Microbes might be gatekeepers of the planet’s greatest greenhouse gas reserves

If so, then the possibility of planetary super-heating in future has just become much more real.

Niall English, Professor, School of Chemical and Bioprocess Engineering, University College Dublin • conversation
Nov. 12, 2020 ~6 min

climate-change microbes methane

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

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

health medicine biology microbiome microbes viruses pregancy virome vaginal-microbiome

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

 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

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

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

bacteria microbiome microbes microbiology viruses

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

 bacteria  covid-19  coronavirus  pandemic  microbiome  microbes  germs  soap

City compost programs turn garbage into 'black gold' that boosts food security and social justice

Turning food scraps and yard trimmings into compost improves soil, making it easier for people to grow their own food. City composting programs spread those benefits more widely.

Sue Ishaq, Assistant Professor of Animal and Veterinary Sciences, University of Maine • conversation
June 11, 2020 ~9 min

climate-change soil microbes compost methane food-waste soil-carbon seattle gardening san-francisco social-justice equity landfills

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

exoplanets bacteria spectroscopy microbes hydrogen extra-terrestrials alien-life

Buildings have their own microbiomes – we're striving to make them healthy places

We spend 90% of our lives indoors, and every building has its own indoor microbiome. Can we learn to manage them in ways that support helpful microbes and suppress harmful ones?

Mark Fretz, Research Assistant Professor of Architecture, University of Oregon • conversation
April 17, 2020 ~10 min

covid-19 architecture microbiome microbes coronavirus-2020 cleaning buildings environmental-health

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