Recently in the Microbiology Category


Brazilian researchers have reconstructed the evolutionary history of amoebae and demonstrated that at the end of the Precambrian period, at least 750 million years ago, life on Earth was much more diverse than suggested by classic theory.

Forty-two years after Carl Woese defined archaea as the third domain of life, scientists at the Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology (IGB) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign are still learning about these ancient organisms in ways that could help us learn more about eukaryotes.

An international research project led by the University of Granada has revealed for the first time that almost one billion viruses and more than twenty million bacteria circulate in the Earth's atmosphere and are deposited in high-mountain places every day.

New Type Of Virus Found In Earth's Ocean

Electron microscope images of marine bacteria infected with the non-tailed viruses studied in this research. The bacterial cell walls are seen as long double lines, and the viruses are the small round objects with dark centers.

How Do Bacteria Adapt?

A fundamental prerequisite for life on earth is the ability of living organisms to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Physicists at the Technical University of Munich and the University of California San Diego have now determined that the regulation mechanisms used by bacteria to adapt to different environments are based on a global control process that can be described in a single equation.

Just imagine, you are sitting on a sunny beach, contentedly letting the warm sand trickle through your fingers. Millions of sand grains. What you probably can't imagine: at the same time, billions upon billions of bacteria are also trickling through your fingers.

Every day, enough sunlight hits the Earth to power the planet many times over -- if only we could more efficiently capture all the energy.

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.