Researchers working off the coast of Mexico have discovered evidence of arsenic-breathing life in oxygen-starved waters. These resilient microbes are a vestige of Earth’s ancient past, but they could also be a sign of things to come under the influence of climate change. Continue reading Evidence of Arsenic-Breathing Microbial Life Found in Pacific Ocean
Tag Archives: MICROBIOLOGY
Your Eyeballs May Be Covered in Disease-Fighting Bacteria
If the eyes are windows to the soul, they’re open windows, potentially letting in all kinds of unwelcome bugs. To ensure that doesn’t happen, our tears are loaded with microbe-killing compounds and immune cells. In fact, our eyes are so inhospitable that it was long thought they were the only part of our bodies which lacked a symbiotic bacterial community. But now, scientists have found evidence of a once-inconceivable ocular microbiome—and it may help eyes fight off disease.
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Watch as Bacteria Evolve Antibiotic Resistance in a Gigantic Petri Dish
By building a gigantic petri dish, researchers from Harvard Medical School and Technion-Israel Institute of Technology have produced a jaw-dropping visualization showing bacteria as it mutates to become resistant to drugs.
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Genetic Analysis of 250 Burgers Reveals Some Unsavory Surprises
Last year, a biotech startup called Clear Labs performed DNA testing on a bunch of hot dogs and discovered that they often contain more than the label advertises. The same company has now used its arsenal of molecular technologies to break down America’s other favorite meat-on-a-bun product: burgers. Once again, there are some unsavory surprises.
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Giant Viruses Feature Their Own Built-In Antivirus Software
Mimiviruses are viruses so big they can actually be seen with a simple light microscope. European scientists have now learned that these bizarre organisms have their own immune system that makes them virtually invulnerable to predatory viruses, suggesting these creatures may actually represent a new branch in the tree of life.
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ARE VIRUSES ALIVE? NEW EVIDENCE SAYS YES
Influenza, SARS, Ebola, HIV, the common cold. All of us are quite familiar with these names. They are viruses—a little bit of genetic material (DNA or RNA) encapsulated in a protein coat. But what we don’t really understand, and what scientists have struggled with since the study of virology began, is whether viruses are actually living or not. A paper published today in Science Advancesjust might change that. By creating a reliable method of studying viruses’ long evolutionary history—hitherto nearly impossible—researchers have found new evidence that strongly suggests viruses are indeed living entities.