Scientists try to piece together the early history of life by backtracking to the 'last universal common ancestor.' By combining genetic data and fossils, they uncover new details about the microbe that's the source of all life on Earth.
Scientists believe that the ancient Australian fossils could be the oldest evidence of life on Earth. If this is true, it will push back the current date believed to be the start of microbial life on the planet.
NASA's Mars Curiosity rover discovered organic matter such as "boron" on the red planet. This increases the chance of finding a suitable condition for microbes to thrive on Mars.
A new study from the Ohio State University revealed a never-before-seen genus of bacteria believed to be unique in shale oil and gas wells made by hydraulic fracturing.
Studies on stromatolites could offer clues on possible life-friendly bacterial structures in other planets.
Viruses are traditionally seen as pretty bad things. In Hollywood, it was always some mysterious virus that left only a few people on Earth or gave rise to a horrific zombie apocalypse. They're the things we think about when we hear "epidemic" or "plague" (even when the black death is actually caused by bacteria). "Virus" is even what we call the pesky malware that can harm our computers. However, according to a new study, there are plenty of "good" viruses out there, too.
Scientists have discovered a new deep-sea microbe that, as it turns out, represents a missing link in the evolution of complex life, according to new research.
Antarctica is often referred to as the White Continent, and aptly so. Covered in vast sheets of ice and pure packed snow, it is a dazzling wonderland that often get's no darker than a light and stony gray. That's why the infamous Blood Falls is so disturbing to see. Located at the tongue of the Taylor Glacier, a slushy waterfall flows a vivid crimson - not unlike the color of blood. Now, using state of the art technologies and their own intuition, researchers are using the Falls to find new life.
For the most part, evolution seems a lot like a lottery of mutations. The winners get to survive, reproduce, and eventually evolve. The losers disappear from all but the fossil record. Now new research has revealed that a small group of microbes and viruses are apparently cheating the system, systematically picking and choosing what mutates to help them live in some hostile environments.
No, we're not talking about Martian life being still around today. However, an exceptionally detailed analysis of photos from NASA's Mars Curiosity rover has recently been getting a lot of attention, as one expert believes she has identified evidence of ancient microbial life on the Red Planet.
We're not the only creatures on this planet that find the need to craft the occasional antibiotic. Researchers have recently determined that a whole host of deep sea creatures and even some obscure land dwellers boast genes that seem dedicated to fighting off bacteria in the same way a prescription drug would.
You've likely heard of "good" bacteria in the human gut - the little guys that live in balanced communities and constantly keep one another in check, as well as keep invaders out. However, could the same hold true for viruses? In a new study, researchers investigate this question.
Yeast is an inexpensive means to transform corn and other promising crops into biofuels like ethanol. However, too much ethanol can be toxic to yeast, which severely limits the production capacity of the microbial fungi. Now, researchers from MIT are saying that they have solved the toxicity riddle, developing a strategy that allows yeast to make ethanol en masse without suffering the consequences.
Researchers have determined that a very specific species of gut bacteria coupled with a high-fat diet may cause animals to gain weight, causing experts to wonder if it can seriously impact weight loss efforts.
It may not sound healthy, but having your intestines crowded by a wide variety of microbial life is a very good thing. Unfortunately for Intensive Care Unit (ICU) patients, it has been found that they are very likely to lose nearly all their microbes over the course of a hospital stay, making them vulnerable to dangerous infections.