-rich atmospheres.

David Rothery, Professor of Planetary Geosciences, The Open University • conversation
May 4, 2020 ~8 min

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