science
Scientists Peer Inside the Disgusting Cloud of Living Things That Surrounds You Daily

From the minute we’re born, we’re surrounded by a swarm of things not visible to the human eye—dangerous pathogens, harmless microbes, and a wide assortment of chemicals. A new study out of Stanford University seems to illuminate this hidden world, and the results are admittedly both cool and terrifying. Read More >>

science
For Some People, Taking Probiotics May Actually Harm Normal Gut Bacteria

A pair of new studies published Thursday are the latest to suggest probiotic supplements might not be as universally useful as their proponents believe. Read More >>

science
E. Coli Bacteria Made This Image of the Mona Lisa

Scientists created this picture of the Mona Lisa using genetically modified E. coli bacteria. Such teeny little artists! Read More >>

science
Probiotic Supplements Might Be Giving Some People ‘Brain Fog’

Given their current popularity, you might assume that probiotics—capsules containing a mix of “good” bacteria that are said to rebalance our gut’s bacterial content—would be perfectly harmless. But a team of gastroenterologists from Augusta University in the US state of Georgia is challenging that assumption. Their recent study is the latest to suggest some people who take probiotics can develop a strange collection of symptoms, including gas, diarrhoea, and “brain fog.” Read More >>

science
Hong Kong Subway Study Shows How Quickly Bacteria Travel Across a City

If you’re one of the billions of people worldwide to use mass public transit regularly, you’re sharing a lot more than a commute with your fellow passengers, suggests a new study published today in Cell Reports. You’re also sharing and swapping the teeming microbes that call our bodies home. Read More >>

animals
Chimp Beds Are Way Less Filthy Than Human Beds

In a twist that rivals cinema’s best, a new study published Tuesday in Royal Society Open Science suggests a horrible truth: we’ve been the damn dirty apes all along. It found that beds made by one of our closest primate relatives, chimpanzees, contain little personal filth, meaning germs and parasites from their own body, and certainly much less filth than what’s typically seen in human homes and beds. Read More >>

science
Humans, Not Rats, May Have Been Responsible for Spreading the Black Death

The Black Death, a plague responsible for killing around a third of the population of Europe during the 14th century, spread to millions of humans by rats that carried infected fleas—right? That’s the story we’ve long been told by historians. A new study upends this conventional thinking, however, showing that humans, and not rodents, were the primary spreaders of the dreaded disease. Read More >>

science
Stop Feeding Your Pets Raw Meat

An emerging trend among pet owners is the practise of feeding dogs and cats raw meat. This idea is that we should put our domestic cats and dogs on diets that more closely approximate what they might eat in nature. New research from Europe shows the surprising degree to which germs and parasites can be found in commercial raw-meat products—posing potential health risks to both pets and their owners. Read More >>

science
A New Type of Steel Kills Bacteria With Nanospikes

In an age when bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to our best antibiotics and the words “E. coli” can shut down your favourite local burger place, people are desperate for anything that promises to wipe out germs. Unfortunately, when it comes to cleaning products that label themselves “antimicrobial,” they’re largely a pile of overpriced trash. Not only do they not work better than soap and water, but there’s growing evidence that they might make bacteria even harder to kill, by speeding along antibiotic resistance. Read More >>

science
Scientists Added Two New Letters to DNA’s Code

If you’ve taken a science class, you’re likely aware that DNA is the body’s instruction manual. But its language is only written in four letters: A, T, C, and G. Those who paid extra close attention will remember that RNA, the photocopy of the instructions that the cell actually uses, replaces the Ts with the letter U. Read More >>

uncategorized
Your Kitchen Sponge Contains More Bacteria Than Any Other Object in Your House

By this point, it shouldn’t surprise you to know that the world is full of bacteria. But the numbers can still be baffling. Take your body: it probably has 37 trillion cells or so, and maybe the same number of bacterial cells. Read More >>

health
Doctors Slam New Recommendation That We Should Stop Antibiotic Treatments Early

Scientists from the UK caused quite a stir this week, when they announced that we don’t necessarily need to complete a full course of antibiotics in order to treat infections properly. It’s a provocative message, but sceptics say their advice is grossly premature—and even reckless. Read More >>

science
Scientists Code an Animated GIF Into DNA

What’s a strand of DNA but data? We often think of its units, the As, Cs, Ts, and Gs, as letters of the words in an instruction manual. But what if, instead, we think of them as biological computer bits, storing the smallest unit of information? What stops scientists from harnessing the power of those units, using the latest biological technology to treat DNA like a writable disk? Read More >>

science
Space-Mutated Bacteria Could Be Bad News For Humans

A new experiment shows that long-term exposure to microgravity affects bacteria at the genetic level—conferring reproductive advantages that persist even after the bacteria is reintroduced to unaffected colonies and normal levels of gravity here on Earth. Read More >>

science
Scientists Engineered Bacteria to Make Picture of Super Mario

Bacteria have had some pretty great PR, recently. Thanks to lots of new research about their importance to our bodies, they’re not really seen as soulless microscopic murderers anymore. They’re colorful, misunderstood beings living together outside the spotlight, freeloading in our guts in exchange for favours. In other words, they’re artists. Read More >>