It helped them conquer the world, three billion years ago.
Just as organisms that infect us make changes in us - we too make changes in them and they grow and adapt to their human hosts.
Humans play host to many little passengers. Right now, you’re incubating, shedding or have already been colonised by viral, bacterial, parasitic or fungal microorganisms - perhaps even all of them.
Researchers have found Australia’s first confirmed case of tularemia in a ringtail possum.
Tularemia is an animal disease that can be transmitted to humans. While it can be fatal, it is rare in Australia and can be treated with antibiotics.
Many in the Western Front contracted haemorrhagic dysentery.
Wellcome Library, London
When commemorating our troops, doctors and nurses this Anzac Day, consider also tipping your hat to the discovery of bacteriophages. In the post-antibiotic era, our health might just depend on them.
In us, on us and all around us.
Microbes image via www.shutterstock.com.
Long viewed simply as 'germs,' the hidden half of nature turns out to be crucial to the health of people and plants.
Tackling antimicrobial resistance relies on us tackling the interrelated areas of human, animal and environmental health.
The federal government is tackling antimicrobial resistance with a 'One Health' approach. But what is One Health and what can it offer that other approaches haven't?
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions?
Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.
The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
How slow diagnosis of bacterial infections is exacerbating our antibiotics problem.
It’s bacterial biofilms that give the Grand Prismatic Spring its colorful hues.
The vast majority of the bacteria that surround us are not free-floating but prefer to band together in cooperative communities called biofilms. How do biofilms form and cooperate?
You couldn’t enjoy cheese like this without the intervention of micro-organisms.
Many of us shirk at the thought of bacteria or fungus in our food, but without them, we wouldn't have many of our favourite foods.
Cat-borne parasites that may affect human aggression aren't the only microscopic freeloaders that influence their hosts' brains.
This attractive specimen, collected from a doorknob in New York, loved being in space.
Alex Alexiev/UC Davis
One common terrestrial bacterium has been found to grow in the microgravity of the International Space Station than on Earth, although it remains a mystery why.
While many of the fruits of the human genome project could be decades away, DNA sequencing of drug-resistant bacteria has been striding forwards
Baby it’s warm inside … we have 200 microbes for every human cell.
Agricultural Research Service
Our personal collection of microbes is vital for gut health - but new research shows that large-scale analysis of our 'microbiomes' can show if a population is fat or lean. The answer is in sewage.
Gut bacteria can manufacture special proteins that are very similar to hunger-regulating hormones.
We’ve long known that that the gut is responsible for digesting food and expelling the waste. More recently, we realised the gut has many more important functions and acts a type of mini-brain, affecting…
You can never be too safe.
Human skin is a garden of microbes which is home to about 1,000 bacterial species. Most are benign but some invade the skin and cause illness – and of these, antibiotic resistant bacteria are particularly…
The more the merrier.
Trillions of microbes live in and on our body. We don’t yet fully understand how these microbial ecosystems develop or the full extent to which they influence our health. Some provide essential nutrients…
Even bacteria get sick.
Zappys Technology Solutions's photostream
Bacterial diseases cause millions of deaths every year. Most of these bacteria were benign at some point in their evolutionary…
The make up of a person’s gut bacteria changes when they develop Crohn’s disease.
New links between the bacteria in your gut and disease are being made almost daily. We know, for instance, that the microbial communities residing in your intestines have a role in your mood and levels…
Trypanosomes in the blood.
There is no denying that humans think sex is important, but it also matters for microbes. Sex allows genes from two parents to be mixed, leading to new combinations of genes in the offspring. In the past…