Articles on Bacteria

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Will your cellphone be able to communicate with bacteria in your body? Bacteria image via www.shutterstock.com.

Using electricity, not molecules, to switch cells on and off

New research works out how to translate between the language of biology – molecules – and the language of microelectronics – electrons. It could open the door to new kinds of biosensors and therapeutics.
In us, on us and all around us. Microbes image via www.shutterstock.com.

Microbes: Our tiny, crucial allies

Long viewed simply as 'germs,' the hidden half of nature turns out to be crucial to the health of people and plants.
Do we contain the most elaborate set of instructions? Genome image via www.shutterstock.com.

How many genes does it take to make a person?

The answer – fewer than are in a banana – has implications for the study of human health and raises questions about what generates complexity anyway.
We think of coral reefs as a diverse ecosystem, but each coral is an entire and complex microworld of organisms imperceptible to our eyes. Floriaan Devloo-Delva

What we have in common with corals and their unexplored microbial world

Just like humans, corals live with myriad microscopic organisms. We are just starting to understand this unseen world.
Though commonly associated with food poisoning, the strain of salmonella used is a benign variety. Shutterstock/Tatiana Shepeleva

Could friendly bacteria be used to treat cancer?

What started with a study of diseases transmitted by mosquitos, could end with a new way of treating cancer.
Illustration of pressure sensing bacteria in soils from the ‘Computational Colloids Project’. Carolina Ramirez-Figuroa, Luis Hernan and Martyn Dade-Robertson

The cities of the future could be built by microbes

Bacteria can produce their own 'buildings' so scientists are genetically engineering them to build ours.
Surface oil slick from the Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Andreas Teske, University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Can we harness bacteria to help clean up future oil spills?

Genetic analysis shows that marine bacteria broke down much of the oil from the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill. These findings could lead to more effective cleanups after future spills.

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