Bacteria

The Nautilus, a research vessel operated by the Ocean Exploration Trust, and the ROV Hercules (in the water) on the hunt for a cancer-busting marine bacteria.

A Marine Bacteria Species Shows Promise for Curing an Aggressive Brain Cancer

A new glioblastoma drug is derived from a microbe found in the ocean at depths of up to 6,500 feet

Before killing Salmonella, the detergent-like protein APOL3 (green) must get through the bacteria's protective outer membrane (red).

Innovation for Good

Human Cells Ward Off Bacterial Invaders With a Protein That Behaves Like Soap

Researchers discover that immune cells aren’t the body’s only line of defense against bacterial pathogens

Ancient DNA and proteins gathered from the specimen's bones and teeth revealed the presence of Yersinia pestis.

New Research

Oldest Strain of Plague Bacteria Found in 5,000-Year-Old Human Remains

Unlike the 'Black Death' in the 14th century, the ancient infection probably did not spread quickly between people

The team used bacteria to clean the tomb of Giuliano di Lorenzo de' Medici, Duke of Nemours (pictured here). Allegorical sculptures of Night and Day flank the marble sarcophagus.

Art Meets Science

Italian Art Restorers Used Bacteria to Clean Michelangelo Masterpieces

Researchers deployed microbes to remove stains and grime from the marble sculptures in Florence's Medici Chapels

Researchers created this 3- by 2-centimeter version of The Starry Night in just four minutes.

Art Meets Science

Scientists Use Laser Paintbrush to Craft Mini Version of van Gogh's 'Starry Night'

The colorful "brushstrokes" are "reversible, rewritable [and] erasable," says scholar Galina Odintsova

Balaram Khamari's “Microbial Peacock” won second place in the traditional category in the 2020 American Society for Microbiology Agar Art Contest.

How Microbiologists Craft Stunning Art Using Pathogens

Scientists mix microorganisms with agar, a jelly-like substance from seaweed, to create amazing illustrations in petri dishes

ENGS peaks in March during the dry season and researcher’s suspect that something within the chimps’ biology or in their environment is prompting the disease

The Mysterious Cause of a Deadly Illness in Sanctuary Chimps Revealed

Researchers identified the 100 percent fatal pathogen as epizootic neurologic and gastroenteric syndrome or ENGS

By storing data in bacteria like E. coli, the data is protected by the same machinery that the cell uses to protect its own DNA.

New Research

Scientists Write 'Hello World' in Bacterial DNA With Electricity and CRISPR

The new system shows that it's possible to encode information directly into bacteria

Trench fever came to prominence during World War I, but new research suggests that the disease afflicted people long before the 20th century.

Before WWI, Trench Fever Plagued the Ancient Romans and Napoleonic Soldiers

Long associated with the Great War, the disease actually dates back at least 2,000 years, a new study suggests

Researchers analyze the microbiome of Leonardo's Portrait of a Man in Red Chalk (circa 1490). Housed at the Royal Library of Turin, the detailed sketch is considered by some scholars to be a self-portrait.

Art Meets Science

Hidden Microbes and Fungi Found on the Surface of Leonardo da Vinci Drawings

Researchers used new DNA sequencing technology to examine the "bio-archives" of seven of the Renaissance master's sketches

An American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis) on a human finger.

New Research

Higher Temperatures Make Some Ticks Pick Humans Over Dogs

The study’s results suggest certain tick-borne diseases could become even more prevalent as climate change heats up the planet

Astronaut Luca Parmitano uses a sample-spinning centrifuge on the I.S.S. to expose the bacteria to the equivalent of Mars' gravity.

New Research

Space Station Experiments Show How Microbes Could Be Used for Mining on Mars

Researchers sent bacteria and basalt rock to the ISS to figure out which microscopic organisms can extract useful metals in reduced gravity

An illustration of Legionella bacteria, the cause of Legionnaires' disease

Why Reports of Legionnaires' Disease Are on the Rise in the United States

Though less common than in the past, Legionella bacteria and other dangerous pathogens still lurk in drinking water

A 14th-century latrine in Riga, Latvia

New Research

Archaeologists Mine Medieval Toilets for Traces of Gut Microbiomes

New techniques could help researchers understand human diets in different times and places

Plastics can take hundreds of years to naturally degrade in the environment, something this new combination of enzymes can accomplish in a matter of days.

New Research

Engineered 'Super Enzyme' Breaks Down Plastic

The new enzyme could allow for infinite recycling of common PET plastic used in water bottles and clothing

Poachers are considered unlikely culprits because the dead elephants retained their ivory tusks, which fetch top dollar on the black market.

Toxic Algae Caused Mysterious Widespread Deaths of 330 Elephants in Botswana

Officials say the pachyderms were killed by blooms of the organisms, which polluted pools of drinking water with neurotoxins

A robotic arm places a container with three panels of bacteria outside the International Space Station.

Scientists Discover Exposed Bacteria Can Survive in Space for Years

An experiment conducted outside the International Space Station leads to a controversial theory about how life might travel between planets

Bald's Leechbook, a tenth-century medical text that contains Anglo-Saxon medical advice and recipes for medicines, salves and treatments

This Medieval Potion Kills Stubborn Bacteria

"Bald’s eyesalve" is effective against numerous strains of bacteria—and could help treat diabetic foot and leg ulcers

This month's selections include Clean, Memory Drive and Uncrowned Queen.

Books of the Month

An Uncrowned Tudor Queen, the Science of Skin and Other New Books to Read

These five July releases may have been lost in the news cycle

Could 2020 be America's Year of the Bidet?

Covid-19

The Bottom Line About Bidets

Amid toilet paper shortages, many Americans are making the switch—but does all the fuss about bidets really hold water?