Recently in the Microbiology Category


Multicellularity--the integration of previously autonomous cells into a new, more complex organism--is one of the major transitions in evolution.

On May 11, a sealed capsule containing fungi and bacteria fell from the sky and splashed down in the Pacific Ocean. Microbiologist Kasthuri Venkateswaran could hardly wait to see what was inside it.

Viruses that infect bacteria are among the most abundant life forms on Earth. Indeed, our oceans, soils and potentially even our bodies would be overrun with bacteria were it not for bacteria-eating viruses, called bacteriophages, that keep the microbial balance of ecological niches in check.

Researchers from the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI) and Synthetic Genomics, Inc. (SGI) announced today the design and construction of the first minimal synthetic bacterial cell, JCVI-syn3.0.

NASA's Exposing Microorganisms in the Stratosphere (E-MIST) experiment launched to the Earth's stratosphere on the exterior of a giant scientific balloon gondola at about 8 a.m. MST on Aug. 24 from Ft. Sumner, New Mexico.

Researchers this week published a paper confirming that the waters and sediments of a lake that lies 800 meters (2,600 feet) beneath the surface of the West Antarctic ice sheet support "viable microbial ecosystems."

Capitalizing on the ability of an organism to evolve in response to punishment from a hostile environment, scientists have coaxed the model bacterium Escherichia coli to dramatically resist ionizing radiation and, in the process, reveal the genetic mechanisms that make the feat possible.

Poison-breathing Bacteria

Buried deep in the mud along the banks of a remote salt lake near Yosemite National Park are colonies of bacteria with an unusual property: they breathe a toxic metal to survive.

The future biosphere on Earth (as with its past) will be made up predominantly of unicellular microorganisms.

Derek Lovley's lab at UMass Amherst show for the first time that one of the most abundant methane-producing microorganisms on Earth makes direct electrical connections with another species to produce the gas in a completely unexpected way.