Bacteria cultured from a sample of air in a public building.
When jetting off on holiday, we rarely give a second thought to what microbes we might be taking with us. But humans spread trillions of bacteria around the globe, potentially harming ecosystems' balance.
Plants make proteins based on whatever genetic material you give them.
Carl Davies, CSIRO
Inserting a random DNA mishmash into a plant or bacterium directs it to make a novel protein. Sifting through the resulting molecules, researchers may find ones have medical or agricultural uses.
Monarch caterpillars feeding on milkweed leaves and dropping their faces (taken in the laboratory facility).
Bugs use their own defecation to defend their young, locate their homes and increase mating opportunities. For humans, insect faeces may even have untapped medicinal properties.
It helped them conquer the world, three billion years ago.
Green colonies of allergenic fungus Penicillium from air spores on a petri dish. Penicillin was the first antibiotic.
We've been told for a long time that we must take all of our antibiotics. But maybe we didn’t need so many to begin with. Here's why.
Feral pigs are found in every state and territory in Australia.
Swine brucellosis is spreading from Queensland into New South Wales. It's carried by feral pigs and poses a real risk the people and dogs that hunt them.
Simple and inexpensive gene-editing technology such as CRISPR has made the creation of genetically modified organisms much easier. But could nature still keep the upper hand?
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.
So-called “unconventional” deposits of oil and gas are found in shale, a type of layered, fine grained rock.
Gas buried in the Northern Territory's Velkerri Shale was produced in a "slime world" that existed nearly a billion years before the first complex life on Earth evolved.
Trillions of microorganisms live inside your gut.
Trillions of microorganisms living inside your digestive system may influence your health and even your weight. Here's how your gut may communicate with your brain, bone marrow and immune system.
Modern diets are changing the compositions of our gut microbiota, and with that, our personalities.
For most of the twentieth century, we were at war with microbes, leading to substantial changes in our body's ecosystem. This has changed our diets, disease profile, moods and even personalities.
Warning: may contain faecal bacteria.
Nobody wants faecal bacteria in their iced latte. But if you have an iced drink from a high street coffee chain, that's what you might get.
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.
Those keypads are teeming with microbes.
AP Photo/Charlie Riedel
What's on your cash? Studies show our money carries everything from pet DNA and old food to E.coli and traces of cocaine.
Tiny bug, major disease spreader.
Dr. Paul Howell, USCDCP
Several sites in the US are releasing bacteria-infected mosquitoes as a way to fight mosquito-borne viruses that threaten people. What's the science – and how well will it work?
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.
Farmers are turning to natural bacteria to improve crops like cane – but they might be getting rubbish.
Crop probiotics are natural, eco-friendly and could provide huge benefits for Australian farmers. But our loose regulations means genuine products are competing with snake oil.
Open wide … the mouths of crocodiles like this contain bacteria that cause potentially lethal infections in people they bite.
Until recently we didn't know much about which antibiotic is best for people who have been attacked by a crocodile.
A recipe for an eyesalve from ‘Bald’s Leechbook.’
© The British Library Board (Royal MS 12 D xvii)
A team of medievalists and scientists look back to history – including a 1,000-year-old eyesalve recipe – for clues to new antibiotics.
Stainless steel is the metal of choice in hospitals.
Lack of knowledge and perceived cost issues could be holding back the fight against the superbugs.