nasa
Report: NASA’s Policies to Protect the Solar System From Contamination Are Out of Date

Whether it’s rovers rolling about on Mars, probes drilling into asteroids, or Tesla Roadsters drifting through space, it’s clear that our activities in the Solar System are changing. Accordingly, methods and rules to prevent our germs from spreading beyond Earth need to be updated, according to a new report aimed squarely at NASA. Read More >>

science
A Dreaded Superbug Has Officially Arrived in the United States

The US Centers for Disease Control has released a report in which it identifies over a dozen cases of a deadly, antibiotic-resistant fungus called Candida auris. It’s the first time this super-strain has been found in the US, and disturbingly, four of the first seven patients infected with it have died. Read More >>

lichen
We’ve Been Wrong About Lichen For 150 Years

Hundreds of millions of years ago, a tiny green microbe joined forces with a fungus, and together they conquered the world. It’s a tale of two cross-kingdom organisms, one providing food and the one other shelter, and it’s been our touchstone example of symbiosis for 150 years. Trouble is, that story is nowhere near complete. Read More >>

booze
New Trick Helps Winemakers Figure Out Which Microbes Make Good Wine

Winemaking is always an exercise in uncertainty. You don’t really know just what the wine will taste like until the very end of the process, which is sometimes decades long. A new technique, however, could help predict what wine will taste like before it’s even made. Read More >>

robots
This Little Bot Walks on Water and Runs on Bacteria

Here’s a way to make environmental cleanup more fun: Next time you’ve got a polluted waterway, just unleash a swarm of tiny, bacteria-nomming robots on it. Read More >>

science
Chlorine Treatment Can Accelerate Antibiotic Resistance, Study Says

As anyone who's ever owned a pet fish or gone to a swimming pool knows, chlorine is commonly used to disinfect water. Ironically, when it comes to sewage treatment, it may be doing just the opposite. Read More >>

science
The Ancient Secrets of a ‘Bleeding’ Glacier are Finally Being Revealed

Against vast whiteness of Antarctica, Blood Falls bleeds a deep dramatic red. The colour comes from iron-rich ancient seawater trapped under the ice for 2 million years. For the first time, scientists have been able to take a sample from deep under the ice. Read More >>

uncategorized
Ancient Microbes May Have Created the World’s Largest Gold Mines

Nearly half the gold ever mined comes from the Witwatersrand Basin, a layer of gold-flecked rock that spreads out under South Africa. The mines there are famously deep and prolific. Why is there so much gold concentrated in this one small part of the Earth's crust? Read More >>

science
What Happens to Bacteria in Space?

In the otherwise barren space 220 miles above Earth's surface, a capsule of life-sustaining oxygen and water orbits at 17,000 miles per hour. You might know this capsule as the International Space Station (ISS), currently home to six humans—and untold billions of bacteria. Microbes have always followed us to the frontiers, but it's only now that scientists at NASA and elsewhere are seriously investigating what happens when we bring Earth's microbes into space. Read More >>

science
Super Bugs Inadvertently Created by Spacecraft Sterilisation Protocols

The European Space Agency has been collecting examples of "spacecraft associated biology" in a small collection housed at the Leibniz-Institut DSMZ in Brunswick, Germany. 298 strains of "extremotolerant" bacteria, isolated from spacecraft assembly rooms because they managed to survive the incredible methods used to clean spacecraft, are now being studied for their biological insight. How on earth can they still be alive? Read More >>

space
We’ve Found Life on Mars

Well here’s a turn up for the books. We apparently found life on Mars back in 1976 with NASA’s Viking mission, but it was rejected because three experiments didn’t match up. Now new data analysis has concluded that, actually, we did in fact find life on Mars, and there’s a scientific paper to prove it. Read More >>

science
Gassy Alaskan Microbes Are Warming Up the Planet

When most of us wake up, we don't turn to our loved ones or think about the day ahead. Nope, we let off some gas. Turns out microorganisms are just the same, only their gas might have a dramatic effect on global warming. Read More >>